I subscribe to a few newsletters. Some of them are writing related and some are not. Some are full of fun and interesting information and some are bland and boring or are just announcements of a new book being published or a new product being introduced. I have to admit that I rarely read the latter type and in most cases delete them without even opening them anymore. I suppose I should unsubscribe from them, but for some reason I haven't yet.
As a reader, I like author newsletters that only inform me of when a next book is being released (especially if it's part of a series where I'm eagerly waiting for the next installment), but tells me a bit about the author herself or himself. Maybe where she/he went on vacation, something about the family, that type of thing. I don't expect the author to give specifics knowing most authors, myself included, like to share bits and pieces of our lives while maintaining a sense of privacy especially for security or safety reasons. I also like to read about what type of research they do and where it takes them. I like it if they share a recipe or two.
As a writer, I haven't set up a newsletter yet. I've been told if I want to increase readership, then newsletters are a must, that they are a non-negotiable part of being an author. I'm not sure I agree so I'm putting this out there--
For readers - Does an author's newsletter influence your book buying habits? Approximately how many author newsletters do you subscribe to? How often do you actually read them?
For writers - Do you have a newsletter? Do you have a way of telling how many subscribers actually open the newsletter? Do you feel doing one is a must to be successful?
Please feel free to add any other thoughts.