The Magical Mailing List

4641693023_942b8b2232_nIf I hear one more author tell me how VITALLY IMPORTANT a mailing list is, I think I’ll scream.  Swear words.  The bad ones.  The more observant among you will notice a new pop-up box asking you to join MY mailing list – don’t run away!!  This is merely my feeble attempt to jump on the wagon I should have flagged down four years ago, when this whole crazy thing started.  But do feel free to close it and completely ignore my cutesy request to give me your email address.  I know I would.  So how are other authors doing it?  Building up mailing lists with thousands of addresses (allegedly)?  Some say that they give away a free book to entice people.  Eh… so do I, it’s on Amazon, where anyone can download it.  No strings attached.  (Betwixt – a free short story that I wrote for readers who have supported me and future ones who’d like a taster of my style).  Besides, when people send me automated DM’s on Twitter (if you do that, please cease and desist immediately!) with links to free books, I NEVER click on them, much less download them.  So how do you let people know you have a mailing list without being annoying?

We would all love to have a database of names you could contact directly when you have a new book out.  It makes sense.  People like  your book, they want to know when you’re next one is out, or if it’s on sale, so they sign up to a mailing list.  Because we’re busy, people forget and you can’t catch everything on social media.  But you will check your email.  So it works for both the author and the reader.  However, I can’t help thinking that people don’t subscribe to these lists (myself included) because they don’t want to be bombarded with a whole load more crap they have to read in their inbox.  I have enough to be doing to keep up with reading articles, writing articles, supporting author/blogger friends and, you know, writing my book, without having to either read or delete unwanted newsletters.

How then, do you get people to subscribe?  If you’re not going to bribe them or promise them the secret to eternal youth?  It’s enough work getting people to follow your blog, your twitter, your train of thought!  Build it and they will come, right?!  I created a mailing list with Mail Chimp a few years ago, when I (yet again) read how important it was for authors to have one.  I put a link on the site and waited for the subscribers to come.  I’m still waiting.  And I’m still reading (mostly Indie) authors pontificate about the importance of the list to your marketing plan.

You see, apparently I was supposed to put a link at the end of all my books.  Of course, it makes total sense now.  The reader has just finished (and hopefully enjoyed) your book – they want to know more, get hooked up, stay in the loop.  This is the moment to hit them with the mailing list, while they’re still in their post-book euphoria!  So I guess I’ll just have to resubmit my documents to Kindle with the all-important sign up links.  Joy of joys.  Love upsetting the careful balance of an already formatted and published book.

However, because I can’t keep ignoring the value of  having a mailing list when you’re a writer building a relationship with your readers, here it is.  I am officially inviting you to join my mailing list, purely for the purposes of letting you know when I have a new book out.  I won’t be telling you every time I have a new blog post, or sending recipes for granola (I have a really good one by the way, but I’ll keep that to myself….. and my Instagram).  If you’re interested in all those bells and whistles, you (like me) can waste endless hours following my social media accounts.  But if you just want a heads up on my books, that’s what this list is for.

But let’s face it, every request needs a little sweetener doesn’t it?  I was going to run a giveaway for my paperbacks, but that’s just a bit predictable.  So, in the interest of trying to be original, I’m going to give away a signed print of my original artwork to some lucky reader once I’ve reached 50 subscribers.  Below is the original painting, but I will be posting the winner a giclée print on archival paper, double mounted on mounting board.  That’s assuming that you like my artwork!  If not, I’ll just send you a book  🙂  So, let’s see how it goes and if you haven’t already done it, you can sign up to my amazing but totally non-invasive mailing list HERE.

Wouldn’t I look lovely on your wall??


**Update:  The winner was Caryl


16 thoughts on “The Magical Mailing List

  1. I’ve already signed up to yours Evie. I agree, it’s so annoying to hear people going on about mailing lists, and suggesting all sorts of bribery and trickery to do so. (A good idea to give away a painting!) My mailing list has a handful of people on it – and I don’t much like the mailchimp interface with WordPress so abandoned it.

    1. Thanks Jennie 😉 The mailing list has always been the one thing that I’ve never been able to master and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’ve abandoned the idea so many times, but I decided to give it one last hurrah! I don’t want to bombard/trick/annoy people either, what’s more I really wouldn’t have the time to write a newsletter on top of everything else, so you probably won’t hear from me till next year!!

  2. OK, OK, you’ve convinced me to sign up! I am curious about that granola recipe, though. 😉

    Seriously, this is a great post. I always feel like I missed the mailing list class or something, because I have *no* idea how people make it look easy.

    1. Thanks Paula 🙂 I may have over-played my hand with the whole granola thing! Although to be fair, it’s a damn good granola 😉 Might keep everyone in suspense for a little while longer though. I know what you mean, when I read about authors having 2,000 or 20,000 mailing list subscribers, I figure there must be some secret they’re not letting the rest of us in on. It’s also quite confusing, because people have already subscribed to my WordPress, but I can’t use those addresses – I think there might be laws against emailing people without their consent!! I suppose I kept hoping mailing lists would become irrelevant, but when you hear authors like Mark Dawson on The Bestseller Experiment, well, you start dangling granola recipes in front of everyone! 😀

    1. Hahaha 🙂 Ah, you’ve expressed my sentiments to a tee! I suppose you just use the URL ( for the sign up form, similar to any links to other books, your blog etc. I’m the same as you, I put my website on there and figure that’s enough information to be getting on with! But no, apparently that’s leaving too much to chance. I’m going to start surgery uploading a new version today, links included, so I’ll keep everyone updated on whether or not it makes ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL!! As you can see, I’m really enthused about this and maintaining a highly positive outlook 😀

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