The Most Effective Way to Grow Your Reader Email List

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With any book, especially a new release, the author/publisher/marketing team is striving to sell books to:

  1. Existing Readership
  2. New Readers

We’ll talk about finding new readers later, but in this post, let’s focus on selling new books to people who have already read your work. 

It’s become a (mostly) undisputed fact in the world of book publishing and marketing, that one of the best tools to do this is through your Reader Email List. (You may also hear this list called “Newsletter Subscribers,” but it’s essentially a list of people who have given you permission to email them about your books.)Sending Email

Although it would be so helpful if Amazon and Itunes allowed us to download a list of email address for people who’ve purchased our books, the process is a little harder than that. It’s up to each author to keep a list of reader email addresses, and the reader must take action to be added to that list. And really, unless the carrot is large, human beings tend to take the path of least effort. For some, that carrot is being the first to know when your next book releases. For others, that reward is too far into the future, and they want incentive NOW.

Enter: The Mailing List Sign-up Incentive. (Play regal trumpet tones now.)

From my own experience, it works. When I only post the giveaway on my website and the back matter in my books, offering the incentive brings in triple the mailing list sign-ups than the “be the first to know” reward.

So what makes a good email list incentive? YOUR WRITING

I’ve seen people offer Amazon gift cards, gift baskets, Kindle Fire, you name it. You’ll get a lot of sign-ups, but they won’t always be your target reader. I’ve also seen authors offer a monthly giveaway of a paperback in their same genre. This probably works, to a point, but there’s no better way to attract your target reader than by offering your own writing.

It can be a free ebook, a novella, a short story in between series books – you can be as creative as you want! The important thing is that the free incentive will be appealing to your target reader.

As you’re thinking about what will make a great giveaway, you may wonder how best to handle the logistics of giving away an ebook/novella/short story. Do you have to email a copy to each person on the list?

I’ve actually created a quick 20-minute course that shows step-by-step how to set-up the technology portion. It also shares a little more about what makes the most effective reader incentive. Just click the image below to receive the course:

Email list giveaway course


And now it’s your turn! Do you currently offer an incentive for your readers to join your email list? What have you found to be the most helpful? 



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