Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do you have a mailing list?

I attended the Romance Slam Jam in Little Rock Arkansas last week, talking about a fun time. I will have to give a review later.

Today I want to talk to the writers.  I hosted a workshop at the Slam and during the workshop I asked the question, do you have a mailing list?

Many of the writers didn’t.  They said it was too time consuming.  I agree it is very time consuming if you’re doing it all yourself. 

As a writer your main goal is to reach new readers.  You also want to keep those readers in what I call your community.  Having a Facebook page and twitter account is great for networking, but you want those readers to join your community.

  1. Your community is your own.  FB and Twitter belong to someone else.  If they crash tomorrow, do you have anyway to contact those friends or followers?

  1. You want to know how many you have in your community.  This is a good selling point if you’re going the traditional publishing route.  You can tell them you have 5000 readers in your database vs none.

  1. If you’re doing any traveling you can use your community as starting point.  If you have a lot of readers in a certain section of the country.  You might want to visit them and you can contact them and let them know you’ll be in their town.

  1. You always have someone to tell about your latest book.  You don’t have to recreate the wheel every time you release a book.  You can start with your community and they can help spread the word.

  1. Your community are the people interested in you and your books.  You don’t have to worry about spamming those who aren’t.  This is an opt in group and they want to be on your list.

There are different ways to start your community.  I recommend having your own spreadsheet of readers and having an online database.

I use Constant Contact however there are many more that offer their services.  Do a google search and find the one that fits into your budget. 

Yes it is time consuming, but once you have it in place you can send new readers there to join and not have to worry about it.