COWBUNGA! Report: Newsletter vs Newsletter

Written By: Jackie Weger - Nov• 18•16
eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow.

eNovel Authors at Work…a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow.

More About Newsletters

Good morning all of you awesome authors.  Are you wondering what the heck Newsletter vs Newsletter means? You know me. I’m gonna tell you.  It’s something specific I discovered by accident. My blog topic was gonna be about my most recent promotion, because we in eNovel often report results. But this happened: I tried out Book Report. Loved it. Subscribed. This is an analytic app that rides on your task bar and once inside Amazon KDP it  tells you how many books were bought and borrowed [KENP] and the $$$ value. Book Report tells me the number of  sales/borrows on a each title every day, or I can also set it to tell me an aggregate. More on that in minute.

My most recent promo was a beta test to see where a FREE unit in a campaign might land in paid sans a Bookbub, because those Bookbub slots are getting harder to come by.  I promoted the FREE unit in my newsletter along with 12 paid promo slots.  I also had six comp or free N/C promo slots. Downloads ran to 15,664 units. It ranked #18 in TOP 100 Free. And when returned to paid

New Release. Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited

FREE in newsletter 11/2 to 11/6, 2016. Downloads 15,649. Accent on Romance subscribers downloaded 4204 units. No single paid promo site did as well.

it landed for a nano second 39 in TOP 100 Paid and then slipped to 1,894 in Paid. Wow. Eleven days later it is holding it’s own: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,776 Paid in Kindle Store. I did not expect such a nice tail on the promo. That is $100 a day in sales and borrows. Way beyond my expectations. Total cost of promotion: $164.

coveralmostperfect-xmas-for-pomoAlso in my newsletter I promoted another unit I put a Holiday cover on, selling it for 99c. It was not a featured book. I’ve bought less than a half dozen promo slots for the unit scattered between now and mid December. But now I can check exact downloads via Book Report and also unique clicks in my newsletter. Surprise! One of my fav promoter newsletters produced 19 downloads of a 99c boxed set. My newsletter produced 77 downloads.

What’s wrong with this picture? 

The promoter has above 100K subscribers. My newsletter has 13K, and I ran my promo in the run-up to the election. Grand distraction. Two other authors have since told me they’re seeing miserable results with the same promoter. I chatted up a dozen other authors and visited some forums and it appears that commercial promoter-generated newsletters across the board are not producing a return on investment (ROI). One author saw only Two (2) downloads of a 99c book for a $40 slot. That’s an owie a Band-aid won’t fix.

I am not going to name the promoters because this is a miasma they created themselves. I cannot point to one without pointing to them all. Here is what is happening. Indie authors are engaging in subscriber signup promotions and siphoning active subscribers from promoters. I predicted this would happen when savvy authors started upping our game. We had to do something because promo slots are either booked or too costly. Read about it here. In July 2016 I had about 3K subscribers. I’ve been growing my subscriber list. It is scrubbed and cleansed. 100% acceptance rate and in my last mail out to 13K–not a single subscriber checked spam.

I produced one new release this year in late May and could not get a decent promo slot. So, I promoted it my newsletter. Amazon sent out a dedicated notice to those who follow me on Amazon and the book moved to the #1 slot in HOT New Releases for five days. It’s been in the $$$ since.

Another thing savvy indies are doing is reaching out and co-promoting one another’s books. I’m doing it. And my early November newsletter moved an aggregate of 1000 units for my colleagues. Doesn’t cost five cents.  Yes, our newsletter carrier costs. I use Mad Mimi and I am happy to pay the fee because my newsletter pays for itself.

Let’s talk about Tweeting: One site wants $29 to tweet a book for 30 days. Well Gosh, I can buy 30 Tweets from ask.David for $10 and schedule one a day, plus tweet to fans in French, German, Hindi, Spanish or Dutch. I can also get together with ten authors and we each produce two tweets, schedule in Hootsuite to our followers and reach not less than 400,000. I can trade Tweets with one other author and reach 80,000 romance fans. Fool, me if I pop for $29.

Adding this: We need our promoters, large and small. I’m not dissing ’em. I love every one you find on this site. But somewhere along the way, our promoters are gonna have to evaluate their product to engage their subscribers and at the same time, give authors a return on investment.

Want to grow your subscriber list? Here are a few sites: Mega Mailing List Promotion.  For Science Fiction and Fantasy, eNovel resident sci-fi authors love Patty Jansen’s SFF Promotions.

JackieWeger-BioHeadShot (1)I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. @2016. Thanks for visiting. Comments welcome. Add to the discussion. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate. Romance authors: If you would like to consider co-promoting email Sorry, no erotica. Accent on Romance is work-place safe and family friendly.


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  1. Glad to see your newsletter is a roaring success, Jackie.
    Hanging my head in shame as I have yet to launch one… I find the prospect rather daunting.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Rosie! It is daunting! But if you master it, you have another tool and another avenue to sell books. You control when to send. I commit to once a month…but in the past and perhaps in the future, I don’t send when I have nothing to offer fans and subscribers.

  2. Traci Hall says:

    Wonderful results–and empowering! I am tweaking my newsletter to make it work for me. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Julie Frayn says:

    I am with Rosie. Daunting to say the least… I am thinking about that for 2018. 2017 is about returning to the writing and getting a couple of books published. I always avoid the ‘pay for tweet’ promos. Have found that they rarely (or never) have any ROI.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Julie Frayn! I am so encouraging you to consider starting a newsletter. Mad Mimi is $10 a month for 500 contacts. Think! When you publish those new books, you have a ready made audience. Reminding you: Between my newsletter and Amazon followers, Count The Roses snagged #1 Hot New Release for 5 days in May. No other promo until this month. CTR is earning $100 a day. It has paid for my investment in it i.e. cover, editing, formatting and the monthly fee for my newsletter. And golly, there’s a wee bit left over to buy toothpaste and toilet paper. LOL.

      • Donna Fasano says:

        Jackie, I thought MadMimi was free for the first 2500 subscribers. Am I wrong?

        • Jackie Weger says:

          Donna: It was free to 2500 and if one had an account before October 2016, the account is grandfathered in. But now Mad Mimi charges $10 for the first 500 subscribers. It’s the newsletter mania. I get why they have to charge that now…Their tech service is outstanding.

          • I second that. They reply to you in a jiffy and are so helpful. I am on the 500 tier and pay $10 but will soon move my 1800 from Mailchimp there too. They are like night and day those two…

  4. So much information! You do realise people pay big bucks for ‘how to market your stuff’ downloads that have way less good info than this. Jackie, you are a marvel.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Carolyn Steele. I do know it. And those marketing folks will always be in business because some authors are lazy or perhaps inept or scared, and don’t learn the industry for themselves. I realize now that there are levels of learning. We have to master each tiny step forward. Notice my posts are not all sweetness and light they seldom get picked up and reblogged. Those that market ehow and glory don’t want posts like mine getting traction. I get it. But if a post shines light and makes for clarity for a single indie, I’m good.

  5. Donna Fasano says:

    Excellent information! I’ve been working on increasing my newsletter subscriber list for some time. Sounds like this is the best course of action for indie authors. Thanks, Jackie!

  6. meilaan says:

    Cheers for Amy at My newsletter is blooming.

    –EM Kaplan

  7. Wow. Such precious insights, and thank you for the resources for growing my list. Congrats for your success, Jackie. I hope you’ll be sharing your insights regularly on this subject. I’ll be right here, lapping it all up!

  8. Plenty of good stuff here! I made a bullet list of things I need to do. I wonder what the rate for subscribers “sticking” after one of those big giveaway promotion is. I’m headed to check out ask.david and the other sites you mentioned.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Hi, Livia…Good question about subscribers ‘sticking’ with a newsletter. There are groups of readers/entrants who enter the giveaways in hopes of winning the freebies and next unsubscribe if they don’t win so they might re-enter the next giveaway. It’s a game. And part of it. Key to success is creating an interesting readercentric newsletter that offers value so that the entrant will continue to subscribe. I find it is a saturated market. Of say 3500 entrants I may find 700 are already subscribed to Accent on Romance. If I snag two hundred new subscribers here or 70 there, I’m good. It is a slow build. Co-promoting with like minded authors several times a year reaches new readers and subscribers. In essence, we’re sharing our fans. I love introducing my fans to authors who may be new to them. It’s good for me and helps me keep a healthy subscriber list and it’s good for my colleagues. Avid readers are always searching for new authors to read.

  9. lfarrelly says:

    Right on! As always, you hit the nail right on the head, Jackie!

  10. Thank you, Jackie Weger, for all of this wonderful information! I’ve been publishing on Amazon for seven years and I learned a lot reading this blog post. As always, you’re a tremendous help to other authors.

  11. dalefurse says:

    Great info as always, Jackie. Thanks. I need to up my game with my newsletters and It would be great if you could write a post about how to use our newsletters to the best advantage. I don’t want to annoy my subscribers but I also don’t want to ignore them.

  12. Many thanks for sharing your precious experience! I’ve often used Amy’s services at to grow my newsletter through shared giveaways, and am already seeing much improved results with my newsletters.

  13. Thanks Jackie. Full of really great information as always. Agree newsletters are the way to go. We’ve been building ours with Amy at AuthorsXP. It’s a great service.

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