Mailing Lists

Hey hey, everyone. Sorry about the silence. These past few months have been all about supporting my self-published work (Sway’s Demise), support for the anthology launch (UnCommon Origins), wrapping up the final edits on the sequel to The Mill (I have the name, but I’m not going to tell you yet!), wrapping up edits for my YEAG 2017 submission, which is one of the coolest damn projects I think I’ve ever been part of, and feelin’ like a bawler for getting into another Con! If you’re in the state of Colorado, or will be traveling here for the biggest Sci-Fi literary gathering in the midwest, please stop by and say hello to me at MileHiCon on October 28-30th.
Alright, on to what we’re here for.

The Mailing List Dilemma

Why, dear lord, why? I avoided getting a mailing list for a long time. I didn’t want to spam and harass people. I didn’t want to piss people off. I didn’t want to waste electrons sending something to someone who will just delete it straight away. But, I’ve apparently misjudged them. According to many author sources, Mailing Lists are the watering holes through which readers actually interested in your content gather to ingest it. Did I just refer to the readers as some kind of sub-saharan herd of animals? Never mind that.

Why You, and I, Need a Mailing List

As stated above, the mailing list is for the readers who are truly interested. Since mailing lists are opt in, and they can opt out at any time, you’re not really burdening someone with another electronic sheaf of paper they’re not interested in seeing. They might not want to see it at that very second, or that week, but eventually it’ll be opened (even if it’s just to unsubscribe). Onto the reasons:

It’s an excellent content delivery tool
Have a short story you want beta read? Running a giveaway? Want to shower your readers with free words? Have a launch coming up? While Facebook and Twitter are easy to share (if your readers share), mailing lists are a much better way to get eyes on your content. With other social media, you can guarantee you’ll only ever reach 10% of your followers, unless by some miracle it has the right combination of words and images to start trending. Not only that, but on social media followers have to click out of that platform to get at whatever you want them to see. With your mailer, everything you want them to see (or a decent preview of it) are right there in their email.

It gives you a semi-accurate count of your devoted followers
You can see how many subscribers you have, how many are opening your emails, how many are following links out from your mailer, and get replies from people to your redirect address. You can then:

Segment user groups to target your most valuable readers
A smart woman who taught me (and encouraged me) how to set up a mailing list just recently shared a story that I think is very valuable. She had a book she wanted reviewed so she blasted the whole list of subscribers and only received 11 reviews out of some 4,000 subscribers. Then, she targeted only the readers who opened the last ten emails and interacted with them in some way, then let them know it was an exclusive opportunity. The results were staggeringly different. She received nearly 30 reviews!
Additionally, when you have a new work release, you can target the people who open but don’t often click with some special deal/promo code/offer. You can also reward your more dedicated clickers =P

Get beta readers
Sometimes editors miss things. Sometimes all of your editors miss a thing. You don’t have endless amounts of money, and while it may suck a bit to lose the $300 you would potentially gain from giving your book away to beta readers, the return is infinitely more valuable. 50 people reading your work are bound to find some more issues with the story, plot holes, general content complaints, etc. You can also get a good preview of whether or not you’ve hit your target audience this way, and learn to tailor your writing a bit more in the future (or pick a new target audience ^_^).

Ooo, we’re starting to run long! I’m going to cut it off here for now, and maybe to a part two…… We’ll see! Later, kiddies.

Published by The Astral Scribe

I'm a baller. Keyboard crawler. 20 inch display, on my ink scrawler. Holler. Getting flayed tonight, all my characters getting splayed tonight! In my spare time I love to cook, hike, play video games, and spend quality time with my people.

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