Build a Powerful and Sustainable Email Newsletter

Learn what an effective email newsletter looks like (one that’s worth your time) and avoid the common pitfalls


Jane Friedman


Live on July 21, 2022, or watch recording


Writers who don’t yet send a regular email newsletter


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

Most authors have a newsletter list of some kind, but they haven’t sent anything in months—even years. Some feel like their list is simply too small to matter, while others can’t think of anything meaningful to say.

Despite its everlasting value, email marketing remains a missed opportunity for a lot of authors—and it’s by far the number-one overlooked tool for book sales and marketing. When authors invest in building their platform, they often prioritize social media. But social media is out of one’s control and ephemeral. Email is not. Being able to directly reach your readers, or your most engaged audience, is a powerful capability that rewards your time and investment. While it can feel difficult and slow-going to build a list (and like you’re “bothering” people with your messages), these are mindset issues that can and should be overcome.

This 90-minute class will cover best practices of email newsletters, how to avoid the mistakes most prevalent in the writing community, and how you can better reach your goals. Thankfully, it’s fairly straightforward to start an email newsletter, and it requires little technical know-how to begin. It doesn’t even cost you money until you have a sizable list of names (the point at which it can become profitable to you).

What you’ll learn:

  • How and why to start building (and sending to) an email list today even if you think you have nothing to say
  • A simple overview of the main email marketing service providers and which one might be best for you
  • How to determine a content strategy and frequency for your email newsletter
  • List-building tactics: the most common and meaningful methods, including the “ethical bribe”
  • Why pop-ups don’t have to be evil and are in fact recommended
  • The newsletter customizations that most people never make but can improve engagement
  • The biggest newsletter design mistakes that kill response
  • How to make your email newsletter list “pay off” for your career
  • The sort of advice that’s commonly repeated but not all that applicable to authors (e.g., always personalize the email, segment your list, or various tricks to get readers to click or act on the email)

Who should take this class

  • Writers of any genre or category who don’t yet have an email newsletter
  • Writers who have started to build a newsletter list but aren’t sending to it
  • Writers who have sent a handful of messages to their list but feel self-doubt or uncertainty about what they’re doing
  • Writers who are focused on sending a free newsletter (not a paid one)

This class isn’t suited for

  • Writers who have years of experience sending email newsletters
  • Writers who have been sending to their list with success for a year or more
  • Writers who have confidence in their email newsletter strategy
  • Writers who plan to use their newsletter only to sell (e.g., only send “buy my book” messages)
  • Writers who only want to send to their list one or two times per year (this strategy is not recommended)
  • Writers who want to charge for their newsletter (this is outside the scope of this class)
  • People outside of the writing and publishing community (examples, tips, and philosophy will be grounded in the long-term goals of authorship and platform building)

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device.

When you register, you will receive an email from Zoom on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Thursday, July 21, 2022
  • Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Jane Friedman has nearly 25 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. Since 2009, she has been sending email newsletters; her free newsletter Electric Speed reaches 25,000 subscribers, and she is the founder-editor of the paid newsletter, The Hot Sheet, established in 2015.

Jane has delivered keynotes and workshops on the digital era of authorship at worldwide industry events, including the Writer’s Digest annual conference, Stockholm Writers Festival, San Miguel Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World. She’s also held positions as a professor of writing, media, and publishing at the University of Cincinnati and University of Virginia.

I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the work you put into your newsletter. I look forward to reading it every time it hits my inbox. I also regularly direct other writers who are looking for help and guidance to your website. You’re such a valuable help to writers and authors at every stage. So thank you!!

Lauren D.

I want to thank you for your treasure trove of weekly newsletter information! I devour it each Sunday and take many of your classes. With the breadth and depth of information out there, yours is my go to! I have referred numerous writers to you. I say, “Jane Friedman” is where you go.

Judy Lipson

I’ve taken many of your webinars and every single one has been a home run for me. I’ve learned so much that has helped me in my writing and editing practice.

Colleen B.

All students receive the following

  • Access to the live class. After roughly 75 minutes, Jane will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 90 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings. You will receive an email from Zoom with information on how to access the recording.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.