So, you want to grow an email list full of the avid readers of your book's genre? Well, knowing how powerful an email list can be is a great start!
As they say, knowledge is half the battle. I've compiled a list of the top 5 ways you can grow your email list without spending a dime on advertising.
1. Give readers an incentive to increase sign ups...
Have you heard of a "reader magnet" yet? A "reader magnet", "lead magnet", or "opt-in" is something you give in exchange for them subscribing to your mailing list.
For authors, some of the best "reader magnets" for most genres are simply excerpts of the book you would like to promote. When you give excerpts, rather than entire books, you don't violate the 10% KU rule and you can better monetize more of your work. Doing this also allows you to qualify your leads (people who stay on your list after reading your excerpt will do so because they actually enjoy your writing) and those leads are more likely to make a purchase and become a long-time fan.
Stay focused - make sure the excerpt you provide is the book you're focused on promoting for sale!
2. Your Website Home Page
Make sure that your newsletter sign up is present front and center on the home page or landing page of your website. Also critical, make sure that the text describing the newsletter sign up includes your freebie and what they can expect from it!
This gives visitors to your website an immediate, low-risk action to take and helps to fill your list faster!
3. Swap Features
Surely you've made friends with other authors by now, and if you haven't... then go out and do that! Bonus points if you make friends with authors in the same genre! Feature your author friends and their reader magnets in your newsletter (one person per edition) and ask them to return the favor by featuring you and your reader magnet in one of their newsletters.
Not only does this give you content, but it helps you to pay it forward while leveraging other people's audiences. As long as you're returning the favor, it serves as a symbiotic action and everyone wins - including our beloved readers!
4. Share With Friends
Be sure to share your reader magnet at least weekly on your personal social media profiles and ask your family and friends (in a super non-pushy way) to share it as well. Leverage the network you already have to build your email list!
A lot of people, for fear of being obnoxious, refuse to ever share their reader magnet with their personal network. Unless you're writing something that you don't want people to know you're writing (ie. erotica), there's no reason not to share it with your personal network. In fact, most people would love to support you but they can't do that unless they know about what you have to offer.
5. Use Social Media!
Yes, I know you're skeptical. Does social media even work? The short answer is yes, it really does. But you need to know HOW to use it in order to leverage these incredibly powerful platforms. This is where your readers are hanging out, it's where they spend most of their time. Go where they are and start reaching out to them and building those connections that will encourage them to follow you and then convert them from followers to book-buying fans!
Create a great graphic in Canva where you give the 1-3 sentence premise or hook of your story, explain in the caption that [genre] readers can read an excerpt for free to "try before you buy" and post it ONCE per WEEK! Put it out there! People can't sign up to read an excerpt if they don't know about it, so use your official author social media channels to start spreading the word.
Once you've posted your reader magnet to social media, make sure you ask your friends and fellow authors to share it on their social media. Try picking a day for everyone to swap. In the Author Transformation Alliance we call it Tuesday Trade.
With social media, it's critical that you simply be consistent and be professional.
Want help? Get the free author's social media content calendar HERE.
Remember, give 90-days of consistent action before you can truly determine the efficacy of any tactic. I can't wait to read your questions or hear about your results after implementing these methods!