Have you ever wondered why people keep unsubscribing from your newsletter? Nate Hoffelder wrote an interesting blog post about it. Thanks for this very educational and helpful article, Nate! I read it carefully. It explains a lot – but it does not explain why nobody subscribes. 😀 (just kidding!)
If there’s one problem that everyone with a newsletter shares, it’s not knowing why readers unsubscribe. While it is normal to lose a few subscribers every time you send a newsletter, I have been told (and can confirm from personal experience) that if you are losing more than a half of a percent of your mailing list after sending a newsletter, you have a problem.
It might be that you are emailing too often (or not often enough), or your subscribers might be getting bored with your newsletters. They might also be bothered by political rants, or by proselytizing, or if you engage in a lot of hard sell tactics.
Each former subscriber has their own reason leaving your mailing list. (Who knows, they might just be too busy to read all the mail they receive?) It’s impossible to say why someone is losing subscribers without examining the specifics of their mailing list, but I can give you a bunch of possible causes to consider.
Back in May I asked my newsletter subscribers and authors in the FB groups SPF Community and 20Booksto50K a simply question: “What would make them unsubscribe from a newsletter?”
I received several hundred answers, and I collated the responses for this post.
Anne R. Allen writes about a danger some of us writers are not expecting; sabotage in our own four walls. Thanks for this very informative post, Anne.
Learning to write well is tough. Getting published is tougher. And selling your published books is tougher still.
Nevertheless, we persist. Most writers feel compelled to write, and usually, nothing can stop us.
But we can be waylaid, distracted, and seriously discouraged. Some of us can’t write for years because of devastating “creativity wounds” and body-blows to our self-esteem. Misguided and untrained beta readers and critique groups can also kill a writer’s creativity.
Others quit writing after horrific experiences with scam publishing companies and bogus agents. I have written often about the publishing scammers who lie in wait for newbie writers. Do check out my posts on scams, and always check Writer Beware. Scammers can break your heart as well as emptying your bank account.
I’ve also heard from several authors who put their writing on hiatus after sadistic troll attacks derailed a fledgling writing career. (We had some great advice on how to fight online attacks from Chris Syme last week. Attacks like this were the inspiration for my novel So Much for Buckingham, which is on sale this week.)
But sometimes the writer’s most dangerous enemies are closer to home.
On ‘The Story Reading Ape’s’ blog I found the link to a fascinating and very educational article concerning self-publishing and PR for self-published writers. Thank you so much Helen Baggott!
on Self Publishing Advice:
PR can feel like a mystery to writers. It’s done by experts and those in the field or the industry. But author member, Helen Baggott is here to remove the mystery and tell us how we can DIY PR as indie authors.
When I talk to other authors about their marketing strategy, how they plan to recoup their costs, I tell them, ‘No one will knock on your door and ask if you’ve written a book’. Authors have to reach out to readers.
Janice Hardy published an interesting blog post about plot and story not being alined in our book. Thanks a lot for that article, Janice.
The plot illustrates the story, but sometimes, it has a mind of its own and takes your novel in the wrong direction.
It’s a common enough tale. You’re writing away, listening to your characters and letting them run the show. They’re diverting a little from your outline, but that’s okay because where they’re going is good stuff. Or maybe you’re the kind of writer who doesn’t have an outline, and you’re enjoying this unexpected path your characters have taken.
And they keep doing it.
And doing it.
And doing it.
You follow because the plot is moving and it seems like a good idea, and the words are coming fast and furious. You’re getting a huge amount of writing done. You’re feeling so productive!
Kristen Lamb published a very interesting, fascinating and relentlessly honest blog post about a lack of talent and authors. Thanks so much for sharing your point of view with us, Kristen!
Talent is so utterly subjective. How can we know if we actually have it? Recently, I was chatting with my cousin who’s an incredible artist.
She mentioned how, no matter how many compliments or how many sales, she can’t help but feel like an imposter.
I, of course, responded that authors suffer the same malaise. Imposter syndrome is alive and well, and it doesn’t matter how many books we write, the titles we earn or how many books we sell. For a lot of us? We still can’t help but feel like a fraud.
That we don’t actually have any talent. Oh, and that any moment someone might find out we’ve fooled the world and have no talent at all.
All of this posits the eternal question…
Are there just some people who simply lack the talent to be a successful author?
I found this very interesting and informative blog post on the ‘Writer’s Beware Blog’, written by Victoria Strauss. Thank you so much for your tireless efforts to warn us about scams, Victoria. We really appreciate your hard work!
Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®
How do scammers entrap unwary writers? The other day, an especially egregious example came across my desk, in the form of this “proposal” shared with me by an author who really, really wanted to believe it was real (I’ve redacted the author’s name and book title to protect their privacy).
Not to beat a horse, dead or otherwise, but if you’ll glance at the sidebar, you’ll see that Alpha Books United is on Writer Beware’s big list of Philippines-based Author Solutions copycat publishing and marketing scams. (When I got hold of this proposal, on September 26, Alpha Books’ website was working fine, but when I checked it today it refused to load. “Mr. Ken Davis”, however, has not stopped emailing and calling the author who contacted me.)
Jenn Hanson-DePaula published an excellent, very educational book launch blog post on Mixtus-Media. Thank you so much for your interesting article, Jenn. We appreciate your hard work.
I know the entire book marketing process can feel overwhelming and oftentimes confusing – especially when it comes to launching your book.
And with the avalanche of opinions coming your way, I know it can be hard to narrow things down as you try to focus on how to best set up your launch.
In my experience, there is one strategy that I encourage every author to use when getting ready to launch their book. That is creating a pre-order incentive, which is a limited time, exclusive gift that an author offers readers for pre-ordering their book ahead of its release.
Offering a compelling pre-order incentive can help you in several ways: