Newsletter Swaps: Should You Give These a Try?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Last time, I blogged I talked about giving away your work for free as a part of your marketing plan. Today, I'm going to discuss "Newsletter Swaps": what they are, why you should look into them, how to do them successfully, and where you can find them. So, let's go:

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 and her publishing company at Editor-911 Books.  


Cathy C. Hall said...

Haven't seen this marketing tool, Margo, but it sounds like a great way to exponentially increase your platform.

Sioux Roslawski said...

I would have to say "ditto" to what Cathy C. Hall said. It sounds like it's a wonderful marketing tool, and since it doesn't cost lots of money, that makes it even more appealing.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Yes! I've actually done newsletter swaps for WOW and it's worked well. For example, we advertised Scribbler's fabulous writer's box and they highlighted our flash fiction contest. It's a win win!

I'd also say that list sizes should be comparable. So if you have a 3k subscriber list and they have an 80k list, then it's not a fair trade. I mean great, if they'll do it! :) And if you don't have a newsletter, consider a social media post swap.

Theresa Boedeker said...

Great idea. Thanks for the details on how to do this.

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