Here is a new guest post, this time it's very special to me, because the fellow indie author I'm presenting you comes from my lovely land, Sardinia. Her name is Stefania Mattana and she writes great crime fiction stories. In this article she explains the importance for an indie author of building a mailing list and how to create one.
If you are like me
and spend around the 90% of your free time blogging, optimising your blog for
search engines, tweaking your social media pages and updating your fans about
your new ebook, you’re just one of the thousand self-published authors trying
to get read in today’s frantically overcrowded marketplace. It may sound a sad
thing to say, but being an author in these days does not mean just writing
amazing stories. Today’s indie authors are marketers to all intents and
To succeed, as a marketer, you need to build a mailing list. There’s a proverb,
in the internet marketing community: the money is in the list. To cut a long
story short, if you have 30,000 subscribers and send a newsletter like ‘Hey, my
new ebook is available on the Kindle Store at less than €/$/£1’, chances are
that a good number of those subscribers will buy the ebook straight away.
However, things are definitely more complicated.
The question I usually got at this point is: OK, I have a Facebook page and a
Twitter profile, with fans, followers and everything, aren’t those two ‘lists’?
They are indeed. But here’s the thing, social media are great to cultivate your
brand awareness, not for selling. And if they kick you out of their network?
They do one click and you lose your lists, all your contacts. So… no, you can’t
replace list building with social media.
First of all, let’s talk about techie stuff. You need an email marketing
management software. I use MailChimp because my partner talked me about it, I don’t
have any specific reason. There are countless other options on the market. Most
of them have free plans for beginners. They are easy to use and the good thing
is that if you run into a wall and google your problem there is surely a
solution somewhere on the internet. All of them feature stats and other
analytic tools, which is why Gmail is not enough for email marketing.
The keyword for successful list building is value. You have to give your
readers the motivation to join your list and don’t unsubscribe. Potentially,
every newsletter you send out may make some readers buy your stuff and other
To make people join your list, freebies are great. A short story, or a free
lesson (if you want to create a writing virtual class). Contests work too. For
launched a giveaway to celebrate my upcoming ebook, Into the Killer Sphere, the second one of the
Chase Williams crime series. Among all the subscribers, only ten will win a
copy of my ebook. This is a deal between me and my subscribers, because I'm
giving them the chance of getting something unique (a book in preview) and for
free (the ebook will be sold on Amazon Kindle store after the giveaway).
a subscription form, place it in a nice landing page and drive traffic using
SEO, PPC and social media. To make people stay in your list, you have to be
sure that your content is valuable. If you just link your last blog, paste what
you’ve written on Facebook or stuff your content with shameless self-promotion
and lots and lots of affiliate links, you’re doing it all wrong. Treat your list as an elite group (because
it is), give your subscribers what they would never get from other channels; be
interesting, interact with them, ask them questions, be just like one of them -
I am a crime fiction writer, but also a huge crime fiction fan, and so are my
build trust in them, they will reward you.
Crime fiction author
STEFANIA MATTANA is a crime fiction author whose stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, websites and anthologies. Her first self-published short story collection "Cutting Right to the Chase", featuring the former Met Police Detective Chase Williams, was released in June 2013 to great acclaim. She also blogs for Huffington Post UK, her own blog DailyPinner and other webzines.
Visit Stefania's website: http://eraniapinnera.com
Or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.