Home > Don't make me hurt you, only slightly ranty, Writing, Writing Advice > A Bit of Advice When Sending Out a Newsletter

A Bit of Advice When Sending Out a Newsletter


  1. Proofread it. Please. I beg you.
  2. Don’t lie. Specifically, do not reaffirm the incorrect notion that writing a novel means removing all distractions. Because that’s not feasible, honest, or true-to-life. You make a choice to write, and you WRITE. Sometimes, on the subway. (I’m looking at you, Ferrell.) How does write a novel? Butt in chair, one word at a time.
  3. Don’t gross out your target audience. Advertise a writing retreat in a way that resembles the side-effects of an STD. The words “burning” and “remove that thing inside you” should NOT be present.
  4. Remember to be consistent. If you’re a fan of the Oxford comma, use it throughout the newsletter. Don’t employ it sporadically, as if you’re tossing it in for good measure.
  5. Kill the adverbs. In other words, EDIT. If your newsletter could be turned into a drinking game based on adverb appearances, something is rotten in Denmark.
  6. Remember the importance of apostrophe placement. Writer’s Retreat is different than Writers‘ Retreat.
  7. Forget Random capitalization. (See what I did there?) It isn’t clever. It makes me wonder if you are unsure of proper nouns.
  8. Avoid “unnecessary” quotation marks. It is a) distracting and b) it doesn’t mean what you think it means, Vezzini.
  9. Be concise. If you’re advertising a book, the author’s bio should NOT be longer than the book summary. (Example: bio length = 2 pages. Summary length: two paragraphs. It is a bio — not an interview.)
  10. Avoid awkward phasing. This includes, but is not limited to, “It will almost be…” (almost? It falls short of what it should be?), “some time” (could you vague that up for me? Also, I think you mean ‘sometime.’).
  11. Lastly, and perhaps most important, mind your subscriber list. This post was kicked off because I just received a newsletter I did not sign up for. To add insult to injury, it was sent from someone who asked for a writing critique some years back (I gave it. It was not very well received). Apparently, he/she thought it would be okay to add me to the email list. A world of no.
  1. July 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    This is why I am chary, for the most part, about signing up for newsletters. I am still getting e-mails from certain parties whom I have politely asked to remove my name, threatened to report as spammers, and finally, REPORTED as spammers… and yet, the e-mails keep a-comin’. (Now filtered straight to trash.)

    Actually, Writer’s Retreat is correct – if it’s only for one. (But then, why would you be soliciting more participants?) I’m actually sorry I didn’t get this one, it sounds highly entertaining.

    • Ali
      July 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

      It is completely frustrated — and rude. It starts to resemble the behavior of telemarketers — specifically, the ones who just don’t get the hint. It is truly odd, because the only person to really suffer (in the long run) is the one sending out the Obnoxious Newsletter. And yes, Writer’s Retreat is correct, if it’s meant to be singular. However, it’s not. *shakes head*

  2. Jessica
    July 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Is that a quote from something? I’m laughing like it is but I can’t remember what.

  3. July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Yikesers! That’s not only irritating, but slightly creepy that he/she just put you on the list. I hope I don’t magically appear on said list – that newsletter sounds terrible.

    • Ali
      July 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      SO CREEPY. And random. I haven’t spoken to this person in years. And, suddenly, I’m on the Newsletter List? *shakes head*

  4. Josh A. Kruschke
    July 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Princes Bride….. inconsivible.

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