Thursday, June 4, 2015

Marketing: Every Novelist Needs an E-mail List

I will be brief. Every novelist needs an e-mail list.

Every novelist. The reason is simple.

E-mail works. That is, it works when you do it right. I’ll grant that it fails miserably when you do it wrong, just like everything else.

Over the past ten years, we authors have been bombarded with a huge laundry list of things we “should” be doing to market our books. We’re supposed to blog. And be active on Facebook. And get into Google Plus. And build a Twitter following. And get on Goodreads (carefully). And run Pinterest boards. And be on Instagram. And get involved in every fancy new wingding gizmo that comes along.

Ouch, that’s a heavy load. Those may all be fine things, but I strongly believe that e-mail is best for actually making the sale when you launch a book. Please note that qualification—when you launch a book.

A book launch is a critical part of your marketing strategy, if you’re traditionally published, because your book only has a short window of time in bookstores before the returns start. 

A book launch is merely very important for indie authors, because you only have 30 days of eligibility for the Hot New Releases lists, and the HNR lists really drive sales.

Let’s not waste time arguing theory. I’ll show you some data from a widely respected marketer—Darren Rowse, the brains behind the Website. 

Darren’s one of the best bloggers around. He’s also on various forms of social media. And he’s got an e-mail list.

A couple of years ago, Darren launched an e-book and tracked the results of his marketing efforts. Please read the results here:

I’ll summarize:
     His affiliates accounted for 3% of his sales.
     Social media accounted for 3% of his sales. 
     His blog posts accounted for 7% of his sales.
     E-mail accounted for the remaining 87% of his sales.
Note that his social media efforts included Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. But e-mail by itself was 29 times more effective than all his social media efforts combined.

Note that his e-mail was more than 12 times as effective as his blog posts—and this is Darren Rowse, the ProBlogger guy. Darren blogs for a living. 

This is not a hard call to make. E-mail rocks—for making the sale when you launch a book.

I’ll repeat one thing. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do any sort of promotion. If you do e-mail wrong, you’re not going to get good results. So do e-mail right. 

You YA writers may be grumbling that teens don’t read e-mail. That may be true, but plenty of adults are in your target audience, including me. And adults read e-mail. Your best way to sell to them is via e-mail. You might need to find another way to reach those teens.

When I teach marketing at writing conferences, I try to spend a full hour on e-mail marketing. Because it’s critically important. 

But it’s been a few years since I discussed e-mail marketing in this e-zine. Many of you haven’t been subscribing that long, so this may be new to you. Expect me to talk more about e-mail over the next few issues.

When you have a good strong e-mail list, it’s like having your own personalized version of BookBub that you can use whenever you want.

How cool is that?

We’ll continue this discussion over the next several issues of this e-zine.

Bottom line for now: Every novelist needs an e-mail list. 

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.

Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 12,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it,


Diane Craver said...

Thanks for posting this - I'll check out your link and read what he says. I'm checking my links on my new website and Marion's doesn't work. I hope nothing happened to her.

-b9 said...

Would you puh-leeze help a 'Plethora Of [valiant] Wurdz' which are look'n for a new home in your novel? Yay! Whew...

Q: Can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Seventh-Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HawrHawr Need a few more thots, ideers, raw wurdz or ironclad iconoclasms? Voila!!

VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

"This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly-girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

"Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Go gitt'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9 (or mixNmatch)...

God blessa youse
-Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL