SMIAH Newsletters


Tamara Grantham

@TamaraGrantham (Twitter)

Part 1: Choosing an email service

A few ideas to keep in mind when searching for the email service that will best fit your needs:

  1. Are you tech savvy? If so, a service with more features requiring technical knowledge will be a good fit. If not, a more streamlined, user-friendly service will be a better fit.
  2. What genre do you write? Fiction and non-fiction authors will cater to different audiences.
  3. Who is your audience?
  • These are guidelines to ponder. You should not make this decision on which service to use now, but ponder which service is the best fit for you.
  • A few things to keep in mind: 95% of email services are geared to non-fiction books or businesses. They provide necessities. You as a fiction author are providing a luxury and an escape. What can you provide your subscribers that they won’t get anywhere else?

There are many newsletter services out there, but a few of the most popular choices are the following:


ADVANTAGES: User friendly though there is a learning curve. Great customer service.

DISADVANTAGES: Tends to be more expensive with the more subscribers you have. Less options for automation.


ADVANTAGES: Great options for segmenting groups and automation. Tends to be less expensive. More flexibility.

DISADVANTAGES: Poor customer service.

Mad Mimi

ADVANTAGES: Affordable, though only the first 100 subscribers are free. There are options for differing services than can be turned on.

DISADVANTAGES: Automations tend to be confusing.

Active Campaign

ADVANTAGES: Great with automations. Worth every penny. In beta testing stages.

DISADVANTAGES: You must be tech savvy. Expensive.

Where should you spend money as an author?

  • Book Cover
  • Newsletter
  • Editor

YouTube Tutorial I found helpful:

Lead Magnet

What is a lead magnet?

An incentive that authors offer to newsletter subscribers in exchange for their email address. They usually offer downloadable content such as a novella.  A prequel novella to a series is a great way to get readers engaged in the world you’ve created.

Remember WIIFM! (WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?) Potential subscribers need a REASON to sign up. What will they get from signing up for your newsletter that they won’t get anywhere else? This should be something ONLY for them.

YOUR GOAL AS AN AUTHOR: Get people to read your books and buy your books.

Think of your favorite author. When you first picked up their book, did you know how many kids they had? Where they grew up? Where they went on vacation?


You knew you loved their writing and had to know more.

We are the readers’ rock stars. We’re not making friends, we’re gaining readers.

Lead Magnets:

  • When someone joins your list, give them something for doing that. They want to know they’re getting something in return. It could be the first book in a story that you give away.
  • Lead magnet- it’s the sausage the lady is giving out at the grocery store. You get a sample of what they’re about to buy. NOVELLA- A part of the world you’re writing in.
  • A spinoff story about people in the world. Behind-the-scenes information on the mythology.
  • Don’t send a mystery story as a lead magnet for fantasy. It should be part of a marketing plan.

LEAD MAGNET– A loss leader. The novella is a sample of the world. Give them a taste of your world. Heat levels should be the same. If it’s sweet romance, keep it the same. Keep your marketing strategy in mind. What kind of stories do you want your readers to fall in love with?

Pick something that will reflect your writing. You want readers to fall in love with your STORIES and CHARACTERS, not with you. Don’t spend excessive amounts of time describing your life, your kids, your work, etc. READERS want to read something exciting and engaging so give it to them as soon as possible.


  • Sneak peeks
  • Preorders
  • Chapters
  • Snippets
  • Cover Reveals
  • Character Interviews
  • Giveaways
  • Group Promos

Frequency: How often should you send emails?

It doesn’t matter if what you send is engaging to your subscribers, but as a rule of thumb, anywhere between bi-weekly and twice a month should be your goal.

If you send bi-weekly, keep the newsletters short. Longer emails can be saved for twice per month.

Don’t send one email only for new book releases. Readers will forget who you are and lose interest in your content.


Where do you find subscribers:

Facebook Ads

My Book Cave (Good for gaining followers on Amazon and BookBub, though there is a newsletter subscriber option.)

Story Origins (I haven’t used this one, but it looks promising.)

Book Funnell

Prolific Works

The Kindle Book Review

ILVN (Pricier, but still a good option.)

ContentMO (be careful not to spend too much here.)

BookBuzz (be careful not to spend too much here.)

Written Word Media (this is a good option.)


Part 3: Creating Your Drip Campaign


(See Power Point Slides for Detailed Examples)


Part 4: Subject Lines:


  • The MOST important aspect of your email.
  • Your subject line MUST grab readers’ attention.
  • Avoid phrases like “FREE” or “SALE” as this will be marked as spam.
  • Avoid “Just Checking In” type phrases.