A lot of authors push FB ads and AMS ads and countless paid promos, and trust me, they work. It’s why they are come so highly recommended. But aside from the few promos that don’t have a fee, newsletter swaps are a budget friendly way to get your book in front of the readers.
How do newsletter swaps work?
This is where networking with similar authors help. You don’t want just any newsletter. You want newsletters that are from authors who write the same genre as you. (IE: If you write sci-fi, you want sci-fi newsletters not contemporary romance. If you write historical, you want historical authors.)
Have your URLs for your book on all the locations your book is from. This means if you write in English, you’ll want the URLs for Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and USA handy to give to the author. Also have the cover and a short blurb—most newsletters aren’t going to want to put a 500-word blurb. This is where having knowledge about catchy copy benefits you. (I recommend mybook.to/BlurbsMeeks to help with learning how to write an effective ad copy).
If you’re doing a sale, have the dates handy and realize that most newsletters go out that first week of the month and around major holidays.
You can join FB groups dedicated to swaps or you can ask in writing groups if anyone has a newsletter spot available.
Three newsletter groups to explore
A FB group that contains over 70k members and many are published authors.
At one point I was using a site called BookBoast. It had two options (free and paid) and allowed receiving authors to list how many spots they had available, when they had those spots available, and the website provided the URLs, Cover, and Blurb for the receiving author without you having to keep searching, copying, pasting, etc. The system worked amazing, despite the few people who spammed everyone’s inbox.
Due to some glitches, the site became frustrating—having to continually reload pages, the customer service never responded—and I stopped using it.
Pros of Newsletter Swaps
If you pick the newsletters right, the market potential is great.
Exposure. Even with the smallest of list (subscriber list), there were at least new eyes on your works and at best sales.
If done right, the networking pays off because we all work together. It builds relationships. They share this month and later down on the road you share theirs. Some authors prefer to share the same month to eliminate the hassle, and that’s one reason I recommend planning at least 60 days for newsletter swaps or using groups to find who has an opening.
Cons of Newsletter Swaps
There’re really no cons to newsletter swaps. There are some issues that can arise just because we all cultivate our newsletters differently.
Not everyone believes in the you scratch mine and I scratch yours. Some authors know their newsletter list will never touch a full price book. Others know the readers won’t ever touch a xyz plot despite you both writing xyz genre. Finding the right newsletter swaps cuts down on some of these but not all. Be open about your book.
I know many people will say “oh I only swap with large subscribers.” Get that notion out of your head. Some newsletter lists are just farmed from sites like Fiverr or with newsletter giveaways with a prize with little organic growth or interaction—similar to FB like-for-like not being as beneficial as people who honestly want to follow you following and interacting with your posts.
Helpful Hints and Tricks
If someone has shared your work in the past, reach out to them and go “I have a spot for one of your books. Which one do you want me to push?” Some authors never think to put their books first. They share others all the time, but you’ll never see them ask for theirs. Reach out, because when you do, you’re creating an impression that last.
You can set up a Google Form to help you keep track of those wanting into your newsletter. It’ll hold all the information you need—websites, photos, blogs, price/dates, etc—and when you go to build your newsletter, it’s all right there.
Balance. Just because you share others works, it doesn’t detract from your own works. Many authors segment their newsletters into the top half being about their own works and the bottom half being other authors works. Some authors do the full blurb and others only post the cover and the URLs.
If you share similar works, and you notice your readers are favoring a cover layout or a certain sub-genre, then perhaps you’ve discovered what your next book should be about. IE if you write alpha males, and you’re sharing Mob, MC, and Billionaires romance books, and the readers interact with the Billionaires over the other two then consider releasing one.
This can also be applied to FB pages.
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This post was edited/proofed by ProWritingAid.