I asked urban fantasy writer and enthusiast Alexia Chamberlynn to tell me more about why she started her Raven Moon Urban Fantasy Newsletter. Here’s what Alexia had to say about the newsletter as a part of the author platform.
Why I created my newsletter
I read and write urban fantasy, so I created my urban fantasy newsletter, Raven Moon, because I wanted a way to reach others who shared my love. I already had a blog which focused on writing in general, and I didn’t want to create a second blog just for this. So, I decided on a monthly email newsletter.
What does it do for my platform?
The newsletter is a way for me to share my favorite genre, while reaching my target audience. A nice win-win! I have a sign-up page for the newsletter on my blog, and I link to that page from my blog homepage, as well as my website homepage. I also created a couple cute buttons that others can use if they wish on their own website. And whenever I release a new issue, I make sure to tweet links to it and mention any special features. All of this helps generate traffic to my newsletter, and thus helps build my platform of urban fantasy followers.
Challenges and Opportunities
I’ll talk about challenges first. The obvious one is time. It takes quite a bit of time to prepare the newsletter each month. But I have a lot of fun with it, so this is minor. Another challenge I encountered several months after launching the newsletter was that I didn’t get a lot of interaction with my subscribers. The email hit their inboxes, and there wasn’t a forum for discussion. And I love to talk to my internet friends! So, what I’ve started to do is post segments of the newsletter on my blog each week. This way those that want to receive the newsletter via email can still get it at the beginning of the month, but I can chat with people throughout the month about different parts of it. I’ve found this to be a good solution.
Opportunities have been many. First, I’ve learned a ton since starting the newsletter. Not only basic stuff about creating and formatting an e-newsletter, but also new stuff each month when I’m researching agents or publishers or industry news. Also, I’ve gotten to meet new authors. It’s really fun to open my email and see that someone’s found me online and wants to tell me about their new book, or asks me to take a peek at their book trailer, or something like that. It’s very rewarding to meet new writing folks!
So, in summary, I’ve found that an e-newsletter is a nice component of my author platform. I get to meet new urban fantasy enthusiasts and have a lot of fun!