How to Build an Email List for your Author Website


Ready to build an email list? Whether you are a new author or ten books into your career, you need to start a list. Pronto.

Let’s get the questions out of the way first…

Why do I need an email list?

Building an email list is the best way to connect with your readers. Even better than social media. Because the social media landscape is constantly changing, and you are at the mercy of algorithms, you may be investing a ton of time and effort into a platform that may strip you off your visibility.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic, but true all the same. Creating your own email list allows you to connect with your readers directly. With the right email service provider, you will also be able to monitor your list and make sure that you are sending content to people who are engaged and want to hear from you.

What do I send to my email list?

Engaging with your email list in the right way is key. For fiction writers, this can get a bit tricky. The good news is that you can ask your list directly! You can set up an automated email for when someone subscribes and ask them how often they would like to hear from you and what they would like to read. I believe that newsletters are still relevant and is a great way to check in with your readers on a set day and time. You can also explore the idea of sending book excerpts, behind-the-scenes information and video content.

For example on how to get personal with your readers, read this post I wrote when I finished my first book.

How do I get email list subscribers?

Remember this, my friend. Always offer value. If someone is giving you access to their inbox, you need to make darn sure that you are offering them something in exchange. Currently, I offer my readers a free book in exchange for an email. You could also offer a list of your favorite books of the year, a sneak peak of your next book, or a different content upgrade. A content upgrade is a free offer that you can place at the bottom of a blog post that pertains to the post content. For instance, on my post about how to write a novel with a full-time job, I offer a free email series that explains how I wrote a novel with my full-time job.

Which email marketing platform should I use?

Okay, great! I have convinced you that you need an email list. (Maybe? Hopefully!) Here’s the deal: choosing the right email marketing platform is crucial. I have personally used three. I will not point fingers, but the first two just did not suit my needs. Both were great platforms, but did not fit for me.

The first platform was inexpensive and easy to set up. It was actually a great beginner platform for me and gave me the freedom to test out different strategies. As my list grew, I needed more functionality. For instance, my website has two very big distinctions: I have book readers and I have aspiring writers. Those two segments sometimes overlap, but not always.

The second platform I used had all the bells and whistles I could want, but it was too expensive for me. I was not using my list nearly enough, so I was essentially shoveling out money for no reason.

My favorite email marketing platform




Why did I choose GetResponse? To keep it short and sweet, it was affordable and provided me with all of the functionality that I needed. With a 30 day free trial, I was able to explore all of its offerings. I built my first automation using the drag and drop feature. I could easily segment my list into readers and writers. I could keep track of who was opening emails and how I could improve that rate.

I was also really impressed by the customer service team. There is a 24/7 chat feature if you have an issue, and a whole list building program that dives in deep on how to grow your list. You can sign up here for GetResponse’s free list building program that helps grow your list in 90 days.

What makes GetResponse better than the other platforms?

  1. Pricing: After a 30 day free trial, you can get a plan with GetResponse for as little as $15 a month.

  2. Email Marketing AND Lead Generation: Previously, I had purchased one service that allowed for email opt-in. This was separate from my email provider and it was also very costly. Now, I can have it all in one place.

  3. Easy-to-build Automation Workflows. Creating an automated email workflow is tough, but necessary. This allows you to roll out the welcome mat for a new subscriber, without having to repeat yourself over and over. GetResponse makes this easy with its drag-and-drop creator. You can space out your emails with the “wait” function and you can “score” your contacts by how engaged they are.

  4. Templates. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can use GetResponse’s templates to build your forms and your emails. This made my life so much easier!

  5. Growth Options. GetResponse also includes features such as landing pages, webinars and customer management. As I grow and scale, I will be able to stay with GetResponse and utilize its full functions, without seeing a crazy price tag.

It’s time to start your email list!

As an author, your email list is a home base for your readers. You can let them know when you have a new release, keep them updated about your writing process, and build connections that could last throughout your writing career.

There are so many email marketing platforms out there. Save time shopping, and trust me. I have had such a great experience with GetResponse, and you can try it out for free for 30 days. If you have any questions about list building or the GetResponse tool, leave a comment below or send me an email.

Try GetResponse Now

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.