Friday, 1 September 2017

Chuckles Chat #32 Author Newsletters

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

This week I'm looking at author newsletters.

What is good about author newsletters? Well, if you choose to follow certain authors, you get first news about new releases, new series coming, publication dates, cover reveals and when their books are on a special offer on Amazon. But of course the main advantage is the free exclusive short stories for subscribers and the free books to welcome you!

My first experience of author newsletters was taking part in a few multi-author giveaways at the start of this year where you got free books from every author even if you didn't win the big prizes. My eyeballs lit up like flashing neon signs at the though of all these freebies if I just agreed to let the authors email me with news and gifts a few times a month. I figured it was just a few emails after all. Yeah but being crap at maths meant I vastly underestimated just how many emails would be coming! When the competition ended, the emails were coming up to ten a day with links to free books online and a welcome from countless authors, most who I had never heard of except seeing a book rec on Amazon for them maybe.

Freebies! GREAT! I was downloading everything offered, figuring I'd sort through it all later to see what I wanted to read but the emails kept coming! I'd get three from the same author in a week, offering MORE freebies! Links to bargain books in similar genres. Ads for places like Instafreebie and Genre Reader where there are piles of free books and samples! Urk! I was drowning in the things! It was good though and I knew I'd have to look through and delete the books I wasn't interested in reading ie some authors handed out free books in contemporary and urban fantasy. I love UF but the books that were contemporary, romance or YA with tropes I just deleted. I kept what I wanted to try.

Now, here are the down sides to that freebie fest. Firstly, just days after receiving the start of the emails from the authors in the giveaways, a second email from those authors arrived, saying they hope I enjoyed the book and could I please review. OK, Impatient Author People, how am I meant to read about 90 freebies in a week from all of you, huh? This impatience really did my nut in! These authors knew that they were part of a huge book giveaway yet a fair number expected you to have read and reviewed their book in days. Give me a chance already!!! Two even sent another reminder after a week to review it and they were unsubscribed from right away. I really hate authors who expect you to drop everything to read their stuff when they know other authors have sent you stuff too!

The next issue was finding time to start reading them. I selected the short prequels first to give me an idea of the author's storytelling, plot and character skills to see which series I would read on in and which for whatever reason were just not my thing. I found a few gems like Sarah Dalton's Mary Hades prequel-'My Daylight Monsters' which I really enjoyed. Others were not to my taste and I unsubscribed. 

The next down side became the frequency of emails from those I hadn't had a chance to read yet. I was getting 2 or 3 a week from a couple of authors, without freebies, just asking me to buy full price stuff on Amazon or telling me what they are doing this week. I got quickly bored by hearing about someones cats, children or dead relatives. Yes that got old real fast. Look Author Person, I signed up to be told news of your latest releases, the odd freebie...I don't care about your kids smearing chocolate on their face or something cute your cat did!!! I didn't sign up for that! I got one a few weeks back about a relative dying and under that were ads for books I might want to buy. Now that is tacky! There is also the fact that I signed up to YOUR newsletter. I expect to receive details of your books not constant ad emails for a pile of other authors who don't even write the same genre but I 'might like'. NO! That is junk mail! If I'm following a UF writer, I don't mind much if she recommends a few cheap UF books by other writers but I do object to a UF writer advertising romance, contemporary, erotica and other irrelevant stuff!   

Through newsletters and GenreReader/Instafreebie I stumbled across some authors that I want to read more of-Sarah Dalton, MV Stott, Mike Kraus, RL Blalock, Simone Pond, LC Hibbett, JA Cipriano, David Bussell...and a lot I haven't read yet that look good! Overall I think the newsletters are a good thing but authors need to reduce the amount of junk in what they send or they will lose subscribers. If an author gets the balance right, it can be a great thing for them and the reader!

Do you subscribe to author newsletters? What do you think of the content? Do you unsubscribe if the content isn't relevant or the emails are too frequent? 

12 comments:

  1. I actually don't subscribe to author newsletters, I subscribe to publisher ones instead. That way I get a whole heap of books and I get a usually manageable set of newsletters to go through.

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    1. I might need to look into who publishes the books I like...trouble is I read so much Indie! I've cut way down on newsletters now thankfully, just keeping a few UF and apocalypse authors at the moment!

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  2. I think I've subscribed to two in the past and even that became so overwhelming I stopped altogether. If there is a book I really want, I can usually find it for under 3.00 which is worth it for me to just purchase it then try to keep up with all the emails. I thin it can be a great offer for some, but not all. I think the emails come too frequently.

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    1. I think the newsletters can be useful if you are trying authors for the first time and getting to try the prequels or first in the series free. But a lot of what you get in your inbox is junk!

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  3. I followed some author who would that very thing and there just weren't enough hours in a day to read all the books I so, I began being a little more picky who I would get newsletters from and that seemed to help.

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    1. Yeah authors don't live in the real world sometimes! The two sites I found are great for getting free previews or free books so that has been one good thing about the newsletters!

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  4. I’m not subscribed to any author newsletters because my inbox is crazy enough as it is. Sorting through all that stuff would probably stress me out. Free books would be nice, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I'm ok with being contacted when their new books are out or discounted but I hate these general emails talking about what they did yesterday! So pointless and we don't care if you were strolling on the beach or bought a new cat! It can certainly get crazy and stressful!

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  5. I can't stand those giveaways that sign you up for all the newsletters. I don't enter those anymore. Not worth it to do all that unsubscribing. I never end up reading the damn freebies anyway, if I'm being honest lol. But there are a few authors I really like, and I want to keep up with their books or know anything going on, so I do like some newsletters. What I don't like though is when almost all the author's newsletters are just recommending other books. Like, one rec in an email that also has info about you is fine, but not constant unnecessary emails w/ other recs.

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    1. I don't think I would sign up to another one like that. It was chaos when the things started arriving in piles! I did get a few interesting freebies though so I guess the hassle was worth it! Kind of...Yes there is too much mass advertising especially of these blasted anthologies. I can get 5 authors in two days telling about the stupid thing!

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  6. I get a few author newsletters. Some I really do want and some....not so much. I have a few that I keep getting even though I have unsubscribed dozens of times. I think that a lot of authors send out way too many emails and it has the opposite effect of what they were trying to do.

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    1. Thankfully I have been unsubscribed when I asked. If they don't they better prepare for Angry Chuckles getting in touch to complain! Yeah too many pointless emails and I just unsubscribe.

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