Let’s talk about mailing list offers. You know, the little extra free item you offer in exchange for somebody subscribing to your mailing list. I recommended that you set up an offer for your mailing list in an article about how you could grow your author platform, and many of you took that advice to heart and went for it.
Since then, though, many of you have written to me to say that the whole mailing list offer thing just isn’t working out. You have it all set up but you’re not seeing any change in your mailing list’s growth. What gives? Was my advice wrong?
Well, first of all, let me assure you that I stand behind my advice 100%. You most definitely should have a mailing list offer and I still say it’s one of the best ways to build an author mailing list. But there might be some things you need to fix before this strategy will really work for you. And that’s what we’re going to look at today with four reasons why your mailing list offer isn’t working.
When you’re working on your book, it’s always nice if you can start with a built-in audience. And it’s always good to get feedback on your book before you launch it. That’s where pre-readers come in.
Pre-readers are a small audience that you give early access to your book. It’s a key step in the launching your book, and you’ll want to make sure you plan to have some pre-readers help out in a couple places in your publishing plan. Let’s take a look at the two ways a pre-reader group can help you and how to make the most of your wonderful early readers. Continue reading How to Make the Most of Your Pre-Readers→
It’s always an amazing feeling when you finish your latest book. You’re finally ready to release it, make your fans happy, and hopefully get some cash. You’re all set to hit that big red Launch button. But wait! Today, I want to tell you why you shouldn’t launch your book.
You may remember a little while ago I did a series on the online things an author needs to succeed. We examined websites, blogs, mailing lists, and social media in a quest to create a list of which things you really need to promote your book and which ones are optional. Today, I’d like to zoom in on one social network in particular: Goodreads. Continue reading Does an Author Really Need Goodreads?→
You’ve gotten your author platform started. You have a great website, you’ve started a mailing list, and you’ve even come up with something to offer in exchange for signing up for that mailing list that your target audience can’t resist. That’s all you need, right?
But still you’re discovering that maybe it’s not quite true that if you build it, they will come. You’re at the point where it seems like your platform’s growth has come to a standstill.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on hiatus for the past month or so. That’s because my wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby daughter into the world in March, and I needed a little bit of time to adjust to a new schedule. Today, though, I’m jumping back in and answering a bunch of reader questions you guys sent in during my time off.
We all know that a big stack of positive reviews makes for great proof that your book is good. But it seems like most of us self-published authors tend to have a hard time actually finding people to review our books. We all wish we had more reviews, but maybe you don’t know where to look for them. Maybe you don’t know that there are more places than just Amazon where reviews matter. Or maybe you’re not sure how you can show off the reviews once you have them. So let’s look at how you can get a bevy of reviews and use them to prove your book is good. Continue reading Prove Your Book Is Good: Getting and Using Reviews→
Let’s say you and I get onto an elevator together and I ask what your book is about. You could do one of two things.
You could start from the beginning and try to pitch me your entire 300-page novel in the brief elevator ride. If you take this approach, you’ll probably be eyeing the emergency stop button as the elevator gets closer and closer to my floor while you haven’t even gotten to the story’s hook yet. But, alas, you’re too late. We arrive at my floor and I get off rolling my eyes and wondering why I asked.
Or, instead of trying to pitch your entire book in such a short time, you could give me one sentence that summarizes your story’s hook and key elements. In the time that it takes to ride an elevator, you’ve hopefully tickled my fancy enough for me to give you my e-mail address and say, “I’ve gotta run now, but tell me more about this!”
That one-sentence pitch you gave me is called a logline. It’s a tool that originated in Hollywood and is used by screenwriters to pitch their screenplays to movie producers. Basically, it’s a one-sentence summary of a story.
Recently, I showed you how to set up an author platform strategy that has the potential to really take off and grow. But, of course, there’s always a period of time once it’s set up while you wait for things to kick into high gear. And waiting isn’t fun. While you wait, you start to second guess if this strategy is actually working, and you kind of start to squirm in your chair as weeks pass without any real indicator that your strategy is a good one.
It’s surprising to me how many authors have been convinced that one of the best ways they can build a platform is simply starting a blog. Nobody tells them what to blog about; just blog about something on a regular (usually weekly) basisand if you build it, they will come.
What doesn’t surprise me at all is how many authors I know who have started the whole weekly blogging thing, then petered off as they realize that they will quickly run out of things to talk about if they write solely about themselves, and that most of their normal readers don’t care about another blog full of writing tips.
And so, my question to you authors is this: Are you happy blogging?