Authors: If You Build It, They Will Come

Welcome! Skip down to the very bottom of this post. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Great.

Today I’m talking about the subject of that short paragraph, my mailing list, and the how and why and what.

I’m delighted to share I’ve recently had my first 100 subscribers join my mailing list. I appreciate each and every one of the people that have chosen to spend their time with me, and to celebrate, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn subscriber – the winner will be announced in my September 8thmailing.

How I built my mailing list – For the all the nitty gritty details, I highly recommend reading this information packed article by Tim Grahl, someone who has, per his website, “dedicated the last seven years of his life to helping authors get their books into the hands of more readers.” Enough said.

To give you the highlights, I put my mailing list in place about 3 months ago. I followed Tim’s instructions, used Mailchimp (affordable and easy to use) and created a free giveaway to offer to potential subscribers (a sneak peek at The Keeper, the first book in my new CROSSING REALMS paranormal romance series.)

Now, I’d like to say, I’m pretty good with technology. I like it, love it actuallly. I use it in my day job, every day. Even following the instructions in Tim’s article, which are excellent, plan to spend time on this part. It took me several days to get it all implemented, in the evenings, when I had time. At the end, I was very proud of myself for what I’d accomplished. I did not think it was the easiest thing I’d ever done, nor was it the hardest, but it was time consuming, and extremely worthwhile.

Why I built my mailing list – In my opinion, the most important sentence in the above mentioned article is this: 

“Your email list is the foundation of the author platform that is going to support your entire writing career.”

How does that tie in with my goals and values as an author? I want to be able to communicate directly with my readers, and not only give them first dibs on new stories, sales, and share cool information, but get to know them, and let them get to know me. 

It’s my sincere hope to cultivate a relationship with them that will last for years to come. I appreciate them, and I believe passionately in the stories I have within me, and the value I hope they will add to the world.

How did I get my first 100 Subscribers?

This summer, I attended two events, one a Farmers Market, the other a Mary Kay sales demo. At each event, I brought with me a signup sheet for my mailing list, and offered a giveaway, both of the sneak peek, and a chance to win a free Kindle copy of A Mighty Good Man.

I emailed people I’d met in my local book club, since they were taking the summer off and asked them if they’d like to join.

I approached friends and family members.

I attended several Facebook parties. Some generous authors invited me to attend and host a giveaway, which I did, and had a fabulous time!

I shared the giveaway through my social media.

I added the giveaway link to my email signature.

I added a Sign Up button to my Facebook author’s page.

I won’t lie to you. It was hard, and it’s still hard, to ask sometimes, to put yourself out there. But I work every day at getting over that hurdle, and instead concentrate on my passion for storytelling, and my belief that people, not all of course, will truly enjoy what I have to offer.

I also highly recommend reading Tim Grahl’s book, Your First 1000 Copies: TheStep-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book. I enjoy reading and implementing what he has to say, because the guy makes so much darn sense. And I’m all about things that make sense, in a world where often, things don’t.

All this is to say, if you build it, they will come. And I’m thrilled to think I’ve got my own (wait for it) ‘field of dreams.’

I’d love to have you along on my reading and writing adventure!

Click here to learn more about my best fiction writing resources & the ways I’m shifting my paradigm as an author.

PLEASE SHARE: Do you have a mailing list? What has been your experience? Do you have any great tips you’d like to share?

Rebecca E. Neely is an author, freelance writer, and lover of spoon rings & great reads.

Thanks for reading! Love to hear your thoughts.

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