Kill the Mailing List
There are some standard pieces of advice given to authors trying to promote their books, and these include starting a well designed and regularly updated blog, use social media, use book promotion services, and compile a mailing list. I have done all of the above, with varying amounts of enthusiasm and varying results, but today’s post is about only one of them, the last one, putting together a mailing list.
You need a mailing list for your publishing business! Why Is A Mailing List So Great? Imagine being able to publish a book and then instantly deliver an email to 50, 100, 500, 1000+ fans waiting to hear about your new book. When someone signs up for your mailing list, they indicate that they WANT to receive updates from you. You can also utilize your mailing list to get eager beta readers or to give advance copies to some readers so that you have reviews lined up when you launch your book. You can run potential book covers by your mailing list to see which one they like best. All of these things build anticipation for your book, so when it is released, your readers on your mailing list already know it’s coming and they are excited for it (and are therefore more eager to buy it)! A mailing list is an extremely important part of your publishing business. It gives you a level of control over your reader list and direct access to your readers that social media accounts just can’t measure up to. You can use your mailing list to get beta readers, line up reviews, and of course, drive sales to new and existing books!
After reading advice like this I thought to myself that I had to immediately start a mailing list. Unfortunately, after being in existence for months now, my list only has two email addresses on it, and both of those belong to me. They were tests to see if the sign up form was even working. It is, so I guess people just aren’t interested.
In response, I am mothballing my mailing list, for the foreseeable future at least. It’s sad because I went into the mail list thing with such high hopes. I have read posts on forums by authors who swear by their mailing lists, saying that these loyal mailing list readers, all buying together on their book’s launch day, give them the push they need to get noticed by Amazon’s algorithm. That makes sense to me, Amazon is all about the algorithm, and you certainly do see the difference when you get noticed. It makes sense but it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t even manage to get a mailing list off the ground. Not one taker. So, I’m hereby mothballing my mailing list. Then I went off and read an article about how self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.
The article by Delilah S Dawson says that in today’s oversaturated market, the only way to build a following and profit from it are to have been around for 5-10 years already. Because there is no easy answer, no secret to building a following. She says:
Book blogs become paid services, giveaways become chum pits, conference-goers dump purses full of business cards out in the trash to make room for more free books that they won’t read. It is virtually impossible to get your blog seen or your book discovered.
It’s grim reading, enjoyably grim, and it fits my mood today perfectly. And now, at the end of the post, where nobody is likely ever to notice it, here comes the buy-it link for my book. I’m killing it with this self-promotion stuff. I’m a natural salesman, a natural.
Start Reading the Dark Galaxy Trilogy
Galaxy Dog is an epic space opera. What starts as an ordinary invasion of an alien planet, brings to light an ancient archaeological site of huge importance. A young man called Knave makes a life-changing discovery there and rises from a lowly position as an infantry trooper to become a player among the powers of the galaxy. This is the story of his rise, and the story of the fierce and independent woman and the feisty robot who help him.