Building a list is going to be one of the first things you will want to do. Having a list means you have people to promote your book to, and it’s yours, and yours alone. What does this mean? What if Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Google Plus went away? So would your following, but, if you have a list, you still have a way to market to people. A way to stay in touch with people through email.
Create An Offer
Creating an irresistible offer is going to be your first step in building your list. This is going to be something that you giveaway for free, to entice people to signup to your mailing list. It can be a sneak peek at what you’re currently working on, a free first chapter read, top ten tips to something worth knowing, or even a character family tree.
Once you get writing and publishing more books, you could offer a free ecopy of your book, or gift card giveaways for subscribers only that you run each month.
Check out some other authors, visit their websites and see what they’re offering to get some ideas. You can even subscribe to a few to see how they run their mailing lists and how often they send an email to subscribers.
Decide On An Email Service
Once you decide on your offer, it’s time to look into an email client. In case you’re not sure what an email client is, it’s a program that allows you to collect emails from your readers and fans, and then you can use that program to email your entire list at once.
Mailchimp is a great starter client, not to mention it is free. They have tons of tutorials on how to use it, so it makes it simple for even the non-technical savvy of you out there.
If you want a client that has a little bit more to offer, starting for just $1, you can use Aweber. Again, it’s full of tutorials that make it easy for those of you that have no clue about technology. I’ve used this email client for a long time and I love it.
There are several other out there, and you can find more by simply searching for them on Google.
Build A Relationship With Readers
Once you decide on your offer, your email client and setup your opt-in form (the form that readers will add their email address and name to get on your list), it’s time to decide how you want to form a relationship with your subscribers.
The key here is to use your list to form relationships with your subscribers. Get to know them and let them get to know you. Share your writing, your life events, your struggles. Let them relate to you and they will be happy to respond. They want to know that you’re a real person, and they want to get to know you. Don’t be afraid to connect with them through emails. They wouldn’t have signed up to be on your list if they didn’t want to get to know you better.
How Often To Email Your Readers?
Finally, decide how often you want to email them. Once a week, twice a week, or once a month? I have a great template that you can use to email them updates and news, and you may find it useful for your own emails. Feel free to add to it though and make it more of your own. You’ll find it at the end of this chapter.
After you decide how often you will email your subscribers, you need to stick to that schedule. If you decide that you will email them on Monday and Thursday, be sure that you send an email on Monday and Thursday. What happens is that your subscribers start looking for your emails, and if you aren’t consistent, you will lose subscribers and that is something you don’t want to do.
Everything you do to build your author platform will have to be consistent and persistent. You want your readers to know when to expect your emails, and offer them great stuff. Give them great value, such as recipes that you love, pictures of you and your family, pets, or even you writing your book in your office. The more you let them into your life, the more they will be ready to buy your books and help you spread the word about them as you release them.
The key with emailing, be consistent. Do what you say you will do, like if you’re going to do a monthly gift card giveaway to subscribers only, be sure you announce winners in an email at the same time each month.
Consistency is key!
BK Walker is a business coach helping authors and small business owners that are challenged by marketing and really want to make more money. When they work with her, they get really clear on the action they need to take to have less frustration and see more success. Grab her free audio about book marketing here.