See How Easily You Can Grow Your Author Mailing List

See How Easily You Can Grow Your Author Mailing List

An author mailing list is easily one of the most important marketing tools. The larger your mailing list, the more people you’ll be able to reach with all your important news: book releases, book signings, contests, giveaways, awards—and on and on.

The trick to maintaining an effective email list is first convincing readers they should sign up for your list. Under the FTC’s CAN-SPAM law, it’s illegal to email people without their continued permission, and you’re not likely to gain anyone’s permission, if you’re sending them emails they didn’t sign up for.

5 Goodies to Give Subscribers to Your Author Mailing List

The easiest way to convince people to join your mailing list is an age-old method: bribery.

You have to give readers an incentive to sign up. They’re giving you their email addresses; what are you giving them? Almost all incentives take the form of digital media, which can be sent instantly and cheaply to thousands of addresses. Ideas include:

1. E-book.

2. Weekly/monthly e-letter.

3. Tip of the week.

4. Sale/special bargain updates.

5. Contest entry (offer a significant prize to one entrant).

The possibilities are endless and easily tailored to your target audience.

When I offered a free e-book, Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Guide to Bringing Your Characters to Life, to my blog readers, my mailing list doubled within a week.

Whatever you decide, plan to put some time and effort into creating a worthy product. Thousands of people will be viewing your freebieand judging the quality of your work based on it. Don’t short-change them.

3 Places to Host Your Author Mailing List

Once you’ve prepared your freebie, decide on an email marking client and a delivery system.

Most professional email marketing services offer sign-up widgets for display on your site (like the one at the bottom of this post) and instant email confirmation to subscribers, which you can customize to include the link to your e-book or any other URL.

You can also find customizable features (including email templates, bulk mailing control, and analytics reports) to ensure your future mailings as easy and professional as possible.

Some of the more popular email marketing clients include:

Be sure to ask for yearly rates. Sometimes you can get a sizable discount on the monthly plan.

Free incentives are a fun way for both you and your readers to benefit. Your readers get to enjoy the free goodies you’re offering, and you get to take advantage of the endless marketing opportunities provided by an ever-growing author mailing list.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! Have you started an author mailing list yet? Tell me in the comments.

See How Easily You Can Grow Your Author Mailing List

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Sign up to receive K.M. Weiland’s e-letter and receive her free e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life.

About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I have an email list but I don’t really know what I’m doing with it at the moment. My third novel released back in May and I’m moving into writing my next novel so sharing content about a as yet to be finished project seems kinda silly to me.

    Still, I’m sure there is more that I can be doing.

    This is good for thought.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’ve found that readers enjoy being a part of the process with in-progress works. They like getting a glimpse into the author’s life and following the book’s journey to publication. Your excitement about the project gets them excited!

  2. Katie, why did you permit your name to be misspelled on the Crafting Unforgettable Characters book cover?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Good eye! That was a first draft of the cover. I didn’t realize it was still in the site’s image database. I just grabbed it from the archives for this post. Fixing…

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