You’ve done the hard part: you’ve written and self-published your book. After countless long hours, months or years of hard work, and a seemingly endless emotional rollercoaster, you’re ready to sit back, relax, and let the book sell itself. Unfortunately, for most authors, it doesn’t work like that. Marketing your book can be just as challenging as writing it, especially if you don’t come from a business background. But the process can be made a bit easier by optimizing basics– like creating a solid email marketing list.

Managing your email marketing list might seem simple but can be deceptive. It can be extremely difficult to get your subscriber base to grow and engage with your content. No one wants to sign up to receive more junk email than they need to. Particularly because your goal in growing your subscriber base is marketing and selling your book and services, you’ll need to be extremely careful to come across as community-centered and concretely useful unless you want your emails to go straight into the trash. So how can we walk the very fine line between accomplishing your sales goals and engaging your readers with content that they want to read? Read on for 4 tips to grow your email marketing list and maximize your sales.

1. Show Off

No matter how committed your consumer is to your content, very few people will seek out a newsletter sign-up. You need to be strategic about the placement of your sign-up link and the language that goes with it. Offering an opportunity to sign up for your newsletter as a pop-up when your consumer clicks on your website is a great first step. Your sign-up link should be easily accessible in your social media platforms, either in your bio or via link. And because you’re using your own website to market, you’ll be able to analyze how your marketing efforts are directly impacting your sales, instead of having to rely on algorithms and third-party vendors, like when selling through Amazon or social media.

For reaching the widest consumer base possible, though, you’ll want to get a little more creative. Including your sign-up link in your email signature with a small blurb about the content of your newsletter can increase your reach by hundreds or thousands and give you high-yield, quality sign-ups that are likely to engage fully with your content. Another great option is guest writing or blogging for different creators and including your email sign-up link in your post. This will open your email marketing to a new sphere of previously unreachable consumers. The more ways you can sneak your sign-up link into your content, the better– and the more potential consumers you’ll be able to reach.

2. Be Clear and Smart with Your Language

Carefully craft a short blurb to go along with your sign-up link. It should be punchy and informative while adding a bit of personality. Let your readers know that you won’t spam them and that you don’t intend to clutter up their inbox. Make your readers understand that you aren’t just a marketing team. Instead, write as an author and a person looking to build a community of individuals with similar passions and interests.

On the other hand, a little bit of behavioral science can’t hurt your prospects either. Look to spark some newsletter FOMO (“fear of missing out”) by letting your prospective consumer know how many people are reading your newsletter or are signing up weekly. Appeal to their sense of status or similarity by letting them know who your reader base consists of. Emphasize the aspect of community and connection rather than their opportunity to buy something from you. Whatever you do, make sure you’re not coming off impersonal or sales-focused.

3. Draw Your Consumer In

Most of the time, you’re going to need an incentive to get your readers on your email list. This commonly takes the form of a giveaway by promising the reader free content. For example, you could offer a free audiobook, alternative ending, or discount on your content. More creative options might include the results of a quiz, downloadable worksheets (depending on your field), or entry into a lottery-style giveaway.

Whatever incentive you choose should be specific to your reader base. If your book is in the self-help genre, for example, you could promise an in-depth analysis to the results of a personality or attachment style quiz. If your book is fiction or fantasy, you could give away some never-before-seen illustrations or character insights. Make sure that your incentive is something that will truly capture your audience and empower them to dive deeper into your content.

4. Offer Truly Valuable Content

Though this may seem obvious, many self-published authors make the mistake of committing to sending out something, anything, once a week to keep their base engaged. Unfortunately, this will usually have the opposite effect. The less helpful your content is, the more likely it is that your emails will go directly into junk. Having your consumers simply open your emails and click through is not enough. You want full engagement leading to concrete sales and marketing gains.

Creating practically useful and engaging content is more difficult than it seems. Consumers can find quite a bit of content and information for free online without signing up for an email list. You’ll want to avoid this trap by creating unique opportunities for engagement, like tutorials, webinars, insights into your personal journey, or exclusive content for your audience.

The Takeaway

Marketing as a solo author can seem like a daunting endeavor. It’s not your area of expertise, so a little bit of discomfort is to be expected. But breaking down your strategy into steps, being thoughtful about your content and marketing, and staying consistent with your email marketing can go a long way. And remember, Publishing Concepts LLC is here to help! If you find yourself needing a little bit of additional guidance, give us a call ay (314) 781-8880 today.