And why, if you are a writer, you should too.
I am working hard on building up a strong email list. By working hard, I am re-writing my appeal, creating a more central space on my website for that appeal and most importantly, I am giving away copies of my next book for free.
Why am I trying to build my list. Here are three simple reasons.
1. An email list is yours.
Email lists are platform independent. Many indie writers are too dependent on social media or a web platform (like a blogging site or retail site.) What happens if those sites change or disappear? It’s happened before and likely it will happen again.
Jeff Bezzo has said so. In an interview about Amazon.com’s disruption of traditional publishing he admitted that it was not only likely that some new site would someday disrupt and replace Amazon, it was inevitable.
These disruptions can be painful for both writers and readers. When Facebook changed the algorithm it uses to show posts, many bloggers and authors saw their page views plummet. But we aren’t the only ones who suffer. Fans who want to see our posts now don’t.
If you leave Facebook for whatever reason, there is almost no way to take your fan base with you. A tiny change in Google’s search engine could downgrade a popular website to obscurity. Amazon could change its royalty payouts (as critics keep fearing) and make it no longer profitable for Indies.
An email list is insurance against such disruptions. It’s the one thing you can download and walk away with. You can change social media focus, website and even retailer without losing those fans.
2. An email list takes a long time to build
Statistics show that authors with large email list make more money. I am more than a little suspicious of that statistic because it takes a long time to build a good email list, so those authors have likely been around longer and written more.
As I stick around longer and write more, that excuse is wearing thin. The fact that email lists take a long time to build is the best reason to get started now. Even if all you have is a half dozen emails and a short story on Wattpad to direct them to, start now. Your future self will thank you. When your books start coming out you will be ahead of the curve for once, not running to catch up.
3. Everyone’s doing it.
I don’t normally approve of peer pressure or doing what everyone else is doing, but I am making an exception here. One of my goals for 2014 was to learn book marketing. I’ve read dozens of books by successful Indie authors. They all agree on one point, email marketing is the most important first step.
So there you have it, three simple reasons why writers should have an email list. If you need more reasons, you will have to think of them yourself. I’ve got writing to do.
For readers, you can sign up for my newsletter and get a free copy of an epic fantasy.