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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have apparently started my writing career in a bit of reverse order:

First my wife and I created some big YouTube channels, then I published my book, mentioning said book on our channels, and have done pretty well, selling more each month than the one before it in spite of a honestly horrendous cover.

However, I haven’t even started creating an email list and am honestly kind of afraid to. I’m not sure what to talk about or say, or even what to offer. Can you provide me some tips or advice? I currently only have one book I can offer so I’m not sure what to do.

619 Posts
Find other authors in your genre who have email lists and sign up. Look at what they're doing and emulate that in a way that works for you.

Every author has their own style. Some people only email when they have a new book for sale. Others email on a regular basis, like once every month to make sure readers don't forget about them.

You can share personal stories so readers get to know you better, or you can be more reserved and just talk about your books. If your YouTube channel is related you could talk a bit about what's going on with your channel. You can give info about your writing process, make early announcements, offer early bird discounts, hold fun contests where the winner gets to name a character, share your favorite recipes, etc.

The sky's the limit, really. You could also share book recommendations from other authors you think your readers would like, if it's been a while since you wrote, and you don't have book news.

If you're writing nonfiction, you could share industry news, interesting news articles you've read, helpful tips and tricks in your niche, or warn readers about scams.

It's also helpful to write a bonus short story, or include deleted scenes, or something like that to offer as an incentive for folks to sign up. But you don't have to do that. You also don't need to have an email list at all. It can definitely help for some people, while others feel it doesn't move the needle enough to make the trouble worth it.

And since you already have an audience through YouTube, which has its own notification system, you may find that's good enough. You would have to test and see.

1,619 Posts
In addition to the solid advice above, you have a built in topic with the youtube channel. Talk about recent videos, or popular ones from the past new people might not have seen.

12,429 Posts
Are your book and your Youtube channels about the same subject? If so, that's a good newsletter topic. I'd mix in half promotional news about your book and channels and half informational stuff about cool things you discovered while researching for your book or videos. Maybe even a tiny bit of personal news, if you're comfortable with it.

476 Posts
It seems daunting in the beginning, but the key is to work in small steps, and constant increments from generic to more specialized.
Steps to take
- consider why you want a mailing list. Do you plan on publishing a second book? Then collect the mail addresses from potential buyers.
- in your case: consider the tie in with your Youtube channel and how to benefit from a newsletter by notifying people about a new video
- understand why there are funnels, segments and intention in theory (see below). You dont need to have them right away, but in some cases you need to lay the groundwork early to later benefit from it.
- setup a very simple newsletter signup on a page you control. If you have to you can start with what the nl provider offers, but having a simple webpage is always a worthy investment, even if is really simple.
- TEST STUFF OUT!! Set up a second gmail account for just that.
- create a link for it and start adding it to your book and your channel
- start sending out information in the intervals determined by the type (new book out, new video out) to the people who signed up for it
- send, look at the analytics, analyse, improve

Which provider to choose:
- collecting mail addresses can be as simple as a google form. There are however legal requirements which make using a service like Mailchimp or others useful (opt in mail).
- depending on the number of subsribers there will be money involved. Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers, but they also have a pay as you go option: perfect to collect but maybe not send anything for now
- some provider may sound great in the beginning / easy to use but lack features down the line. And there is learning involved - one reason to recommend Mailchimp is because there is so much info out there. As a professional tool, you can always export your subscribers.
- Once you started, observe and learn and maybe try out some other providers. Pay attention to mentions here. Look f.e. at bookfunnel and understand what it does. This is where you sign up for other authors nl, try out free stories etc. Use the mentioned second gmail account for that.

The theory:

Look at your inbox and ask yourself: how many of those emails just plain annoy me. Take note of that and you already have a very good list of what not to do. ;))

Then reverse it. What is a mailing list actually for? I see these main reasons
- I have a new book out, would you like to check it out?
- I have written some new text (like a blog post or a youtube video), do you want to consume that?
- there is a deal out there, do you want to take a look?

And in your case:
- there is a new video out

Have one mailinglist / newsletter at first, then segments. Start with one generic landing page for everything, then make one for your books, etc.

Mailinglists (and all other types of marketing) are about the customer first, their intention and their interest, and timing it to their wishes. The goal is to increase sales at the end. If I want to be notified about each video of yours and I am on youtube every day, I will hit the notification bell. But if writers is your audience, their main consumption will be word oriented aka not per se youtube. .

So you can tell people:
would you like to get notified by mail when a new video is out? Sign up here.
When you send the mail, ask yourself again: what does that reader want to see?
= information there is a new video, what is it about and it is worth clicking.
Where does this land? in their inbox, so the subject line is relevant. It also needs enough meat to make the curios "I need to watch this now".

If I buy a book and I liked the series, I want to be notified by mail about a new book in this series because amazon is unreliable.
If I sign up for that, ask yourself: does Nicole want to hear monthly about what you did that month? Does Nicole want to know about your new youtube video? Nope nope and nope. She also does not want to hear about your other books or she would have said so.

This is why we talk about funnels. A funnel leads the customer through options to give you the insight you need to know what to send them and when.

Sarah also liked the book. She finds the link at the end of the book "do you want to be notified about new books?" and visits your landing page for newsletter signup.
She reads
"Thank you for reading New Tales of Marketing!
Leave your mail address and I will ping you if a new book is published. [] notify me
Btw: if you click these boxes you can also receive [] news about any new books of mine [] a new youtube video [] what I did last month"

Yes you can make your landing page generic at first, but it pays to do a little bit more.
Sarah then clicks [] new book in series and [] what I did last month.
Nicole, when she visited, only clicked new book in series.
Robert visits and clicks only new Youtube channel.

This is what we call segments. Next time you have a new video out, you send to the segment which said "notify me for a new video".
New book in series? Segment. etc.

And even if you only send news every x months about a new book in the series, you of course can add teasers inside "maybe you like this one too?", but you do not send a mail for the other books. It might also be valuable to say "you read New tales and wanted to be notified about a new book in the series, here it is ..."
so that the reader remembers who you are and why they signed up for it.

The better you set up your funnels and your segments, the better you can also do analytics. Which is just another word for what works and what does not.
With a YT channel you already know about watch time, retention, subscriber rate etc, this is the same.

Example early laying of groundwork: Let's say you only sell on amazon.
I buy on There are ways out there to make links localized and I can manage with changing to de, but it is easy to ask your audience right when they sign up "I need your mail address and optional I'd love to know the amazon marketplace you like to shop in!"

Many will answer that question, giving you good insights. Later you can use that to send them localized links. For now you did not promise anything.

Again, don't be afraid to start small, simple and to admit mistakes.
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