Lesson #5: How to Build Your Email List as an Indie Author

Updated: Jan 14

Hey there! It's nice to see you again - welcome back to this free blog course, I hope you're enjoying it so far!

In the previous lesson, we discovered why all indie authors should be using Pinterest to build their audience and increase their book sales. In this lesson, you will learn why you should build an email list before you self-publish your novel, and how a mailing list can help you sell your books.

If you missed lesson 4, you can access it here: https://www.standcorrectedediting.com/post/lesson-4-7-steps-indie-authors-must-take-before-self-publishing

So, once you have launched your website, published a few blog posts and built your online presence on social media, it’s time to work on building an email list. For those who haven’t heard of email lists before, they are a great marketing tool for businesses to reach out to a large number of people. Have you ever subscribed to a company or magazine’s mailing list to receive updates and special discounts? Well, if you have, they would have added your email to their mailing list with their other subscribers.

With this in mind, it’s always beneficial to have a subscribe button somewhere visible on your website so readers have the option to receive updates from you. That way, you can reach out to them personally to promote new articles and your future books. You may wonder why you need to build an email list - well, you're not destined to fail if you don't have one, but it may make your life tremendously easier if you do. When people subscribe to anything, they want to hear more from that something or someone; they want to receive updates and discounts, and they want to buy things from that source, and it's the same for you. If you're able to get subscribers, that's great for your writing career! That means that readers are interested in what you have to say and what you write. As a result of subscribing to you, they are more likely to purchase your books upon publication.

So, how do you get subscribers?

Well, for many people who aren't connected to a well-known brand, it can be tricky to get people to subscribe to their mailing list, but there are many tricks you can do to convince people without actively convincing. Have a peek below:

  • As said before, displaying a visual subscribe button at the top or bottom of your page can attract people's attention and make them to subscribe.

  • Creating a pop-up is an effective way of grabbing people's attention as it completely distracts what they are reading on the website.

  • Create a free cheat sheet or provide exclusive advice and tips for those who subscribe to your list.

  • Produce a free email course for people in your niche and advertise it on social media.

  • If you sell previously published books or provide services, you could provide an exclusive discount to subscribers only, which could help you gain more subscribers.

So, once you've got the subscribers, what do you do with them?

Good question!

It can be extremely challenging to think of what to email your subscribers every week or month, so much so that some bloggers actually dread the day they have to send their newsletter. However, emailing your subscribers doesn't have to be a chore - it can actually be quite fun and satisfying to see how many people have opened your emails and how many have clicked on the links within, but you need to know what to write first.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a welcome email series that automatically sends when someone subscribes to your site. Setting up automated emails means that you don't have to spend hours emailing each subscriber individually.

  • Tell your readers something you have achieved recently, like finishing a certain chapter or starting a new book.

  • Promote your latest blog posts and highlight why they will help your audience.

  • Show your subscribers a day in your life as a writer - remember, they have subscribed because they want to hear from you, so don't be afraid to talk about yourself!

  • Provide writing advice to help others like you.

  • If you have found any interesting articles in your niche, send those out for your subscribers to see.

  • If you've worked with an amazing editor or book cover designer, let them know so they also have a trustworthy professional to go to when they have finished their book.

  • If you provide services in your niche, promote them and offer exclusive discounts.

  • Do you host monthly or quarterly writing competitions? Let your readers know so they can get involved or spread the word!

These are just a few ideas, but they will certainly keep you going for a while, and you may have your own ideas as well. Test a few out and have fun with it!

Dive into lesson #6 where you will learn why it's important to hire a professional editor if you plan to self-publish!



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor and proofreader at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent literary consultancy in the UK. I help passionate writers and authors to get their novels ready for literary agents or self-publishing.

In weekly blog posts, online courses and daily Instagram posts, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!

Let me ask you something...

  • Do you seriously want to pursue your passion of writing and publishing books people actually want to read?

  • Are you currently planning, writing, or editing your manuscript?

  • Are you ready to become a successful author?

Well then, you've come to the right place!

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