Saturday 16 February 2019

Should you sign up for a publisher’s newsletter?

As a writer I sign up for several – and only read a few of them now and then. I keep them coming because they occasionally contain one tiny piece of information that is invaluable for me personally.  

I also produce a newsletter for each of the imprints that I handle. Some of the information is generic but some of it is specific to a particular imprint. Yes, I include news of new titles but most of what is in the newsletter is information for authors.

I have other newsletters for readers and these do discuss titles in more detail.      

What our newsletters contain

We include
·         New calls for submissions
·         Success stories from our writers  - even if they’re published elsewhere
·         News about technical issues
·         News about marketing issues and opportunities
·         News about events and courses we’re running
·         A link to where news of book sales is stored  
·         A link to royalty statements

Why not put all of this on a web site?

Most of it is actually on the web site. A few items are only for authors - e.g. the list  about book performance and certain events.

Frequency and rationale of newsletters

I send our newsletters out once a month. Very, very occasionally I’ll send out a “stop press” announcement if something urgent or very exciting comes up but I do avoid this if possible.

I try to put everything into a newsletter and cover all the queries that our authors might have. I’m handling about 200 authors and answering different queries several times over would just be too time-consuming.

We also have a secret Facebook group where authors can raise matters promptly.  Sometimes they answer each other’s queries and I don’t have to worry. I also test out ideas here. Should we have a Writers’ Retreat? Would they like to take part in a course on editing? What do they think of paid for submissions? Much of what is suggested here feeds into the newsletters.

Why I recommend that you should sign up and stay signed up

The newsletter is the easiest way I can get information to you. There are certain parts  so of the letter that are repeated each month – such as the invitation to join my Dream Team but at least you will know where to find that information. The delete button can be very handy.

I do have to bite my tongue when I sometimes get a query or a submission and the applicant has declined signing up to the newsletter. A comfort here is that it is usually clear that the applicant has not read the submission guidelines correctly. Would we want to work with that author anyway?

Every time newsletters go out we get one or two unsubscribes. They’re usually people we’ve not had a lot of interaction with anyway. Occasionally it’s because they receive more than one newsletter, because they’re published by several of our imprints, and they’re limiting themselves to the optimum one. Fair enough. We’ll also get a few more people signing up to other lists – each newsletter includes a list of the other items that may be of interest to writers.

It’s fine for us too. We’re still using Mailchimp for free. We won’t mind paying in the near future but we do want to be sure that what we send out is really useful to the recipients.

One more thing

On this very blog I keep track of the progress on publications. See the Work Flow page. This is public-facing page though probably only of interest to those who are in process with us. But you may like to watch it for a while if you are thinking of publishing with us.

So, should you?

I think you should.                     

Here’s what’s on offer

Bridge House Authors For all those published by Bridge House or interested in being published by us. General news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book performance. Sign up here.

CaféLit Writers For all those published by CaféLit. General news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book performance. News about the Creative Café Project. Sign up here.

Chapeltown Authors For all those published by Chapeltown or interested in being published by us.  General news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book performance. Sign up here.  

Chapeltown Books News about our books and our authors. Sign up here.

The Creative Café Project  News about the project and CaféLit – for the consumer rather than for the producer.  Sign up here.   

Gill’s News: News about my writing, general news about what the imprints are doing, news about other writers I know, news about the Creative Café Project, a recommended read, and a giveaway each month. Find it here.   

Opportunities List Remember I keep a full list of vetted opportunities on my writing blog. See them here. New ones are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I go through it and take out all of the out of date ones. At that point I send it out to a list. If you would like to be on that list, sign up here.  

Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher News about conferences and workshops to do with the young adult novel. (infrequent postings) Sign up here.  

Red Telephone Authors For all those published by The Red Telephone or interested in being published by us.  General news about the imprint. News for writers. Link to book performance. Sign up here.

Schellberg Cycle Workshop News Offers and news of events to do with Schellberg Cycle workshops. Sign up here.  

School Visits Offers and news of school visits. Sign up here.

Red Telephone Books News about our books and our authors. Sign up here.

A Publisher’s Perspective Here I blog as a publisher. Access this here.   

The Creative Café Project Listings and reviews of creative cafés. See them here.   

CaféLit Stories Find these here

Gill James Writer All about writing and about my books. View this here.

Gill’s Recommended Reads Find information here about books that have taken me out of my editor’s head.   

Gill’s Sample Fiction Read some of my fiction here.

The House on Schellberg Street All about my Schellberg project. Read it here.

Writing Teacher All about teaching creative writing.  Some creative writing exercises. Access this here.     

Books Books Books Weekly offers on all of our books.  Find them here.