Once upon a time, author newsletters were a rare beast.
That was mostly because of the work involved—it wasn’t just a case of writing the newsletter, but getting it printed, printing off address labels, stuffing envelopes, and posting the newsletters.
I was once responsible for writing, publishing, and mailing a 16+ page newsletter to 500+ paying subscribers for my employer. It took about a week each month—longer on the months when I didn’t manage to bribe the receptionist into helping with the last part. A regular newsletter was a big commitment of time and money.
But now it’s all done by email.
The mailing list is managed by a service such as MailChimp, and all the author has to do is write the newsletter, load it up, and press ‘send’ (or pay a virtual assistant to help with the actual sending). This has meant a proliferation of newsletters. I’ve signed up for dozens (many through giveaways).
The recent introduction of GDPR meant I got to unsubscribe from several using the passive-aggressive method of not hitting either the subscribe or unsubscribe buttons when they sent the (perhaps unnecessary) reconfirmation emails. There is one I don’t read because I’d unsubscribe if I could, but legal details aren’t that author’s strong point because there is no unsubscribe option.
Do I read them?
I read the newsletters of my favourite authors. I read the newsletters of the funny authors. And I read the newsletters of the authors where I know it’s going to be news, not a sales pitch for a book I’ve either already bought, or already decided I don’t want to buy. (I know the email gurus say to ask for the sale more than once, but I’m the buyer who proves all the theories wrong).