Build Your Author Email List

Mailing lists are possibly the most overlooked social media marketing tool for authors ever. When someone finds your website — using a google search, a business card, a web link — they’re visiting because they’re interested in you, your book, or your product. They click and they think, “Hmmmm. Interesting.” But there’s no mailing list signup form, so they’re gone. Maybe forever. Here’s how to keep them.

Use MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, AWeber, or another service to create your list, and put the signup link or widget on your web pages. They make it super easy for you, providing how-to tutorials and even videos. Most mailing list managers have introductory prices of $0, and graduated fees according to your number of subscribers. (I moved from Constant Contact to MailChimp last year, and like it better.) Take a look at my signup form on the CarlaKing.com site. I have several different audiences for my book, so people can sign up for any topic or all of them. Note that your’s doesn’t have to be so complicated, just a simple box to enter an email address is fine.

Carla King Mailing List

So now what? What do you say in an email newsletter? Hey, you’re a writer, aren’t you!? So write something! Send out a welcome message to start, but make sure it’s accompanied by something free. Something they want. How about a free tip or a free story? Let them know where they can read more tips, stories or excerpts of your book on sharing sites like Wattpad or Scribd or your blog. Ask them to like your Facebook Author page.

Social media task number 1: Get a mailing list. Number 2? Hmmmm… Facebook author page, perhaps, and Twitter account. Pinterest and Flickr, too, if you’re visually inclined. Youtube. Yikes. Too much to cover here. More tips coming later!