It’s funny how many published authors I know who have a hard time sending out an email newsletter.
They like to feel guilty about it. ‘If I could write a whole book,’ they reason, ‘why is sending out a regular newsletter so difficult?’
I’ll tell you why: these are two very different kinds of content.
They require different types of speed and momentum – it’s like the difference between a marathon, and a sprint.
The endurance and dedication that it takes to collect and organize your thoughts into a book-length manuscript is very different from the endurance and dedication it takes to send a weekly newsletter.
Runners prefer one style over another, and so do writers.
Image prompt: frazzled writer with a book in one hand and burning pages in the other, sitting in a fantasy library, Pixar style
I’ve been sending a weekly newsletter for more than 15 years, and I take breaks. I don’t feel guilty about it, because I know I can always pick right back up when I’m done. I happen to like the cadence of producing a new article every week. This pacing works well for me and my style.
When I wrote my first book, Marketing Yourself, it was much more difficult. It took me five years to write that 185-page book. To be fair, I wrote it a number of times, so that’s why it took so long. Every week, it seemed, I was revising the whole thing.
This makes me think that, conversely, when book authors miss a week sending out a newsletter, it feels to them like they cut a chapter from their book-in-progress. So, why continue?
Here’s a magnificent trick I’ve used many times, both for myself, and for clients: you can swipe from longer-form writing to make new newsletter articles. If you have already written a book, you can strip out a lot of the stories and sections into newsletters, anytime.
Why Books Make Great Newsletter Articles
📚 Ready-Made Content: Your book provides a wealth of content that’s already written, and covers a topic you already talk about.
🌟 Consistent Quality: The content from your book has already been edited, and polished, and refined for publication.
🧠 Brainstorming Shortcut: You can repurpose existing material instead of developing new ideas from the ground up.
🔄 Maintaining Relevance: Your newsletter stays aligned with your primary area of expertise.
🔍 Reducing Research Time: Using your book as a content source eliminates the need for extensive additional research, because you’ve already done it ahead of time.
🗓️ Facilitating Content Planning: With a book as a source, you can easily plan your newsletter content in advance, laying out a content calendar that draws from different parts of your book.
Case Study: 14 Newsletters from 1 Book Manuscript
When I talked with the culture strategist Meredith Wilson, she told me, ‘I don’t have time to write newsletters!’
So I told her, ‘Give me your book manuscript, and I will write all of your newsletters for 2024.’
In one month, I produced 14 monthly newsletters (it’s like a baker’s dozen, but even more so), written in her voice, set up in her email service provider, with a new template design that she can continue to use into 2025.
Here’s what she had to say about working with me:
“Caelan’s professionalism, clear communication, and deep understanding of thought leadership made the entire experience so easy. It’s incredible what he was able to produce from the content of my book. The newsletters are just what I was hoping for. Stellar Platforms had the capability to augment my team, and get to the things that I wanted to do, but wasn’t getting to. Caelan slotted in seamlessly with using our systems, and his Weekly Reports gave me a sense of confidence that things were happening and were underway. Trust is important to me, and because of the way Caelan operates, I could trust that we would get a great result, and we did.” – Meredith Wilson
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