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Newsletters as a Book Marketing Tool

Newsletter Definition:

Continuous, short education/information print or online publication in a given subject/topic. My marketing preferences are for a monthly print newsletter not to exceed 6 pages.

Want to get started? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have a subject that can be discussed more than once?
  2. Do you have a book already written that can be turned into a newsletter?
  3. Do you have an audience that would pay for this information?
  4. Bonus: Can you market the newsletter to groups for a higher duplicating fee in addition to individual subscriptions?
  5. Necessity: Will you commit yourself to writing monthly or bimonthly?
  6. Super-Bonus: Are you having trouble writing that next book? Use a newsletter format instead and then turn the newsletter into a book.
  7. Production: Can you use a pagemaker program? Do you have a decent in-house printer?

Benefits to Customers:

They keep getting useful information. Books are read once and put down. Magazines wait on the desk, fall under a pile of other magazines, and eventually get tossed because they are outdated. A newsletter provides small bits-and-pieces to be read, learned and implemented immediately.

Newsletter Examples:

Keep Your Marriage Alive - Wouldn't that be a great present? Even Dr. Laura would support a monthly newsletter that is enticing enough to read if it's on the kitchen counter. Raising Kids, Teenagers, all sorts of family self-help would work.

Medical: Caring for the Elderly - Everything from medical to insurance.

Schools: Any newsletter on education sells.

Computers for Idiots: A sure-fire winner for everyone with a computer. Politics, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Arts & Entertainment, any topic is possible

Getting Started:

  1. Create or find the addresses for a target audience of about 500 people/organizations. Smaller organizations (individual scout troops vs the corporate scout organization; city-based medical groups vs. the AMA) are your goal.
  2. List the benefits for your customers.
  3. Create a catchy title.
  4. Start writing. Use a conversational, energetic approach if you want folks to read your newsletter. If they don't read the sample newsletter, then forget getting a sale.
  5. Set your pricing (2-tier - subscription vs. duplicating license - 2 choices are always better than one), put the sales offer in your newsletter, print and mail!
  6. If you do not get orders, rethink your (1) audience and (2) your writing. Try again before giving up.


I started with a newsletter because one of those marketing books suggested it as a great approach. After writing the first one, however, I decided the effort was too great to give it away for free. So I put a price tag on it, sent it to 200 people and the orders exceeded the newsletter cost. Now I have 3 newsletters going. The foremost is The Science Spiders monthly newsletter. Individual subscription is $18/yr (to discourage individuals). Duplicating license is $40/year. The newsletter duplicating license is our biggest seller because of direct sales to schools. We have renewals from our beginning in the 1997-1998 school year and many, many follow-up sales of other books/products. (Drawback - Can't recycle newsletter material into the newsletter itself yet due to the renewals). Two books have been created from the newsletter with one more expected in 2001.


James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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