If I hear one more author tell me how VITALLY IMPORTANT a mailing list is, I think I’ll scream. Swear words. The bad ones. The more observant among you will notice a new pop-up box asking you to join MY mailing list – don’t run away!! This is merely my feeble attempt to jump on the wagon I should have flagged down four years ago, when this whole crazy thing started. But do feel free to close it and completely ignore my cutesy request to give me your email address. I know I would. So how are other authors doing it? Building up mailing lists with thousands of addresses (allegedly)? Some say that they give away a free book to entice people. Eh… so do I, it’s on Amazon, where anyone can download it. No strings attached. (Betwixt – a free short story that I wrote for readers who have supported me and future ones who’d like a taster of my style). Besides, when people send me automated DM’s on Twitter (if you do that, please cease and desist immediately!) with links to free books, I NEVER click on them, much less download them. So how do you let people know you have a mailing list without being annoying?
We would all love to have a database of names you could contact directly when you have a new book out. It makes sense. People like your book, they want to know when you’re next one is out, or if it’s on sale, so they sign up to a mailing list. Because we’re busy, people forget and you can’t catch everything on social media. But you will check your email. So it works for both the author and the reader. However, I can’t help thinking that people don’t subscribe to these lists (myself included) because they don’t want to be bombarded with a whole load more crap they have to read in their inbox. I have enough to be doing to keep up with reading articles, writing articles, supporting author/blogger friends and, you know, writing my book, without having to either read or delete unwanted newsletters.
How then, do you get people to subscribe? If you’re not going to bribe them or promise them the secret to eternal youth? It’s enough work getting people to follow your blog, your twitter, your train of thought! Build it and they will come, right?! I created a mailing list with Mail Chimp a few years ago, when I (yet again) read how important it was for authors to have one. I put a link on the site and waited for the subscribers to come. I’m still waiting. And I’m still reading (mostly Indie) authors pontificate about the importance of the list to your marketing plan.
You see, apparently I was supposed to put a link at the end of all my books. Of course, it makes total sense now. The reader has just finished (and hopefully enjoyed) your book – they want to know more, get hooked up, stay in the loop. This is the moment to hit them with the mailing list, while they’re still in their post-book euphoria! So I guess I’ll just have to resubmit my documents to Kindle with the all-important sign up links. Joy of joys. Love upsetting the careful balance of an already formatted and published book.
However, because I can’t keep ignoring the value of having a mailing list when you’re a writer building a relationship with your readers, here it is. I am officially inviting you to join my mailing list, purely for the purposes of letting you know when I have a new book out. I won’t be telling you every time I have a new blog post, or sending recipes for granola (I have a really good one by the way, but I’ll keep that to myself….. and my Instagram). If you’re interested in all those bells and whistles, you (like me) can waste endless hours following my social media accounts. But if you just want a heads up on my books, that’s what this list is for.
But let’s face it, every request needs a little sweetener doesn’t it? I was going to run a giveaway for my paperbacks, but that’s just a bit predictable. So, in the interest of trying to be original, I’m going to give away a signed print of my original artwork to some lucky reader once I’ve reached 50 subscribers. Below is the original painting, but I will be posting the winner a giclée print on archival paper, double mounted on mounting board. That’s assuming that you like my artwork! If not, I’ll just send you a book 🙂 So, let’s see how it goes and if you haven’t already done it, you can sign up to my amazing but totally non-invasive mailing list HERE.
**Update: The winner was Caryl