By Joel Friedlander
As authors have flocked to the internet and social media to meet readers, get market insight, create communities of interest and, perhaps, build a robust web asset of their own, many have run into a problem. How will all this activity translate into the income necessary to continue to do all the marketing and branding?
After all, most of us aren’t involved in social media, blogging, or other online activities just to change the world, to tell as many people as possible our stories, or to improve people’s lives. These are all noble aims, and many of us hope to accomplish some of them, but there’s that one inconvenient truth: we all need to make a living somehow.
There’s a “missing link” in the fan-finding, Facebook-liking, and blog-posting process that so many authors are filling up their time with, and that’s building an email list.
A Sad Truth about Author Websites
Sadly, if you surf the web looking at author websites, you’ll find that many of them lack this essential function: they have no sign-up place for people to add their names to an email list. Many of these blogs offer an opportunity to sign up for the blog articles, but all that will do in most cases is add you to a subscriber list that will be sent each blog post as it’s published. That’s not the same thing as your own email list, although there are some email providers who can combine the two functions.
On other sites you’ll see an “opt-in” box where you can enter your email address and perhaps your first and/or last name, too. In exchange, you’ll be promised a free download, or a free newsletter, or perhaps a free short course in a subject that’s related to what the author is writing about on the blog. This opt-in box is the sign that the blogger is actively building an email list.
You might be wondering why this is so important. And it is important. In fact, I consider it the most important website element for any author who intends to make their writing and publishing into a sustainable business.
The Purpose of Social Media
You might think you don’t need an email list, and I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea for every single author. For instance, if you want to become a novelist but haven’t published anything yet, it might be challenging to build a list particularly if you’re not sure yet what kind of books you want to write.
But for the vast majority of authors, an email list is the perfect complement to your other marketing activities, regardless of the publishing path you’ve chosen. Since most of those activities are likely taking place in social media, perhaps we should look at what all those connections are really good for.
Social media is good for:
finding communities of readers
engaging with readers and other writers
determining how much interest exists for your topic
building a community of fans who will support your work
keeping up with current developments in your field
building “buzz” when you’re launching your book
But notice that selling books or other related products and services are not really the best uses of social media. No, it’s really more about being “social,” whatever that means to you.
To me, that means meeting people who share my interests, finding out about new products and services, hearing about mass media events, and keeping track of breaking news.
The Importance of the Network
Once people find out about your content, you have the opportunity to… Continue reading here: https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-2231?ref=1466658&utm_id=6182&cp=70170000000c3cP&ls=Email&sls=CSP_Newsletter_Members