Mailing Lists Unboxed

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Ebook

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Description

Mailing Lists Unboxed is book 2 in the The Three-Year, No-bestseller Plan For Making A Living From Your Fiction series by Patty Jansen

About Mailing Lists Unboxed

Self-published authors are coming to realise that a stable career is about a backlist of titles and keeping that backlist selling.

But how do you do this?

Invariably, advice given by other authors includes holding promotions and lowering the price of the first book in series, or even making it free. However, few people mention one of the most powerful ways to keep your backlist selling: the author mailing list.

This is where Mailing Lists Unboxed comes in. It shows you:

–The different types of author mailing lists

–How to recruit people to sign up

–What to do with your list once you have one

–Attitudes about mailing lists, including those that stand in your way

–Warnings and precautions

–And much more

This is not a book for beginners. If you know little about self-publishing, read Self-publishing Unboxed first.

Here is a sample:

I HEAR IT ON podcasts, on forums, everywhere I turn. Self-published writers ask the same old question: how can I keep my books selling?


Invariably, they are advised to run a few ads, to lower their price, to run Facebook ads, or to do a cross-promotion—all valid techniques.


But none, absolutely none of them mention the most powerful way to keep your backlist selling: your author mailing list.


Oh, many authors have a mailing list, and talk about gaining subscribers, but once people are on that list, the authors are not quite sure what to do with them.


Is it because authors are shy?


Because they’re afraid to bother people?


Because they’re afraid to sound like a salesperson?


Or they’re just afraid they’ll happen to annoy someone?


I don’t know, but many authors are sitting on this bunch of potential in the form of a few thousand email addresses—and they’re doing next to nothing with it.
They complain that their books aren’t selling in between releases, and that they need to fight for sales, while doing nothing with the people who have already shown themselves to be interested in their books, or at least have shown themselves willing to receive emails from those authors.
I know, it’s nuts.


So in this book I’ll be doing something about that.


This is not a book for beginners without a list. If you want to know the principles of a mailing list and how to set one up, I have described the basic processes in Self-publishing Unboxed. In that book, a 101 guide to self-publishing, I described what you need in order to run an author mailing list, I’ve discussed websites, landing pages, companies to use and things to look out for. If you don’t have a list yet and want to know what you need, go and read that book first. That’s what it’s for.


In this book we go into much more detail about what you can actually do with your mailing list once you have all these things set up.
This particular book, and the entire concept of the Three-year, No-bestseller Plan For Making A Living From Your Fiction, was born from my belief that authors are not using their mailing lists to their full potential. A mailing list is not just a service of the author to their reader, it is also an extremely powerful marketing tool.


This book will show you basic principles of different types of mailing lists, how to use your list to engage your readers, how to set up your list to perform basic automated tasks that help you sell your books, and how to set it up so that you will never have to buy an ad on another listing service again.


Who am I to write this book? As I said in Self-publishing Unboxed, I used mailing lists back in the early 2000’s when I didn’t understand anything about mailing lists or know why they were working so well. Back then, there were no services to handle mass email (“mass” meaning more than 20 emails, LOL), and there were no services to deal with any of the things that we now consider standard, including spam blocking. There was a lot of spam, and it all went into your inbox, especially if you owned a domain.


Anyway, back in those days, I sold non-fiction print books. They were specialist books that were often rare and never cheap. I would sometimes buy libraries from estates of the deceased, make a list and email it out to the 150-odd people on my mailing list. Yes, the only way you could do this was by copying their addresses in the Bcc field!

And by doing this, I noticed the efficiency of marketing through lists. No ads to buy, no stuff to photocopy and staple, no folders to mail. It was a huge saving especially in terms of time. And it was much easier to reach people.


Fast forward to the present, and I’m writing fiction. I self-published my first book after selling some stories and books with traditional publishers. But unlike selling physical books—where you always get the buyer’s address, because otherwise how can you send the book?—with ebooks you have no idea who your buyers are. Amazon does. Apple does. Kobo does.

So when your book is delivered to the buyer, you can’t slip in a flyer for something else that you think might interest the buyer. This had been a major source of sales for me. I would colour code the paper of the flyers so I knew where it came from if someone mailed me an order (you remember mail and postage stamps?). You can’t do that with ebooks delivered by a third party.


I was not used to that, and didn’t like that situation at all, so when people started talking about mailing lists, I jumped on the bandwagon. Over the past few years, I have made a liveable income doing this.



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