Never created a newsletter? No worries, here's one method to create your own...
In the example below, I'm using MS Word 2010 on Windows XP. Newsletter templates are standard in MS Word. Simply open Word and select "New" from the "File" menu, then select the "Newsletter" option from the available templates.
A variety of Themes are available for your newsletter. Select the theme that best suits your PERSONA and writing. Since I write futuristic, urban fantasy, and my blog is music focused, I chose the "Edgy Smudge" design because it has an urban feel. (Note: be sure to have your computer connected to the internet, so that a wider selection of designs are available for your use.)
Double click on your desired theme / layout and the base document will load into an active Word document. Use your mouse to select specific elements if you want to change the colors or font sizes.
Upload pictures and text, as needed. Remember, you are creating a newsletter to communicate to your readers. Here are a few design and content suggestions:
- The first thing your readers should see is the cover of your latest book. Be sure to mention that 'buy' links can be found on your website.
- Make your web address prominent - remember, your website should be your home base for communications.
- Include the location of any appearances, book signings, workshop you will teach, etc.
- Make sure your content is aligned with your PERSONA, website, blog, marketing collateral, etc.
- Pay it forward: sometimes readers like to know which books you are reading and what music you listen to while writing. Why not help out another artist or author by mentioning their work?
- Pictures are a good thing! Relevant pictures are even better.
KEY STEP: Once you are finished writing your newsletter, print it to a PDF file for emailing. PDFs are much smaller file sizes than Word documents, especially if your newsletter contains pictures. By having a small file size, your email is less likely to bounce back as 'undeliverable due to file size.'
How often should you send out a newsletter? Quarterly seems to be the common practice, but the real answer is: Send out a NEWSletter when you have some new NEWS to communicate to your readres.
If you have collected a reader email list, consider PUSHing book launch, book signings, or any other events / adventures via a newsletter.