Starting a newsletter subscribers list.

If you're a new author or even if you've established your author brand but haven't started a newsletter yet than this might help you.

(Before I really get started on all the helpful stuff, I want to point out that I don't have the longest subscribers list in the industry nor am I claiming I'm the best at building them. This is just an account of how I built my subscribers.)

I was a year into my career before I even began to start a list of subscribers. Let's call this mistake number one. The great thing about building an email list is there's really no wrong way to go about it, so other than wasting a lot of time, I still have a solid list of people who actually like my books and buy them on a regular basis.

First things first, though. Picking an email marketing site.

Mailchimp, madmimi, and mailerlite are a few that I know about. I'm sure there are others. I don't know if one is better or worse than another. They all have their pros and cons, so you should do your homework when choosing one. You can ask other authors their opinion on which is better if you'd like. Just remember what one might see as a con, you might actually want or need in an email marketing service.

I use the email marketing tool my webhost provides because it automatically hooks up to my website with no effort on my part. I just started another newsletter for ARC subscribers and I use madmimi for that. The reason why is because they have a 100 subscriber limit before they start charging and I don't want more than that on that particular mailing list. Also, madmimi is easy for me to use.

How I started my list:

I started off by putting a sign up link on my blog and website. I shared my website link on social media and boosted the post on facebook, spending $5-10. After that I had a slow trickle of sign ups. I had 100 after like 6 months I think, which isn't a lot but the subscribers I did have were solid fans. It's only been since February 2017 that I actually gained the majority. That's six months that I've gain 2000+ and I'm still working at it.

Mistake number two: not getting sign ups through a giveaway. I would have gotten more and quicker. And I could have even did a blog tour and used rafflecopter. Because I write LGBTQ romance, the community of writers and readers is pretty tightly knit together. The blogs that review our books and feature us are essentially the glue that holds all of us together. I should have utilized that resource way more because they target the readers I'm looking for.

Where to find new subscribers:

A few months ago I learned about instafreebie. I wrote a short story and paid the $20 a month. I gained a few hundred more subscribers but again they slowly came in a few at a time.

Mistake number three: not signing up with a group giveaway on instafreebie as soon as I learned about the site. On the forum page they have a few announcements. I wasted a lot of money and should have just waited. However, once I found a group I gained a lot in just a few days. 1400+

Now the problem with instafreebie is I lost a few (300-400) hundred subscribers after the group giveaway, over like a 3 months time period. Word of mouth for those readers who stayed and became fans help me gain just as many subscribers as I had lost without doing a thing to really get them so it still worked out well for me. And the readers I do have are pretty solid so I've gain a fan-base.

How to find a group giveaway:

So far I've joined three, although one hasn't started yet. If you're a reader and just interest in the business end of book writing, than stay toned. I'll post about the group giveaway in a future blog and will share in on social media. The giveaways are full stories by M/M romance authors, so it'll be a lot of fun reading material.

You can like my facebook page to keep updated on the group giveaway:
https://www.facebook.com/authoraprilkelley/

The first one I learned about through facebook. There's a group of LGBTQ writers who help each other out, answering each others questions, sharing the latest in the book market trends, and also sharing resources like instafreebie and other sites that are helpful.

The second one I found on instafreebie's forum. Several are posted and separated by genre. Often times they're looking for specific content. For example, one group is looking for stories with pets as a central character. So if you look often and either have a story or can write one quickly enough, you'll gain readers.

This last one was just word of mouth, which is the best marketing tool out there.

If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter go to my website. A sign up box is on the first page.
http://www.authoraprilkelley.com/




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