In this new digital, ever-changing world of social media and mobile advertising, the most valuable gift a potential reader can give you is their email.
Have you been collecting emails on a regular basis? Hopefully, the answer is yes and here is why:
Emails are your direct link to people who may be interested in buying your book. Simple as that.
Okay, now that you know that the goal is to collect emails – make sure that you begin, if you haven’t already, gathering emails.
- Personal address book
- Place of worship directory
- Neighborhood directory
- Directories of your kid’s activities; sports, scouts, theater, music
- Co-worker emails
- Chamber of Commerce directory
- Other organizations of which you are a member – ask for their email listing
Do You Weed Some Out?
Nope. In a recent article I talked about the importance of knowing who your target reader is and I will talk more about that in the future. However, in the beginning, every email is of value. They may not be your target reader but they may know someone who is. The goal with your emails is to collect as many as possible. Email marketing automatically contains “opt out” options which will allow the recipient to weed themselves out. And further down the road you can consider segmenting your emails, but we are just getting started so every email is a good email.
Why Are Emails Important for Your Book Promotion?
Social media is a great tool for promoting your book before, during and after you have finished publishing. However, readers have to find or stumble upon you on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram.
A book promotion message sent via email goes TO THE READER. They don’t have to do any work to find you because you have found them.
Here are just a few ways you can connect with your email audience:
- If you are just getting started, consider a quick email asking for emotional support for your writing. “Hey, guys, wanted to share the fact that I’ve decided to write the Great American Novel. I plan to write a mystery set in the time of the American Revolution and the main character is a young woman who has just come to America from London to be a governess for a wealthy family in Boston. I would appreciate your encouragement and if you have any suggestions or have a special interest in this time period and want to offer advice – please let me know!”
- Keep your name in front of them by sending a monthly or quarterly update. Consider including a scene from your book or an updated character description. Invite them to join you on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates and the opportunity to add to the novel.
- Let your audience know when the book is finished and entering the editing stages. You might even consider asking for a few people who might be interested in reading the book in its unedited phase.
- Once the book is ready for the printing press – you’ll send a press release and the announcement of your Book Release Event.
- Follow up with monthly announcements of book signing events and speaking engagements
Always Be Respectful
At the top of this article I said that the highest gift a reader can give you is their email and that is because they are inundated with spam and marketing messages. Don’t be that person that annoyingly emails every day or even every week. Once a month is a nice frequency for sending emails. If you don’t have something of value to say, then once every other month is plenty. You want to send emails frequently enough that they remember your name but not so many emails as to be considered spam.
- Keep them short and to the point.
- Include links back to your website and social media pages
- Consider a call-to-action – ask the reader to email, or click, or call or buy
- Use an image to enhance your message but not so many that the email takes a long time to load.
- Test your email message on several platforms; PC, mobile devices, Chrome, Safari, Explorer.
- Post your emails on your website and social media sites with an invitation to sign up to receive future messages
- Include your contact information
Which Email Platform Do I Use?
There are a number of websites that offer email marketing services, all have their pros and cons. For someone just starting out, Mail Chimp is a great website. It is free for unlimited messages as long as you have less than 2,000 emails. The layout is very easy and there are a large number of templates to choose from.
Bottom Line: make sure you are gathering emails so that you can reach out with potential readers and let them know about this wonderful work of art you are in the process or creating!