Those who know me know I’ve been on the 'build your email list' bandwagon for some time now. As the market becomes more cluttered with indie writers writing more and more books, the marketing of our books is going to get harder and harder. Our mailing lists of go-to readers is what can keep us in the game. As I discovered over the past few years, building this potent list is not easy. It won’t happen overnight. I’ve been at it for over a year now and my list is still quite small. My mailing list, however, is like the little engine that could.
I think I can,
I think I can,
I know I can,
I KNOW I can!
My mailing list is not very deep, but it is powerful. Here’s a recent story that demonstrates the power of my list. I’d been posting chapters of my latest WIP, The Memory Giver, on Wattpad all summer long. In early September, to my delightful surprise, the book was featured by Wattpad and (like with Amazon) I noticed I had a ranking. Just like with Amazon, the lower your ranking the more visible your book becomes to new readers. The goal, like on Amazon, is to get to #1. The day my book appeared on the list it ranked just above #500 in horror. Because of the feature, the ranking began to drop. One day it got as low as #18.
With Amazon your ranking is based on sales, but since Wattpad is free, I couldn’t determine what affected my ranking. I did some research and discovered to improve your ranking readers must “star” the chapters they read if they like them. The more stars you can get in a short period of time, the lower your ranking becomes.
After the first two weeks of my feature my ranking began to climb. It was still pretty good, hovering just under 100, but I wondered if my fans on my mailing list could help get the ranking down and keep it down a little longer. So on Sunday October 19th, I emailed my frans on my list and told them I was looking for beta readers for my latest work and what I needed them to do to become one--read the chapters on Wattpad and star the ones they enjoyed. They acted swiftly. On October 21st The Memory Giver dropped to #14 on the list. Today, two days later, it’s still #15.
I have a regular mailing list with 100s of names, but it’s just a list because I didn't realize how important my list could be when I started it. A little over a year ago I started another list, my special list. I only have a handful of followers on my special list, but look at the power they pack. Imagine if I had hundreds or thousands of these types of followers. I’ve now rededicated myself to adding quality names to my special list. Eventually, I’ll phase out the other list. Imagine if we each had 10,000 loyal followers who bought everything we wrote; we’d be doing pretty well, wouldn't we? Getting there is not going to happen overnight. You need to build a list of frans (friend + fan = fran) who listen when you talk to them. You do this one name (one fran) at a time.
By the way, I sent a similar email to those on my regular list. Two people (out of 400) responded. That list will definitely be phased out. We don’t just want names on our mailing lists, we want friends who we can talk to. Like I said, building this list won’t be easy, but in a year or two, it will be worth it. So start now to build your mailing list of special frans one name at a time.
In a future post I’ll tell you how I'm going about building my special list. In the meantime, if you’d like to read chapters of the (as of today) #15 horror novel on Wattpad, The Memory Giver (it’s free) Go here: THE MEMORY GIVER. If you do stop by, please remember to “star” the chapters you enjoyed. Thank you.
Keep Reading-Keep Writing!