One tool many Independent authors often ignore but shouldn't is their author mailing list. With the vagaries of promotion on social media, email is the one tool that still hits a home run for readers, even if they claim they never read or use their email. (We've honestly heard this from some readers, but the facts tell a totally different story.) Growing your email list should be on your top priority as an author. Without a solid base of truly engaged fans, you can guarantee it will be hit or miss whether your book does well or not. We've learned of a fairly solid and proven way to get your books in the hands of readers who want more by increasing your email list.
Do You Have a Freebie?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of increasing your sales, the first thing we recommend is have at least one free eBook (preferably two). The reason is, it's easier to attract readers with something cool like a free sample than to try to get them to sign up for an email list. The free eBook can be anything: a short story, an article, or maybe a sample chapter. Whatever it is, it needs to be related to the book(s) you're trying to sell. That way, you can entice your readers to sign up for your email list. Two freebies are better because you can offer one free online and point them to your mailing list and the second free book in the back of the first free book.
Do Free eBooks Work?
Does handing out free eBooks attract readers? Yes, but it doesn't grow lists nearly as well as you might think. One mid-list author we know who has been published by New York houses, small press, and finally went Independent, had some success with it but not nearly the numbers she needed. On top of that, the delivery system she used, (a link to a cloud server) proved problematic when one of her readers somehow deleted the free book. Luckily another reader pointed this out and she got serious and went with Bookfunnel. Nearly 98 percent of her readership comes from Bookfunnel now.
Using Bookfunnel to Deliver Your Free EBooks and Collect Addresses
And now we take you to why you need free eBooks. Bookfunnel is an author marketing platform that delivers your freebie eBooks or points readers to purchase the books they want with no muss, no fuss. It's ridiculously easy to set up and will integrate with all the major mailing lists such as MailChimp and Constant Contact. They give you a link that you point to and it collects the address and delivers the eBook according to the reader's platform.
Use Bookfunnel to Find New Readers -- and New Mailing List Subscribers
One of the awesome tools Bookfunnel has, is its promotions area where you and other authors in your genre sign up to create a promotional email that features all the authors' books. All the authors who signed up then send out the promotional email to their respective lists. When a reader downloads your book, they sign up for your newsletter. Simple and easy, and there's no limit on how many promotional giveaways you can enter.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!