First things first. You have to think of subscribers as people who may or may not be your ideal readers. They may have just subscribed on a whim. Or they just don’t have time now; life happened, and they are no longer interested in what your book is about. The point is, subscribers come and go. It’s okay. Don’t get wigged out when you get a bunch of unsubscribes after each email. If they leave, they were never going to be a fan and definitely not a superfan. http://sunburypress.com/finding-your-fans-they-do-exist/
So, now that we have that established, you should be sending way more emails than you have been. Most authors send one email quarterly. If you are trying to create a relationship with someone, how are you going to do that with only one communication quarterly? And the only way you are going to find fans is to create relationships. That means you have to put yourself out there. And I’m not talking about sending a sales announcement or promotional email every week. You should be writing a blog – an authentic offering of your thoughts and ideas that aligns with your book and for which others can identify.
Email marketing remains the most cost-effective, successful method of marketing to date. So, use it, always be building your list, and let it be a living, breathing part of your strategy and your life as a professional writer.
So please send emails. Send an email a week. Sound like too much? Then you have to make it interesting! Remember you are building your list with your ideal readers, so write about what they are interested in. Those that love your book will also love inside information, character buildouts, recipes the characters would eat, insights into locations, or anything else that relates. Nonfiction should be easy. If you wrote a how-to, you should have a YouTube channel with projects and examples and interviews.
But what about Fiction? Write about characters, build connections between fiction and the real world. If your novel is high fantasy, talk about what it takes to write something like that. What is your inspiration? How did it feel to write something so long? How did you balance your work life and your writing? If you wrote about baseball, send emails about that sport, there is no end to material available. If you wrote a historical novel, then talk about the real-life events that inspired the novel. Truly as a writer, you should have endless material that is available to talk and write about.
All of this content should be in your blog. This gives it a place to build up and be available for future readers and for SEO search engines to find. Then send it in email. Link to it on social media and include a graphic. Then link it everywhere else you can find. Email lists are gold and if you can build an active and engaged list of subscribers up to 10,000, then guaranteed, you’ll be hitting that 1000 fans mark and you’ll be a happy author. So, if you are a writer, and your email list is under 1000 subscribers, you know what to do.
What to use? You will need an email marketing service. I wrote about this in Fundamentals of Book Marketing, but if you search online, you’ll find plenty of options. If something is confusing or you don’t feel confident, keep looking or find some help! I know I recommend finding some help often in these documents, but this is important. Before you pay some marketing person or a publicist a lot of money, find a tech-savvy, twenty-something to help you out. Because until you have your website and email campaigns running really smoothly, the rest doesn’t matter.
Whatever email client you use, whether it is Gmail or Yahoo or MS Outlook, create a custom signature that shows up at the bottom of each email you send out. In that signature, be sure to include an image of your book (s) and a link to your website.