Email lists: What do you want from the author?


email 2

For most authors marketing their books is tougher than writing them.

Numerous blogs, webinars, and courses provide advice. The general consensus, at the moment, (I say this advisedly, because a month or two from now, the direction might be quite different) is to build an email list of subscribers.

I’ve subscribed to a number of author emails lists. Some email only to announce a new book, which means I hear from them once a year or so. One gentleman emails about his latest release and also writes about the state of publishing and marketing. This author is prolific. His emails come every few months. Yet another sends fascinating tidbits a couple of times a month related to ancient history—you won’t be surprised to learn that his genre is historical fiction. One woman writes weekly with sage advice and tips about writing.  Then there’s the guy who sends out short bits daily.

So, for an author trying to market his or her books, what is the magic “email” answer?

We’re told:

  • Offer them books, extra chapters, character profiles—al for free of course.
  • Email often—once a week at least.
  • Don’t email too often—once a month will do.
  • Keep your emails short.
  • Provide long, informative emails.

The thing is, with all these emails floating about, I don’t know that anyone has stopped to ask subscribers what they really want. So, here’s the question of the day:

Once you’ve decided to sign up to an author’s email list, what do you expect to receive from that author and how often do you want to hear from him or her?


6 comments on “Email lists: What do you want from the author?

  1. I prefer short, informative newsletters no more than once a month. If they come daily I will most likely unsubscribe, but then that´s just me. I am OK with newsletters announcing upcoming books, launches and events. I like to hear what my favourite authors are up to.

  2. I don’t have time to open them, so on the other end as an author, I try to not send them out very often. When I have an announcement or I’m offering something – those are the times I send them out. I’m not regular with it but I also don’t want to send it just because “someone” “somewhere’ has dictated it so.

  3. I contact my list at least once and sometimes twice a month. Each month I feature an author with a cover post, review and tweets all month. Then, I always add something: free short story/eBook/exclusive content, a marketing tip that’s been helpful etc. Of course, I include my own news, but I’m not a fan of emails that only have news about the author, so I avoid that. I never go more than a single short page with space and images.

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