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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this not effective or do readers just not use it?

Reason I ask is because a lot of people still recommend building a mailing list.
 

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Although I use it and do get updates from Amazon, and prefer it to signing up to mailing lists from individual authors, it does seem as if it's still a work in progress.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
Although I use it and do get updates from Amazon, and prefer it to signing up to mailing lists from individual authors, it does seem as if it's still a work in progress.

Betsy
I followed myself and I did get an email from Amazon when I released a new book. So it does seem to work.
 

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According to what people here have reported, it seems to work sporadically. In my view, that makes it worse than useless -- readers who want to be notified will sign up for the Amazon service instead of the author's mailing-list, assuming that the two are interchangeable. Then, some of the time, they end up not being notified of a new release.

Hopefully Amazon will get this feature working more reliably. If it were dependable, it'd be fantastic.
 

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I don't think people recommend mailing lists over it because it doesn't work, but because a  list you control is better than one Amazon does simply for the fact that Amazon can change its mind at any time and then your list could disappear.
 

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chrisanthropic said:
I don't think people recommend mailing lists over it because it doesn't work, but because a list you control is better than one Amazon does simply for the fact that Amazon can change its mind at any time and then your list could disappear.
Excellent point.
 

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Excellent point. Despite that follow list on Amazon is not the best, it's their list not yours. Building an email list is the best marketing strategy one can and should uses but don't spam people - offer at first free content and if someone reads that free content and replies "what a lovely book' ask them to post their review on Amazon, then send ARC for another book and you get free 5-4 star reviews on each retailer. You don't have to pay Choosy Bookworm for reviews, or contact Amazon reviewers or book bloggers. On a launch day promise a giveaway and an award for the winner. Of course a writer must have at least 500 subscribers to start seeing benefit. I offer 3 free books (only one is mine) and my list is adding each day between 4 to 7-8 people. I own the email list and no middleman is standing between us. I am learning how to use it but you know the phrase "money is in the email list" and from my experience is absolutely true. Social media doesn't sell books or it's much more harder.
Good luck with building your email list and pm me if you have any questions.
 

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I agree about the value of a mailing list.

I do like the follow feature on Amazon, though. I'm with Betsy on being more likely to use the Amazon feature than mailing lists. As much as I enjoy supporting individual authors and publishers, many are clueless. After experiencing way too many spam tactics, including authors who send *daily* emails, I hardly ever sign up for author's lists. I have three pen names and for now I'm keeping administration to a minimum in the interest of spending most of my time writing.

As a reader, I like the handy Amazon notices of new releases. The first writer I followed is a friend, so I know Amazon hasn't failed to notify me of any of her releases.
 

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Silly question, probably... how do the readers who "follow this author" get their updates and notifications? I've clicked that button a couple of times for different authors and can't point to a time when I've been notified of new releases or anything like that. I do ask my readers to sign up for it but I'm not sure what the benefit is :)

 

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It works. When they send out the emails highlighting my new release, I see a noticeable bump in sales. The problem is that I have no control over it. Amazon doesn't send out the email as soon as a new release is live. It can take days or weeks. I can't really use a random bump in sales to my advantage because I can't control my rankings with it.
 

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I am getting emails fro authors  I signed up with. I mean I get emails from Amazon when they have a new book out.

One has to have the right checkmarks in the settings to get those emails though. Its in the account.
 

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CJAnderson said:
So IF Amazon does it right then it's a good thing for all us?
I think the point here is that we have no control over whether it's good, bad, or indifferent. No control is bad. Seeing as we can't affect what Amazon does or doesn't do with it, most of us choose to do something that we DO have control over.

We make mailing lists, hoping that the 25% who click a link, will support us when no one else "out there" cares :) This is why 10k mailing lists are touted as a goal. 2500 people clicking and buying a new release will make even Amazon's algos sit up and take notice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think one advantage is that it will be an official email from Amazon, so customers/readers will definitely see it in main inbox and recognize the sender. Good chance they will read it too IMO
 

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I think of the service as an additional, nice-to-have and not a mailing list substitute.  But it's a frustration, all right - I signed up to follow myself to see how the system works and was alerted 30 days after I'd published a new book.  Not good.
 

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CJAnderson said:
So IF Amazon does it right then it's a good thing for all us?
In order for Amazon to do it right, they'd have to give me complete control of their promotional emails. I don't see that happening. And it isn't needed. I already have that with my mailing list.
 

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Mark E. Cooper said:
This is why 10k mailing lists are touted as a goal.
What?!?!? Wherefore this mailing list number inflation? I thought the target was 1k and I've just passed that so I thought I could go and retire to the Happy Sunshine Home For Slightly Inadequate Writers without having to worry about it any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Steven Hardesty said:
I think of the service as an additional, nice-to-have and not a mailing list substitute. But it's a frustration, all right - I signed up to follow myself to see how the system works and was alerted 30 days after I'd published a new book. Not good.
30 days late? I would report it to Amazon please
 
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