I sent my 12th TinyLetter newsletter today. The Three Rs includes information about what I'm reading, what I'm writing, and what I'm arithmetic-ing (which is basically a way for me--and you, if you like--to share various bits of information using numbers as the structure). I'm now taking submissions for the Arithmetic section of The Three Rs. Just email me what you'd like to include using a number, and I'll add it to my next newsletter. You can promote your own work, promote someone else's work, or make an interesting or a non-interesting observation.
I don't have a ton of subscribers, but my first 11 TinyLetters have an open rate of 72.2%. That's way higher than the 27.45% open rate for the "Art and Artists" newsletters from this recent report. (There wasn't a separate line for writers, so that's the one I'm going with.)
The TinyLetter newsletter format seems more intimate than posting on a blog or social media where you are sending content out into the world and sometimes aren't sure if anyone even notices or cares. I like reading others' newsletters, too, so if you have one or subscribe to some that you love, please let me know about them and I'll sign up.
Many thanks to those of you who are readers of The Three Rs. And, if you aren't a current subscriber but would like to become one, you can do so here.
Here are some quotes from two articles about email newsletters:
Email subscriptions are particularly attractive to writers looking to grow their fan bases. The messages can make readers feel special. And someone who invited email into their already chaotic inbox is more likely to listen to what you have to say. "Though your newsletter might have a smaller audience than your blog or website, you have your subscribers’ attention," Kiefer Lee wrote in a blog post. "It’s quite an honor to have someone give you their email address."
The medium is equally attractive to readers. Much like an RSS feed, newsletters let fans keep tabs on their favorite people—what they're writing and what they're reading—in a more accessible way than Twitter because email allows people to check in on their own terms. "Email sits in your inbox until you do something with it. You don't have to look at it right away. It just kind of waits for you," said Kiefer Lee.
It’s tempting to merely argue that the recent crop of newsletters are what came to replace the independent blogosphere of the mid-aughts. But I actually think its antecedents stretch back further to the zine culture that thrived in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s.