Using Newsletters or Ezines to Promote Your Book

This is a guest post by author Patrick Dent

I received Advanced Infantry Training while stationed at Fort Benning, which inspired me to write my first novel, "Execution of Justice", a story driven by advanced military tactics. My degree in Political Science helped me incorporate the geopolitical boiling pot of the early 1970s with a military action adventure plot. My Master's degree in chemistry provided a foundation for some of the more creative military tactics used in "Execution of Justice". In "Execution of Justice", I wanted to add deep characterization to the military action adventure genre, exploring concepts such as: revenge vs. forgiveness, universal vs. relative morality, self-discovery and the roots of what makes each of us who we are. Family, abuse, trauma, personal loyalties, betrayals and patriotic obligations conflict and eventually form the amalgam that is our protagonist - John Drake. My newest project, "Mortal Coil" is a techno-thriller about the catastrophic possibilities of genetic engineering.

Self-promoting a book is difficult task. You will need to develop an ever-growing base of followers. Newsletters are an excellent way to accomplish this, provided you already have a website.

A newsletter (or Ezine), is simply a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email message sent out to a group of people who have subscribed to it. These are potential customers who have opted-in to hear what you have to say.

There are thousands of newsletters on the internet pertaining to just about any topic you can imagine, and they are an incredible method of promoting your website absolutely free.

The two free ways to use newsletters to promote your website are to

  1. Post Articles in Other People’s Ezines or Newsletters.
  2. Publish Your Own Ezine or Newsletter

Posting Articles

If you have limited content to offer, or do not have an author website, posting articles may be the best route. Post articles containing brief promotional footers with a hot link back to your Amazon link and website (if you have one). Doing this allows people who enjoyed your article to click on your site or go directly to your Amazon link. This will either create incoming links to your website to enhance your Google ranking, or will send pre-qualified traffic to your Amazon page.

Most Ezines offer free subscriptions, and are hungry for quality content. That means any well-written article will receive a warm welcome if sent to the appropriate Ezine.

Your topic should be something that would interest your customers, and you should work in as many of your book’s keywords as you can. You may want to publish book reviews in your genre. Possibly you have a short story or two to post. If you write nonfiction, then you should have ample content on your topic of expertise.

I mention the keywords because a major Ezine website may have much higher rankings with search engines than you do, and a Google keyword search may land people on your article, rather than your author website. The reader then may click through to your website.

Start Your Own Ezine

If you have an author website, you may want to consider starting your own ezine on a topic that would interest your potential customers. Your topic should be something that interests your potential readers, not other authors. This, again, makes book reviews in your genre or short stories optimal for fiction. You don’t have to write an endless supply of short stories. You can solicit them with a signup form on your website. Most fledgling authors are happy to have their work presented to a larger audience. For nonfiction, brief articles teasing the more detailed content of your book should work well.

Managing a Growing Email List

You will need a sign up form for people to opt into your mailing list. This form should have a brief description of the content and a promise not to share email addresses or spam. This sign up form should be prominently placed on every page of your website, at the footer of every email you send, and when possible, in articles you post elsewhere on the web.

Large mailing lists are generally handled by autoresponders. The autoresponder automatically keeps track of who you’ve emailed and gotten confirmations from, plus it will give you the HTML code you need for the sign up forms. Autoresponders automatically handle opting in or out of your mailer.

With an autoresponder, you can pre-load all your content. Subscribers will receive email 1 whenever they sign up. This may merely be a thank you and a description of what content they can expect and at what frequency. Then, at your determined frequency, they receive email 2, etc. This gives you the opportunity to have just a few articles, reviews or short stories when you begin. You must then generate or collect new content and add it to the end of the queue.

Every email should begin with any updates you have about special deals or upcoming releases. Every email should end with your Amazon link.

If you research and write good Ezine articles in your field, you will build a following that can last your entire career as an author.