Looking for new content for your emails? More effective marketing? Better writing skills? How about all three at once?
The idea is simple for any fiction writer that does email marketing. Write a story, roughly 300 – 1,000 words long, and send the creation to your subscribers. You can publish via a newsletter if you have one, or as part of an email update if you don’t.
If you’ve never done this before, it’s not too late to start. Even if your email list is small, you can still reap rewards.
What are the advantages for publishing flash fiction for your email subscribers?
Here are five:
You maintain attention for your work
One of the most common email marketing challenges fiction writers have is what to say in the emails they send. Sure, it’s obvious when there’s a book launch on the horizon, but what about the months between releases?
The goal is more than just staying on a subscriber’s radar. You want to garner attention that’s relevant to the product that’s being sold. For you, that means heightening the interest in your fiction writing.
That’s why exhibiting your storytelling skill makes sense. When you use flash fiction as your email content, you’re elevating enthusiasm for your larger body of work.
If people aren’t subscribing to your email list for the stories, then what are they here for?
You attract new attention for your work
Yes it’s true. The flash fiction you send to your current readers can help bring in new readers.
- The story is initially seen in an environment likely to be noticed (email), likely finished because it’s short (flash fiction), and read by someone inclined to like your writing (your subscriber).
- Email is easily shared. If your subscriber thinks of someone who will also like your story, it will get forwarded on.
- If said email gets forwarded, recipients will more likely check out the story because it was recommended. Friends trust friends.
- Provided your original email contains a link back to your site or targeted landing page, then any prospect can see what else you have to offer.
Bottom line: Flash fiction is easily finished. Email is easily shared. A recommendation from a current fan can lead to a new one.
You improve your craft
We all know feedback makes your writing better.
Not just any feedback, of course. You want insight from people who matter — like those already on your email list. As long as your supporters are on board with your writing, then you know you’re on the right track.
The beauty of flash fiction is that, relative to a full-blown book, it takes a lot less time to both produce and be consumed. The writing-feedback cycle is much quicker.
So what if you made it a practice to share a new story of a few hundred words with your email subscribers? Say, once a month or every quarter?
You can see how they react to various plot ideas or characters, and changes to your writing style. If you’re lucky, you can see how to take your storytelling to the next level.
Various tools allow you to track opens and clicks and shares to measure your progress. But you could always ask for direct feedback too.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean you should share something less than your best work. Don’t waste anyone’s time by throwing a first draft out there. Respect the attention that you’ve earned.
Just don’t ignore the opportunity to get some flash fiction in front of a willing audience.
You get to treat yourself
A lot of marketing falls in the category of “have to dos.”
You have to generate awareness for your writing. You have to promote your books. You have to build an online platform.
Email marketing may fall into that category too. Except it doesn’t have to be that way, at least not all the time.
Doing flash fiction is about the best part of your job — the storytelling. Imagining worlds and putting them into words. Providing a temporary escape for readers wanting to be entertained.
Consider this as a break from the longer process of your current book or project. Have fun cranking out a mini-story on the side and sending it off.
You delight the people most important to your writing
Maybe you agree that producing flash fiction is valuable. But you’re wondering why that work isn’t shared on a blog or other public venue. Wouldn’t you get increased exposure that way?
Yes, you probably would. Just remember creating content is done for a particular audience, and you don’t want to neglect one of your most critical ones.
After all, your email list is more than just a bunch of people you get to market to. They’re some of your biggest supporters that enable you to be a fiction writer. Because if you just wrote for yourself, you wouldn’t care about email newsletters or marketing or book sales.
Publishing flash fiction to your email subscribers can be both a gift and thank-you. By limiting its circulation you’ve made an insider feel extra special.
Perhaps that’s the most important takeaway of all. If you can make your fans happy and keep making them happy, then you’re bound to have success as a fiction writer.
However you define that lofty status.
Over to you
If you have any questions or experiences about writing flash fiction for your email newsletter, please share them in the comments below.
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