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A friend of mine named Red, who runs a small dark chocolate company, recently asked for my help with a few newsletters. English isn't her first language, so she wanted to make sure everything sounded okay. She sent me some copy she'd prepared and asked for my thoughts, and after a few sessions of back-and-forth she began sending out the newsletters, one a week leading up to the holidays.

Each time I received one, I was impressed by the presentation. Red had chosen an appealing font and beautiful images for each "issue," which I loved. Also, in addition to links to buy her tasty chocolate bars from her website, she included snippets from blog posts (all related to chocolate) with links to the full content, another way to encourage recipients to visit the site.

When I reached the end of the first newsletter I received, I saw Red had used Mailchimp to create it. Mailchimp, which I also use (but clearly not as well as she does), is free if the audience is less than 2,000 subscribers, with tiered pricing starting at $20 per month after 2,000. That means for many authors, especially indie authors, it's not just a way to create beautiful newsletters, but a way to create beautiful newsletters for free. Beautiful and free are two very good adjectives, wouldn't you agree?

Here are links to the newsletters Red made without spending a penny.

Example A


Example B


Example C

Constant Contact used to offer free newsletters as well for up to a certain number of subscribers, but now the basic package is $20 per month. So if you're on a budget, I suggest giving Mailchimp a try. It's easy to use and comes loaded with templates, so what do you have to lose?

-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at

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