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Email Lists: Am I Doing It Wrong?


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I've heard every author and their mom swear by having an email list. Everywhere I go, the advice is always to build your email list as your first step. The problem is, I've built an email list two times, the first time up to 1500 subscribers, and now I'm up to 500 again, and it has done absolutely no good. I've tried tweaking it over and over again, I've tried changing the onboarding sequence and following successful authors' advice for how to convert subscribers to readers, and nothing changes. They only ever click on free stuff. Literally 0 subscribers left a review when I gave away ARC copies, 0 of them reply to my emails, and 0 of them ever click on anything that isn't free.

 

The ONLY success I've found self publishing is giving away my 1st book away permanently free on amazon, and selling the other books in the series for .99 cents. Before that, I'd be lucky if I sold 1 book a month. Now I'm giving away 20-50 copies a day, and selling anywhere from 3-10 books a day for the rest of the series. I'm making about 30-50/mo by giving my book away for free. The only problem is I don't know where to go from here. I thought that maybe giving the book away for free would help recruit some more engaged subscribers since I put the reader magnet in the free book, and that way I could launch my next book to them more successfully, but I've gotten 0 subscribers from that as well. I have received a few more reviews though, which is nice, but I was hoping for subscribers because I thought that they would be more engaged and more interested subscribers than the cold ones I get from bookfunnel.

 

I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Given that I've given away thousands upon thousands of copies of my free book, and received 0 subscribers for the reader magnet from it, I've begun to think that readers are tired of email marketing, and it's not really working anymore. Either that, or it's a genre thing, and maybe my genre is a bad genre to build emails for. OR, I'm just really missing something.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

 

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@dprowell, this journey sounds so daunting! Sadly, I have not made any email lists. No one reads my stuff yet except my sister, my online Word Weavers critique group, and a few select friends. 😃 

 

I am sorry you are navigating this self-publishing world without someone in your corner to help.

 

Have you thought of getting an agent? Although, the two people I know who did get an agent and go with traditional publishing ended up dropping their agents later. I am sure that is a hard road to travel down as well.

 

I will pray God opens doors and brings the right people into your life to help you see that your stories are presented and marketed well.

 

 

Blessings,

 

E.T.

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Thanks, E.T.! I honestly have considered getting an agent for my next books. It seems that I’m just ill equipped to navigate the marketing side of publishing.

 

At the very least, I should probably hire a consultant.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dprowell, I am actually behind you in terms of trying to market my work, but I am very nearly ready to do so. I have been doing a LOT of research on what works and what doesn't, and I found a few sources that you might find interesting.

 

The first, Nick Stephenson is the guy who literally invented the term "Reader Magnets". He is a published author who went from writing to training writers on marketing which he says he enjoys more. He has an excellent video explaining the top 5 things you need to do to get a useful email list. At the end, he of course (soft) peddles his Author website software, but that doesn't detract at all from the clarity and obvious value of his presentation. He is British, and so a bit of a slow talker, and the video clocks in at 1:16, but it is well worth a listen. It is here:

Email Lists - Nick Stephenson

 

In addition, I found Chris Fox, another successful author who discusses strategy for finding the right readers. His blog is here:

Chris Fox - Finding your Readers

 

Good luck!

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@RADerdeyn I don't know why I didn't get a notification that you responded to thinks, but thanks so much for these resources!!

I've heard of Chris Fox and I've been watching his videos and applying his advice since the start of my author journey, and it's been helpful! However I haven't heard of Nick Stephenson, so I'm going to give him a listen!
 

The frustrating thing for me is that I don't really know what I'm doing wrong. I think I'm applying everything I'm being told, but clearly there's something that I'm missing. If I had some money to blow, I'd hire someone like Chris Fox for an hour of his time or something to sit down with me (even virtually) and give me advice specific to my situation.

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