5 Reasons Why Every Author Should Have A Mailing List

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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. 🙂

4 Ways To Save Traffic Leaving Your Opt In Page

Although we’d like to make every visitor to our optin page a subscriber, you’re not going to win them all. Whether that’s because you got them at the wrong time, they don’t know much about you, or they simply don’t trust giving you their email address, you will find some people will bounce off your free book page never to return. But although they mightn’t be back, that doesn’t mean that they’re a lost cause. Here are a few things you could try out.

1 – Offer A Free Book Just For Dropping By – You mightn’t want to give away your 300 page novel without getting an email address, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a free short story as a thank you for dropping by. This can easily be set up with the help of a simple pop up script featuring a simple thank you message with a download button that gives an instant download. This short story will of course have links to your other books, social media accounts and your Amazon author page.

2 – Redirect Their Exit – Just because they’re leaving doesn’t mean that you can’t control where they go to. If you feel that the previous tip isn’t for you, there’s nothing stopping you from using a little redirect script and directing them somewhere else. Places to send them could be… Amazon Author Page – Seeing your Amazon author page may help to build the credibility that optin page didn’t have. Seeing a large back catalogue with well reviewed books may make them think twice about you. Once they’re there they can dig deeper into finding out more about you from your Twitter or blog feeds. Twitter/Facebook Page – If giving you their email address is a step too far from them, maybe giving your Facebook page a like, or following you on Twitter mightn’t be as big a risk. It’s one thing to have a follow me button on your site, it’s another to visit an active social media account that’s being posted to regularly. Here they can find out more about you, the content you post, and if you’re someone they’d to get to know. It shouldn’t have to be said that you should have you free book offer advertised on either site. This way they can loop back and still get that book they turned down. Your Latest Book – If you haven’t got either of the above set up you can always send them to your latest book. Although they still mightn’t be interested, they mightn’t be a lost cause. If you’re an Amazon affiliate, you can always use your affiliate link to send them there. They mightn’t be in the mood for your book, but they might buy something a lot larger that day and you’ll can get an nice commission from Amazon for doing so. *It should be said that in all the previous tips you should do the same.

3 – Facebook Pixel – Even if you’re broke and don’t have the money to spend on Facebook ads, there’s no reason not to have the Facebook pixel embedded on your optin page and use that information to build your target audience. Although they won’t be your ideal audience, due to the fact that they didn’t sign up for your book, you still have their information to use at a later point. Once you’re up and running, you can create a larger custom audience to offer your free book to, or just get them to like your Facebook page. Once they do, it’s up to you to build a relationship with them and win them over.

4 – Social Lock – Whether that’s through redirecting, or an exit pop up, you might want to lock down your book giveaway with a social lock plugin. If you’re not aware of what a social lock plugin does, it basically does what it says. If your visitor wants to get to view content or download it, they have to “Like, Tweet, or Share” the item before the content is unlocked. Although you can go over the top and ask for multiple shares in some cases, it’s best to make it as painless as possible. Depending on what you set it for, you can use your site visitors to help promote your giveaway, or join one of your social accounts. And there you have it, four ways to mop up the traffic that’s leaving your optin page. Of course you would want everyone that drops by to sign up, but you’ll never get a 100% optin rate. But with a little tinkering and planning, you can make better use of that traffic and make something from it. Learn something? Click that big ole share button on the side over there and be a hero to someone.  🙂