So what’s the most powerful marketing tool available to writers?
I honestly don’t know, and if I did I’d probably be selling a whole load more books. But I have heard that the most effective selling tool is an email list, and it does make a lot of sense.
So what you do is collect a list of email addresses of people who are interested in you as a writer (and that’s the important bit) so when you have a new release, or a sale, or a competition, or an ARC for reviews, you can just send out an email or a newsletter to that list.
There are tools and sites to make this easier. I use Mailchimp, which is easy to use (great for the technically challenged among us) and free (up to a point – you pay when your list grows above a certain number) and looks pretty professional. It provides a sign up form, which you can link to on your website, ebooks, facebook and anywhere else you can think of (and here’s mine – because you should never miss an opportunity… http://eepurl.com/rZ5rz)
It’s a good idea to offer something as an incentive for people who take the plunge, but it should be related to your work – I offer a free copy of the box set of my Sisters of the Moon series, but it could be a short story or an interesting article.
But how do you actually get people to sign up? This is what I do so far:
- If you go to my website, the first thing that happens is you get a big annoying pop-up that says – sign up for my newsletter. This is actually a plugin called Many Contacts. There’s also a link to the sign up form on every page of my website.
- In the back of my books I have a link to the sign up form. So you get to the end of the book, hopefully, you enjoyed it, and the first thing you see is…want to know more about Nina Croft…?
- I have a link displayed prominently on facebook
But it’s a sort of catch 22 situation because for any of these things to work, first of all you need to get people to go to my website, or read my book, or go to my facebook page. I suppose it’s more a matter of turning a casual reader who maybe enjoyed your book and visited your website, into a permanent fan, than dragging in total strangers.
Here’s a link to a great post which talks a lot about how newsletters can be more effective: https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/how-to-win-sales-and-influence-algorithms/ and at the end, is a link to Nick Stephenson’s free videos on the subject – well worth watching.
As of this morning my email list is 575. I have a goal for the year to reach 2000 – so if anyone has any creative ways to find people and convince they really want to hear from me on a regular basis – please let me know!