In today’s post we’re going to take a look at the importance of an email list and why you as an author should be building one. If you haven’t given it much thought I’m sure this post will make you think twice. And if you are in the process of building one, you might pick up a few ideas to make more use of yours.
1 – You’re In Control – Being an author you’re at the mercy of publishers and bookstores, even in this age of self publishing. Amazon as good as they have been for helping authors publish their books, are a business. And business need to make money or they have close up shop (no pun intended).
Your little box-set may mean the world to you, but in the grand scheme of things you’re only a grain of sand on the beach. The same is true of other bookstores that offer your books to the public. You and your book are replaceable.
On the other hand, having a mailing list of your own puts the control back in your hands. If the worst happened and no one wanted to sell your book all you’d have to do is…
- Simply upload your book to your website
- Place a payment button on the page
- Email your list, and voila you’re still in business
2 – Test New Material – What could be better than having a targeted audience you could call on for testing new material? Imagine for a moment that you had a story-line you weren’t sure about. Should you write a prequel to that last book you wrote, or would you better focusing all your attention on that new book series?
Without a list, you’re left wondering if the gamble you’re choosing is the right one. With a list however means you can send out a quick email with your proposed idea and take a poll on it. Or even have subscribers come up with a new book idea for you.
And that’s only the book content, what about your book covers, book blurbs, and descriptions. Think maybe it would be less risky to send a sample out to your subscribers and have them choose the right cover and book description? Me too.
3 – Your Own Promotion Team – What could be more powerful than a team of dedicated fans? Pound for pound, there’s no Twitter or Facebook ad that will give you the result a fan will give you. And yet most people only use their list for selling to.
What if you had free book promotion this week? A Facebook page that’s just been launched? A book competition you need votes for? Or a book that could do with a fresh influx of reviews? If you haven’t got a list you better be prepared to pay for those things. And even then you’re paying for a cold market and asking for it’s help.
Having a list on the other hand means you’re already ahead of the game. Who cares if you have to give away your books for free to get reviews, share, likes, or Tweets. That money you’ve just saved can go to better use like… editing your manuscripts…. better book covers… or building your list for your next book release.
4 – It’s A Asset – Anyone running a business in the brick and mortar world knows the value of a customer. Treat them well, give them good service, and there’s a good chance they’ll be back for more. And if they’re not, good word of mouth from those same customers can send more business your way. That’s an asset. For the majority of those business though, they haven’t got the ability to keep in touch with those customers and they need to advertise to get them back.
You on the other hand with your mailing list, aren’t so troubled. You’ve got a new book out, you email your list. You need some reviews, you email your list. You need help with a book promotion, you email your list.
Can you see what an asset it is to have a list of subscribers? And you don’t even have to sit down and write to each one individually? Or be there on the day the email is sent. Think maybe compared to a brick and mortar business you’ve got it good?
5 – Facebook Ads – And finally, when you have the cash to go down the paid promotion route you can use your list to build you an even bigger audience. If you’ve never used Facebook ads before, you can target your audience down to an exact group. You want women over 40, who live in the U.S and love cats, you can do it. But maybe they’re not your target audience. Maybe they’re not interested in reading your books.
So, how do you build an audience of those type of people? One option is to use Facebook’s tracking cookie, but you’ll need to have on your site for a while to get good information . If you haven’t got a site, or used the Facebook pixel, that option is out the window.
Another option is your email list. Simply upload your email list, tell Facebook that you want more of those types of people and let it do it’s magic. Now your advertising costs are lower because you’re putting yourself in front of the right people, ‘your people.’
And there you have it, 5 reason why you as an author should be building an email list. I’m sure if you you’ve been putting it off for now, you’ve come to realize that it’s time you start to building one. If you haven’t, you may want to read the blog post one more time. 🙂