"The money is in the list." It's a well known quote from the direct mailing industry and has become axiomatic in the e-mail marketing world as well. For new authors struggling to build a fan base it can be difficult to create that all important e-mail list.
It is important to promote your list in the back matter of your book and on your website. But these aren't going to generate the size of a list needed in a particularly fast manner?
Because you haven't been discovered yet!
How do you get readers to your website unless they learn about it in your book? How do readers learn about your author newsletter if they don't read your book?
It's not dissimilar to that classic Pink Floyd line:
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding, if you don't eat your meet?
If nobody reads your book, they won't know about (and sign-up for) your e-mail list.
How can you generate an e-mail list if nobody reads your book?
Of course, the point of the list is to build loyal fans who rabidly buy up every thing you publish.
So how do you build a list quickly?
After seven months I had a grand total of 54 readers signed up for my author's e-mail list. I'd heard about Rafflecopter, investigated it, and ruled it out.
My list, after just two months of using BookFunnel, is now just over 1,200 readers.
When I reach 10,000 names on my list I might be happy with its size. We'll see.
BookFunnel allows an author to give away their book, or some form of content, in return for subscribing to an e-mail newsletter. It's that simple.
If you use any of the following e-mail services, BookFunnel allows for direct integration of the collected e-mails into your e-mail service contact list.
I use MailChimp and the integration was easy. So easy, I got it right the first time. I promise you, that seldom happens.
I'm also happy to inform authors interested in this service, BookFunnel's customer support has been great. The two problems I had were both my fault and were resolved for me by BookFunnel in less than 24 hours.
Here is a comparison of the features for each of the three plans:
I use the Mid-list plan and doubt I will ever need to move up to the Bestseller list.
The one feature that has enabled me to grow my list to over 1,000 readers in less than two months is the Promotion feature.
Shown below are the promotions I have joined. Some have finished. Others have yet to run and still others are recruiting additional authors. Each promo will have its own guidelines. Some will require you have an e-mail list with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.
Don't worry, there will be promotions that are happy to give authors just starting their list a break. I was fortunate to join several and now that I'm past the pesky 1,000 subscriber's mark it is easier for me to join more promotions.
Each promotion's creator will have their own requirements to join and participate. For example, you might have to post on social media, include the promotion to your existing e-mail list, etc. The promotions are genre specific so you need to make sure your book or story fits the genre.
There are lots of other features worth considering offered by BookFunnel and I plan to integrate them into my marketing as time allows me to learn how to use the various features.
This service is well worth the $10 a month I pay and has saved me untold time and frustration in building a functional list.
Check it out. You'll be glad you did!