Writer Wednesday with Mary Ellis

Running a little late this morning. I’m not sure why I forgot to get this done yesterday. I guess my mind is in too many places.

Today, please help me welcome Mary Ellis.

Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her last series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently working on a three-book series of historical romances set during the Civil War for Harvest House Publishers. The Quaker and the Rebel released in January. Her current release is A Plain Man. She can be found on the web at:  www.maryellis.net  (Where you can also sign up for her newsletter.)



What I Learned About Newsletters 
by Mary Ellis

Every author wants to know the best way to reach potential readers. After a dozen years in the business I have come to the conclusion, there isn’t one correct way. Each author must try a variety of ideas, and then return to those which have the best results. Many industry professionals feel newsletters are an effective way to reach your audience. This month my publisher, Harvest House, released my twelfth Amish romance, A Plain Man. Soon I will send out my spring newsletter to help spread the word. Recently I organized what I’ve learned about newsletters into one concise list from a variety of sources. Keep in mind some of these “rules” I personally abide by, some of which I sometimes follow, and some of which I flagrantly ignore. Decide for yourself what works for you and good luck.
~ Newsletters should come out every two months
~ The best day to send: first day of the month
~80% should be content to benefit your audience, only 20% should be news about you (I don’t follow that exactly)

Each newsletter should contain:
1)    a feature article 500 words or less which should help, inspire, or entertain
2)    an extra “value” section, such as frequently asked questions or recipes
3)    A brief bio with your value statement (what your books intend to accomplish other than entertain)
4)    An endorsement from a name that your targeted readers would recognize (I’ve never done this)
5)    A calendar of your upcoming speaking or book signing events (usually I just insert a link to the calendar page in my blog)
6)    Your current featured release (now you get to talk about current book with blurb, cover, trailer, and if it’s on sale yet somewhere)
7)    Contact info: your email, website, blog, Facebook, and other media links (but don’t go overboard with this)
8)    Should have a professional layout  such as a banner across the top
9)    Give them something for free (like an article you’ve written or chapter one of your book. (These would be links readers can click on)
10) Mention your upcoming contest. (Twice a year I give away 10 signed copies of my current release to newsletter subscribers.

Thanks it! Now you know everyone I know about newsletters. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

More about A Plain Man:

Though Caleb Beachy tried the Englisch world for some years, he is a Plain man at heart. But when he decides to return to the Amish lifestyle, he discovers there’s more to embracing his faith and reconnecting

with the community than merely driving a horse and buggy and giving up his Levis.

Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left. All grown up now, she gives Caleb hope for the future and reminds him that while his faith may have wavered, God never left his side. But will past mistakes end up destroying their fledgling romance before it really has a chance to begin?
Delight in the story of a wounded heart finding joy, health, and healing in God’s infinite grace.

I have this novel sitting in my to-be-read pile. Arrgghh, now I want to read it all the more.

Time where art thou?  LOL

A Plain Man is available at Amazon and other fine retailers.


PS. Mary has graciously agreed to give away one copy of A Plain Man to one person who comments below. 


25 thoughts on “Writer Wednesday with Mary Ellis

  1. I always enjoy newsletters. It keeps you and your “friends” in contact with each other.
    I enjoy reading Mary Ellis’ books. I am looking forward to reading her newest, “A Plain Man”!! What a wonderful writer, Mary Ellis is!!
    I woyld be honored to win a copy of this book!!
    Thank you!!

  2. Interesting article on newsletters. I find them helpful as a reader, and enjoy them. Love to read Mary’s books, always find them inspiring with great characters and story lines
    thank you

  3. I am an avid reader. I only read Inspirational Fiction and throughly enjoy Mary’s books. I would love to have a copy of any of her books. You should check out her website as well. She is a fun person and I hope she continues writing for a long time to come. These type of books take me to another time and place where life is much calmer, less stress….they are so gut!

  4. I am a writer for technical process. Newsletter layouts are fun. You can have a cliff hanger quote to draw readers to your new book. Optional book trivia to challenge your readers and creates dialogue between them. You can also have a suggestion box “write a suggested path for any character in your current series. I hope to get more of your books to know all the characters and ACE the trivia section lol

  5. I am looking forward to reading A Plain Man.Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.I like newsletters!

  6. interesting post today, enjoy hearing about this author as I like to read her work. would love to be in the drawing. The Plain Man is one book I will be sure to read this year. thanks for sharing.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  7. Lovely blog! I’m not a “newsletter” writing person but Mary seems to have done a great job on explaining what it takes. I have only read one of her books so far, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it! Would love to own a copy of “A Plain Man”. Thanks for an opportunity to win!

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