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Morning Bell
Feb 23, 2006

Illegal Hen

I like newsletters, I used to like newsletters before they were cool & now they're cool & there's heaps of them.

Why Newsletters Are Cool

A newsletter is a blog you email to people! Emails are nice and intimate, it's like getting a letter from a friend who you don't know and have a weird parasocial relationship with, it's a one-person podcast in words, I get LiveJournal vibes from newsletters! I was on LiveJournal at 16 years old and it shaped my life. Will newsletters do the same for Zoomers? Unlikely, but watch the Zoomers carefully nonetheless.

Newsletter Platforms

You can use MailChimp you can use Substack, Substack is really popular, apparently it paid famous bloggers to migrate to their platform & now Hot Take Machines have Substacks to serve their spicy goods. All these services are essentially websites that will take care of the mass-email-everyone part of the newsletter, host it, maybe hosts comments even. You can even host your own newsletter mail-out-errer on your super slick private server, if you want! I honestly have no idea which of the newsletter platforms is better. Please somebody smart tell me their individual merits!? Why on earth is everyone on Substack?

Good Newsletters

For book reading people, Bookbear Express is tender & wise, it is in fact the best newsletter

Also for book reading people but more chaotic, Drei Cafe is a literature newsletter that started as an Australian lockdown blog. The author is me, it's mine, it's my newsletter, I talk about nicotine gum and Tolstoy and Philip K Dick.

I am a big fan of The Whippet, a "fun facts" newsletter, kind and witty and not cliche.

I do not like long newsletters or 'takes on modern phenomena' newsletters except for The Convivial Society, where a man well versed in Ivan Illich's works writes about technology and its effect on our lives, like how we lost the night sky (I swear he has original clever things to say).

I would love to hear if you run a newsletter or like a newsletter!!


Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Oh I just noticed this thread! Shame on me I'm a terrible mod.

Anyway as a reader of Drei Cafe, i'll vouch for its quality riffs on topics that make me go "yeah, I dig that".

May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind

No other road
No other way
No day but today

Yay, a newsletter thread! I'm going to cross post this to the self publishing thread, because the one promo thing you're supposed to do as a self published author is have a newsletter. I have one and I use Sendinblue but I have literally only sent one email which was to announce my book launch. So I'll be here to check out cool newsletters for ideas on how to make mine not suck.

Coincidentally I also made this YouTube video about newsletters last week. It is a breakdown of the different technology levels of mailing lists. I am better at understand technology and processes than I am at sending newsletters:

I had never heard of Substack but went to have a look because you mentioned it. It's looks like Medium meets Patreon to me, but on a platform where you have more control. That'd be my guess as to why it's the hot new thing.

Camo Guitar
Jul 15, 2009

Ah excellent, a newsletter thread. Will be following this a lot. I run a monthly one for my books, it can definitely be improved.

For the record I have 200 and a bit newsletter readers through mail chimp gained purely through the site StoryOrigin. The numbers grow and shrink over time as people opt in or out but in a nutshell:

Created a Sci fi/cyberpunk trilogy and up on kdp it went.
Then created a 17k novella reader magnet, leading into the first book. A kind of 'what happened before the grand adventure kicked off.' This too is for sale on Amazon or you can get it free if you opt into the newsletter.
Free newsletter sub or 99 cents, you can guess which gets more attention.

Each month I do promotions with other authors on SO, plugging either their promos (collections of books on sale or found in kdp for example) where they plug my stuff and vice versa. There's also newsletter swaps where you can point to each others reader magnets. Everybody gets clicks, sometimes people even buy stuff hooray!


-According to the limited (read: free) stats through Mail chimp my audience is largely 65+. I'm far from that age bracket and I didn't think cyberpunk style books would hold that much appeal to those 60 plus but that's what the numbers say. Maybe they've got more time for newsletters?

--My open rate ranges around the 50% mark on a good day. Click rate around 13%. You will have many that sign up and never do anything for as long as they stay. Which may be just one campaign/newsletter.

-I lose a handful of numbers with every newsletter but gain more from the magnet across the month.

-Once in a blue moon someone will send you an email from something you mentioned in your newsletter. One wished me good luck for my interstate move which was nice.

-I don't make much money at all through this even on new releases. I take this as a lesson in improving covers, blurbs, communications etc.

Anyway that's me, I'm keen to read what everyone else here is up to and what's working (and what's not.)

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