Too many authors assume they have no chance of getting attention from media outlets. Speaking as a 30+ year media professional, I can tell you from experience that an author with the right mindset can pitch to the media and be taken seriously. In this post, I outline nine reasons that ANY author can get media attention!Read More
With all the shiny, new platforms popping up, it’s easy to take email for granted. But even in 2019, experts agree that building an email list is important for your author business.
An email database gives you opportunities to engage more personally with your readers, drive new book sales, and insure your author platform against inevitable changes in search engines and social networks.
If you want to grab hold of what’s working NOW, register for this brand-new workshop coming January 8!
LIVE WORKSHOP: What Every Creator Needs to Know About Email Marketing in 2019!
WHO: Isa Adney and Matt Ragland at ConvertKit
WHAT: You’ll leave this webinar with email marketing expert status and a personalized plan to rock your email strategy (and your sales!) in 2019. There will also be lots of free stuff on the live webinar to help you turn all that motivation into action!
WHEN: The live workshop will be Tuesday, January 8th at 11AM Pacific | 2:00PM Eastern.
Don’t have a list yet? Below are 5 reasons you should start today...
#1 YOU OWN THE LIST
On social networks, you’re playing ball in someone else’s yard. No matter how many followers you gather, that’s not your audience—you’re just borrowing them for as long as that platform gives you permission to talk to them.
At any time, they can change the rules—and there’s nothing you can do about it. On the other hand, when you collect email addresses you have way more control. If they’re subscribed to your list, you can contact them directly. And you don’t need anyone’s permission.
#2 AMAZON WON’T TELL YOU WHO’S BUYING YOUR BOOKS.
I’ve seen so many authors squander that first impression by pointing people to a retail link. That may be their only point of contact with this person ever—and they wasted it asking for the short-term sale.
“But wait, Chris,” you say, “don’t I want people to buy my book?”
Does Amazon tell you who all bought your book or downloaded your eBook? (Spoiler: No, they don’t.)
Even if an author gets thousands of downloads, that author has no way to follow up with any of those readers.
If you don’t know who they are, they’re a faceless mass you’ll never be able to speak to again.
#3 FACEBOOK WON’T LET YOU TALK TO YOUR OWN FOLLOWERS.
At best, those posts are only reaching like 2-percent of your followers. What’s the good of having 10,000 followers if you can’t reach them when you need to?
Even worse, whatever you invest in social platforms is like building a house on someone else’s property. If the owner raises the rent or even kicks you out—you don’t have any recourse. It’s their property.
Social platforms are a fun way to complement your reader engagement. But when that’s the focus of your promotion, you’re heading for some major disappointments.
#4 EMAIL DELIVERS BETTER RESULTS.
Research shows us that pound for pound, your emails get a higher percentage of eyeballs on your message, and a higher number of responses. Better than any Facebook post, any Tweet, or any Instagram Story. Most people are not going to make daily checks of your blog or your accounts on Facebook and Instagram. But they will check their email. According to McKinsey and Company, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter.
#5 IT’S THE LAW.
When we talk about your “email list,” we aren’t talking about your Gmail address book. While you can send individual emails through your personal email account, you need an email service provider like Mailchimp or ConvertKit any time you plan to send a mass email or promotional message. Several countries have passed laws about this. In the U.S., the CAN-SPAM legislation passed by Federal Trade Commission defines strict rules for sending commercial emails. If you’re caught breaking these rules, you can be fined up to $16,000 per email!
WANT TO ROCK YOUR EMAIL LIST IN THE NEW YEAR?
Join ConvertKit’s Isa Adney and Matt Ragland for a brand-new workshop where they reveal what’s working right now for creators. Register here!
PS - Here's the thing: The ConverKit links are affiliate links. What does that mean? If you click through my affiliate links and decide that you love ConvertKit as much as I do, I'll get credit if you sign up. It doesn't change the price for you, so everybody wins. :)
NEW FEATURES ON PLATFORM, MORE TO COME
Ten-year-old eBook platform Smashwords can now boast more than 500,000 total released titles, from more than 100,000 authors and publishers.
When I founded Smashwords ten years ago, the mission was simple: I wanted to democratize publishing. I wanted to make it fast, free and easy for writers to self-publish ebooks like a pro.
-Mark Coker, Smashwords founder
In the same announcement, Smashwords founder Mark Coker also revealed that the service has redesigned its website, deprioritizing its habit of featuring every single new title on its homepage. Other updates to the site include an algorithm update to their "Highest Rated" lists (to prevent some authors from gaming the system), and enhanced controls for readers searching for adult content.
In the lengthy post, Coker also revealed:
Over 90% of our authors’ sales have always come from our distribution to our awesome retail partners such as Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Scribd, as well as to the library outlets we supply.
Another interesting item revealed in the announcement: The Smashwords eBook store earns the majority of their sales through third-party retailers. Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd and library outlets contribute to more than 90% of Smashwords author sales.
Looking ahead, Coker says that Smashwords has a “long list” of improvements still in the works for the store. In the months ahead, they plan to continue to add new shelves and other enhancements based on reader and author feedback.
”Although we're excited about the improvements,” Coker said, “we've only scratched the surface of what's possible.”