Self-publishing: Increasing Sales With an E-mail List

With platforms like Lulu, CreateSpace, and Smashwords, one can publish his/her book independently. This way, you won’t have to go through all the bureaucracy that publishing houses would most definitely subject you to.

What’s more, if you choose to publish your book on such a platform, you won’t have to pay a dime and you can get as much as 80% of the sales.

Self-publishing, in spite of those who badmouth it (particularly to the end of making you change your mind), can return some outstanding revenue if you do it properly.

If you’ve already published a couple of books independently, you’ve already gotten a sense of how to attract new customers. That, however, might or might not have boosted your sales.

In this case, you should consider using one of the most powerful tools that can guarantee a higher conversion rate and subsequently, a bigger profit: the e-mail list.

Why Would I Need an E-mail List?

Being active on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is helpful; no one in their right mind can deny that. The thing is that these are more efficient at introducing you to people rather than making them buy your book.

In the following, we’ll give you a few reasons why you need to create an e-mail list like right now.

  • It Allows You to Target Your Audience

Let’s assume that you’re a writer of horror literature. In this case, it really doesn’t help that you have 10k followers on Twitter if only 50% of them have a penchant for scary stuff.

With an e-mail list, on the other hand, you can target only the people that are into the type of literature you’re writing. That’s your target audience, which will become your base of faithful customers.

All it takes for you to do that is send an e-mail when you publish a new book. It can be as simple as “My book is now available for purchase on….”

  • Free Advertising

The price you’d have to pay for advertising these days is extremely high. The worst thing is that if an advertising campaign fails to convert readers into customers, you won’t be reimbursed.

Using an e-mail list is a cost-free way of doing advertising on your own terms. You can offer a small synopsis of your book, a background on yourself, etc. You can basically push your agenda as far as you want without paying a dollar.

You can send excerpts from your book, ask for reviews, give off free books once in a while – the sky’s the limit. Exposure is great and crucial when you’re a writer, but it doesn’t guarantee that your sales will go upwards once you’re more known to the masses.

This is where advertising comes into play. Do it the right way and your sales might explode overnight. Instead of paying some godforsaken advertising agency to start a poor advertising campaign and impose whatever rules the agents want on it, use your e-mail list and shoot for the stars.

  • A Higher Click-Through Rate

In the modern age we live in, it’s all about clicks, really. It’s true that the invention of e-mail led to the invention of spam. However, people are keener on clicking on e-mails (especially if they’re from reliable sources), than they are on clicking on a tweet, for example.

If people know you and are positive that you won’t bombard them with spam, you can rest assured that the click-through rate of your e-mails will be higher than that of your Facebook posts and tweets.

As of late, e-mail conversion can be more efficient than Facebook and Twitter conversion combined. If you don’t believe us, you can look at stats on the Internet.

  • It Facilitates Communication

These days, writers take the importance of communicating with their audiences for granted. Perhaps they think that a certain degree of closeness with their readers would chip their status or who knows what’s going on in their minds.

If you can identify with such writers, you need to “change your ways”, as they say. A writer that’s close to his/her readers and doesn’t shy away from engaging in conversations with them boosts his sells automatically.

E-mails are great when it comes to establishing a connection with one’s readers. Obviously, you don’t have to waste hours on end answering e-mails. You can use an auto-response tool.

This will allow you to write e-mails, store them and send them away on preset dates. Readers are more likely to stick around if you know how to engage them, so treat yours with respect and due diligence.

  • Free Surveys

Surveys are fundamentally research tools. By sending a list of questions to your readers via e-mail, you can get crucial info that might have a positive impact on your future sells. For example, you can ask your readers what they’d like your next book to be about.

Surely, this doesn’t mean that you have to start to write what other people want. That would be self-sabotage, clearly. However, inserting some topics that would make their heads spin isn’t frowned upon.

You can also find out what readers liked and what they didn’t like about your last book. Some readers can offer really valuable advice. You might be surprised at how much inspiration you can garnish from your readers’ opinions.

Concluding Remarks

Creating an e-mail list is indispensable when you’re a self-published author. Managing it is no easy task, considering that you must do everything a publishing house would do. However, you’ve got full control over everything.

You can do things just the way you like it. You won’t have to deal with gullible publishers and advertising agents and you’ll be able to make a bigger profit. When you publish via a classic publishing house, it’s less likely that you’ll get more than 20% of the sales.

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