What are newsletter swaps?
This is a marketing technique that is inexpensive (could even be free), where you promise to feature an author or her book in your newsletter to your mailing list in exchange for the other author featuring you and your book(s).
Why should you look into newsletter swaps?
Newsletter swaps are an inexpensive way to find new readers who like your genre. The cost is basically your time and any money you have to pay for your newsletter list, but that money you would be spending anyway to send your newsletter to your readers. Newsletter swaps also don't take much time because the author should provide you with what they want you to say about them and their books, just as you will for their newsletter. Plus, newsletter swaps give you more content for your newsletter, and it is a service to your readers. You are saying: Here's another author that I know who writes something that you might want to try out.
How do you do a newsletter swap successfully?
There are some tips to making these work well--best practices.
1. Find an author who writes for the same genre or audience that you do. If your best writing buddy writes sci-fi and you write romance, you can still do a newsletter swap because you never know who likes to read both genres. But generally, you want to try to find another romance author, and one who writes similar to you--another sweet romance writer for example. Those readers will want to find new authors in genres that they like to read.
2. Provide an offer. If you have a newsletter swap coming up, consider providing a discount or free book (or a reader magnet) to the other author's newsletter list. If your first book in the series is free or you always give away a free ebook, like I do, then ask the author to promote that. Remember, you are looking for readers who want to make a commitment to you and your writing by buying more than one book or signing up for your newsletter. So you may need to give them a taste of your writing inexpensively until they become fans. The other author's newsletter list is an audience hungry for books, so make it easy for them to try one of yours!
3. Create art for the author to use. I love it when other authors provide me with a ready-made photo by using a site like Canva and some text, so all I have to do is load their photos and copy and paste their text into my newsletter template. This also ensures that the other author is providing the information you want to their newsletter list.
Okay, I'm sold...where do I find newsletter swaps?
First, look at your own list and social media feeds, and see if you have any authors on there that write the same genre as you. Send them a message, and ask if they would be interested in a newsletter swap. But you may NO other authors and still make these work, thanks to sites like Book Funnel (fee-based) and StoryOrigin (currently free). Both of these sites list group promos and newsletter swap opportunities that you can be a part of if you have a newsletter list. These are great ways to find new authors with new readers that you don't already know.
If you've tried newsletter swaps or are thinking about it, let us know in the comments below!
Margo L. Dill is an author, editor, teacher, and publisher, living in St. Louis, MO. She teaches the WOW! Writing a Novel with a Writing Coach class, which starts on December 4. You can check out her books on margoldill.com and her publishing company at Editor-911 Books.