As an author you find there is tons of information on the internet about how best to promote your books. Most of it seems to lean toward the use of social media, and while it does have its uses, I’ve been learning it’s not the best way to sell books. The main reason for this is because every one of our followers is likely following hundreds if not thousands of other people. The chances that they will see our little snippet amongst all the chatter is slim.
We need to be able to interact with our readers on a regular basis without distractions from others and the best way to do that is by having a mailing list. Sure they may have signed up to dozens of other mailing lists, but an email will sit in their inbox until they view it. It won’t get lost among the clutter (most of the time). Also, people are reluctant to give out their email addresses. If they’ve given you theirs, you can be sure they really want to hear what you have to say.
Your mailing list is a kind of captive audience. Every time you have a new release or an event that you’re doing, you can email your list and let them know about it. Even if only 10% of the people on your list buy your book or attend the event, it will likely be more of a response than you’d get from social media (and I’ve found that it’s more than 10%).
So what can you do with your list?
Lots of things. You can set up a monthly newsletter or you can just email your list when you’ve got an announcement. Don’t just use it to sell books, though. Offer special deals and invite them to subscriber only events. You can even share exclusive short stories that you’ve written just for them. Run subscriber only giveaways each month. Do whatever it takes to treat them like a friend and make them feel special.
The happier your readers are, the more likely they will be to buy your books and recommend you to others.
How do you get people to sign up?
That’s where social media comes in. Interact with people as much as possible and invite them to sign up to your lists regularly. Give them incentives to sign up, like a free ebook or some other free gift. I usually offer my latest ebook free to all new sign ups, as well as a subscriber only giveaway, discounts and other goodies.
Bottom line is it’s all about getting to know people and giving them a place to go where you can easily interact with them without all the external noise, so to speak.
Speaking of mailing lists… I have a newsletter I send out once a month along with another update on occasion throughout the month. Also, new subscribers get a free copy of my latest Shadow Stalker episode and a chance to win 12 episodes each month.