Online Book Marketing: Building Your List of Fans

by | Apr 27, 2011 | Marketing & Selling

The most successful authors have fans … these are people who love what the author writes and has to say. These people will buy all their books, come see them speak when they get the chance and will tell all their friends, family and colleagues about them.

Online Book Marketing: Building Your List of Fans
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For example, I’m a big fan of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, and Terry Pratchett. When I get the chance, I will go on and on about how wonderful their work is. I’m also a fan of a few of books that I’ve not only recommended but given as gifts. This is the type of behavior you want to encourage.

Yes, you can do this without ever creating an online email list. But then all your activities are dependent on others promoting for you. Don’t you want to keep some of that control for yourself? Don’t you want to stand in your power as an author and writer and know that you are keeping in touch with your fans?

You can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to nurture your fan base, but then you are again at the mercy of those two companies. You don’t “own” your list. If Facebook or Twitter goes away, you lose contact with your fans.

To take control of your fan communication, you need to build an online list using a reputable email marketing provider. MailChimp is a good place to get started, because they are inexpensive. If you think you’ll want to have multiple lists, I recommend that you use Aweber, like I do. Aweber lets you brand each list differently, if you so choose.

But you can’t just create a list, slap an opt-in form on your website and think that will do the trick. No … you need to offer your fans something in return for them letting you into their email inbox. Depending on your fans, this could be something as simple as exclusive information about events you attend and they can get autographs (Stephen King could probably get away with this), to something as complex as an e-course, report or audio download.

You need to make your opt-in bonus something your readers will find of value. This can be something related to your book and/or your expertise. It can be in PDF, MP3 or video format. I’ve written about this topic before, so I won’t go into it here. Instead, I’ll leave you with some links to articles I’ve written on this topic. You might also want to pick up a copy of my book, Home Sweet Home Page, which also goes into this very important aspect of your business.

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