Building an author mailing list


While you are busy writing the first draft of your manuscript, it’s worth beginning to take a look at some of the other elements you need for self-publishing success. Writing a book is only a tiny part of the work. Like the foundations of a building, you have to put lots of other little things in place for the whole thing to be a success.

The mailing list

Let’s start with a mailing list. Amazon and other eBook platforms are never going to give you the contact details of your customers. Same with social media platforms – if you were kicked off Facebook tomorrow, you would never have your fans’ contact details to tell them. That’s why, from day one, you must have your own mailing list. Own your fans. Get them onto your own real estate. Social media is all well and good, but you operate on the whims of digital landlords like Mark Zuckerberg. Don’t rent your fans – own them.


Get SendFox. They have a crazy cheap lifetime plan at $49. Most competitors charge that per month. Set up an email automation sequence for new subscribers, along with a freebie to entice them to sign up. We will discuss in a separate post what that freebie should be.

Once you start getting fans, you need to do the newsletter properly, otherwise you are going to be labeled as a spammer. The email newsletter funnel sequence needs to be properly configured to introduce yourself to the reader, and show them why they should invest their precious time and money reading your work.

But at the same time, you should not be overly commercial either. Nobody likes advertising shoved down their throat. They also want to feel they are gaining something by reading your newsletter. It’s an art and I am still learning it myself. But I’m getting there, and my aim is to show you all the pitfalls, so you don’t fall into them.

mark o'neill newsletter ninja

A great book to read is Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque (as well as its sequel.) Tammi does an excellent job of explaining how to run an effective author newsletter.

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