You’ve heard about the necessity of email from the moment you started looking into publishing. So I won’t go crazy on the why’s of it all but I have to say, this is the only way to be in control of your career. If you don’t have a list you’re putting your long term business success in the hands of Facebook, or Amazon or wherever it is you keep telling yourself readers are finding you. An email list is the only thing you own. No one can change the algorithms and take away your ability to reach your fans.
1. Choose an email service
There are a lot of choices for email services. MailChimp is a popular one because you can start a list for free. Once you hit 2k subscribers you’ll have to upgrade but when you’re new and money is tight this is a great option. MailChimp also integrates with most other services you may use to deliver books and grow your list like Bookfunnel.
Another popular choice is Mailerlite. Free up to 1k subscribers I’ve heard a lot of authors say the interface was easier for them to use than MailChimp but that was not my experience. While the interface is straightforward, I struggled with it deleting my emails rather than bringing me to the scheduling page. If you use this one I recommend writing the emails out in another program (word or google docs) and then copying and pasting them in.
Aweber is also popular, they don’t have a free tier but do have a free trial (14 days I believe).
Which brings me to ConvertKit. This is the one I settled on after some issues with MailChimp and Mailerlite. There is no free tier but I find the ease of use and lack of delivery and saving issues well worth the price. If I had to start over tomorrow, I’d still pay for ConvertKit. Or I’d be working towards being able to pay for ConvertKit.
2. Create a Hook
A Reader Magnet designed to entice readers to invite you into their inbox. This is the permission part of Tim Grahl’s Connection System (Your First 1000 Copies). Not offering something to readers, just doesn’t convert in most places. If someone reads your book, enjoys and then sees your email sign up at the end, they’ll sign up without much hesitance. But for a new reader who’s not sure where to spend their reading money, a reader magnet can make all the difference.
NOTE: If you live in the EU, please consult an attorney. From everything I’ve seen and heard, the GDPR law is focused on big corporations,
3. Place sign ups
Your reader magnet should be:
- In the front and back of all your books (clickable link in digital copies)
- Your website:
- Top of the home page
- The sidebar of your blog
- In your bio when you do outreach. If you’re unsure if the person you’re guest posting on will allow the link, ask. If you can’t put the sign up link directly in your bio, you already have it on the top of your webpage so your website link will do.
4. Email your list regularly
This is so important. Simply having a list doesn’t do you any good. If you never email your subscribers they will forget who you are and unsubscribe when you send them a new release notice.
If you’re not sure what to email them about, start writing two emails a month. One author update letting them know what you’re up to, what your writing, any family trips or special occasions you’re celebrating? What are you reading? The second should include the link to your content. Whether it’s a guest blog post, a podcast episode or your own blog, get them used to
NOTE: While giving away free books can be nice, don’t do it all the time. Get your readers used to
About the Author
Marissa Frosch is a Certified Book Launch Coach and author of fiction under the name Cameron J Quinn.
She formed Raven’s Quill Publishing in March 2019 after leaving Amphibian Press where she worked for five years to make a go of it on her own.
Marissa is also working on her Story Grid Editor’s Certification to round out her author helping skill set.
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