Wednesday again! And it’s back-to-school week! Authors never stop going to school. Writing and marketing is a learning game that never ends. But then, many things are like that. For example, if I were Elon Musk, I would know a massive amount of wonderful stuff, but it would not stop me from badly needing to learn some of life’s most basic lessons! Being human means we’re here to learn.
Today is the day of the week I spend working on my next newsletter to my subscribers. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but each author handles the content of their newsletters in a different way.
One author I know, who writes prolifically in a variety of genres, sends out a big newsletter. It includes a number of headings which require that she cover a lot of ground in her personal life as well as her writing life in every newsletter.
So her newsletters take a while to read, which I guess her subscribers enjoy, as she has a huge subscriber List.
Another author I know who writes steamy romance makes her newsletter simply an announcement about her new release. She writes every day, six days a week, and every month has a new book out. A big beautiful photo of the cover and half a page of blurb, maybe a couple of paragraphs about books she has in progress, and that’s her newsletter. She’s been building her business now for about ten years, and even with this simple newsletter, she has a list of many thousands.
Why a List? Well, there are millions and millions of readers out there, and we all like something different. Many readers like a cross-section of books, buying, say, spy mysteries, detective mysteries, suspense romance, and so on.
It’s kind of like the Midterm Elections. Writers need your vote. If they don’t make their work known and push it on every available platform, they don’t get that juicy reward everyone in life wants.
Every author needs a List. How do they get those Lists?
Giveaways are great for that. Give a book away for a week, and you know you will add a few hundred new fans to your List.
There are many ways to build a List. Book signings, Meet-the-Author days, selling books at local markets, using giveaway websites like Bookfunnel, posting regularly to social media and following other people and other authors.
Your favorite author has a busy life. A large amount of time weekly is given to building their business, marketing and so on, even if they use a traditional publisher. No one markets the author’s books except the author, no matter if they are Indie authors (using kdp self publishing or other type of self publishing) or under contract to a publisher. In the end, publishers save the writer a lot of money and work, because they pay for the cover photo, the editor’s salaries, any costs at all. The writer just writes and submits and does considerable editing themselves. But the big one is marketing, and no one helps with that.
If a writer has a list of 250,000 dedicated readers who love their work, they know when they write a story, it will be read and loved by many. All they have to do is pay a properly trained Author Assistant (an expensive employee) to do the hundred and one routine marketing jobs while they themselves write and write and write….like James Patterson for example. Or John Grisham. Or Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele. Those people really do just write for a living.
The rest of us, we write and market and market and write and market and market.
And dream of the day we, too, can hire our own Author Assistant!