5 Tips for Creating Email Lists and Newsletters For New Authors

5 Tips for Creating Email Lists and Newsletters For New Authors:

So here’s the question: Email lists and newsletters, should I use them if I’m self-publishing my work?

I will answer with an emphatic “YES!”

Email newsletters are simply the most direct way to reach your audience and fans (actually, knocking on their door or a phone call is, but that’s a waste of time and  seriously creepy). Before your book is even launched, you should already be gathering a list of people who are interested in you as an author and what you have to say. On day of your book launch, you can let everyone know that your ass-kicking book is out and where to buy it, thus kick-starting your sales on Amazon (which helps greatly in climbing the ranks and discoverability of your book).

Here’s a Golden Rule for email lists: Don’t start adding people to your email list without their permission.

So now you may be asking “How exactly do I get email subscribers?”  Chances are, if you’re starting from ground zero, you’ll need to develop a strategy to build it this list. Here are some things that have worked for me thus far:

1) Give something away for free.

Everyone likes freebies — it’s a fact of life. Why pay a cent for anything when you can get it for free? So in that mindset, you should give away free stuff on your blog as an incentive to join your list.

When I say free stuff, I’m not saying to give away random crap lying around your house like old newspapers or ugly sweaters knitted by your Aunt Ruth, but stuff related to your book or your brand as an author. For example, I’m currently giving away two books for free for anyone who joins my email list.

SDOLS-Covershadowofwrathcaged

She Dreams of Lonely Stars

and

Shadow of Wrath Book One: Caged

So far, it’s been working quite well!

2. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your emails.

It should never feel like a chore for someone to subscribe to your email list. If you create a bunch of security parameters, countless forms to fill out, and twenty questions, I’m not going to subscribe. I just don’t have the patience to deal with something that’s more anal-retentive than airport security. I LOVE WordPress’s simple subscribe button (if you create a new post, you’ll see it as the third button to the right of the large rectangular Add Media button.

This is what the form ends up looking like when you click on it:

Pretty spiffy eh? It’s nice, clean, simple, and easy for anyone to subscribe to. Highly recommended.

3. Use social media to promote subscribing

The beauty of the internet and social media is all the opportunities for cross promotion, especially from:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Announce (Note: Announce, not spam) your pages where fans and readers can subscribe to your email list through these social media channels!

4. Create an email subscription link in the back of your book.

This is absolutely essential. Give the people who like your book every opportunity to join your email list and have them pay attention to you. One of the easiest ways I found was to add a “Like the book?” page at the end of my freebie books with links to joining my email list.

When SHADOW OF WRATH is ready for publication (March 13, 2013 — yes a shameless plug), you can bet that there’ll be a link to join my email list. 

5. Don’t create unprofessional newsletters

If your newsletters look terrible, are filled with content that people really don’t care about (like what cute things your cat did), and don’t offer some type of value, you’ll get unsubscribed fairly quickly.

I highly recommend using MAILCHIMP. Best FREE service for email newsletters on the web, period.

Check out one of the campaigns and newsletters I created using MailChimp.

Campaign: Want Shadow of Wrath Book Two: Survival FREE?

And if you haven’t already, GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS by joining my email list =)

So tell me, what tips do you have for creating email lists and newsletters?