Hello Writers of Bloglandia!
It’s time for another installment of the feature where I look at tools, tomes, and tips that might or might not help you along your author journey.
If you missed how this feature started or want to check out the other resources I’ve covered so far, just click that link thingie that says “Resources for Writers” above the title of this post and you should be whisked away to what you’re looking for.
Alrighty then, this time we’re looking at another book. This time it’s one on craft from a well-known author. I was really looking forward to this, but how did it turn out? Well, keep on reading about…
Newsletter Ninja (First Edition) by Tammi LeBrecque
RATING: Go for it!! But know it’s not a cure-all.
Newsletter Ninja by Tammi LaBrecque is touted by several reliable indie author gurus as being THE resource for starting and maintaining an author newsletter. Tammi writes in a wide range of genres including fantasy, romance, and mystery, but is also known for her editing prowess and teaching skills when it comes to mailing list mastery.
Who’s This Written For?
Newsletter Ninja is primarily written for indie authors, but the advice could just as easily apply to traditionally published writers who want a closer connection to their readers. Even the marketing mavens in other industries may find Tammi’s advice a good guide for their own email strategies.
The book aims to walk writers through the reasons why it’s more important than ever to interact with their readers via email, the basics of finding a provider and setting up a welcome sequence, how to keep your readers engaged, and when to clean up inactive subscribers.
This all seems like a tall order for a relatively small book, but Tammi manages to pull it off. Mostly.
It’s Great, But It’s Not Perfect
Newsletter Ninja does contain a good amount of information on the care and feeding of a mailing list, and she offers compelling advice on why writers should not only have one, but also to use it to build a fanbase. However, if you’re looking for concrete, detailed information on the how-to side of things, you might be disappointed.
To be fair, since many factors vary across genres, personality types, and availability of time, offering specific advice can be tricky. However, Tammi answers many of the most head-scratching questions (for example, how frequently you should email) with, “It depends,” and that can be frustrating to read when if you’re hoping to use this book as a guidepost.
It Can Be Vague
Another example of rather vague information: Tammi spends a fair amount of space promoting the use of a welcome sequence — a series of automated emails your subscribers receive immediately upon signing up to your mailing list.
But any specific advice is hard to come by despite the touted importance of these emails. Instead, Tammi simply tells readers to have a welcome sequence and make it as long as it needs be.
I can imagine that coming across as painfully vague for someone who has never written a welcome sequence before and is hoping this book will at least provide a few examples to get them started.
Another, albeit minor, complaint is the book’s Resources page on the Newsletter Ninja website. The page is crammed with URLs that are hard to sift through and several links are longer active.
Should You Bother?
All that said, if you are looking for general and broad advice on all things newsletter, Newsletter Ninja does provide a good overview. The sections on how to re-engage a mailing list you’ve let fall by the wayside, on ideas for reader magnets, and on best practices to build your list are all spot on.
All of Tammi’s information is presented in a friendly, easy-to-read, and incredibly encouraging way, and it’s hard to imagine not completing this book without some new ideas to improve your own newsletters.
Overall, could Newsletter Ninja use some improvement? Sure, and a second edition is in the works.
But as the indie author gurus will tell you, this book is the best and most relatable advice on newsletters you’re going to find. And overall, I would agree it’s definitely worth a read.
Have you read Newsletter Ninja? If so, did you find it useful? If not, are you planning on grabbing a copy? Let me know in a comment!!
Let’s Stay in Touch!
It’s always a great time to stock up on new stories.
SFF Adventure awaits for less than $5!
LOOK! Even more SFF Bargains!!!
And there’s only a couple days left to grab these intriguing contemporary fantasy tales..
Note: The Newsletter Ninja link above is an affiliate link. If you purchase anything after visiting that link, I get a small commission. This costs you NOTHING extra but helps me keep the website running. Thanks for your help :))