tips and tricks

Mailing List Tip: Scrubbing Giveaway Leads

house_cleaning_smMailing List TIP: Having trouble with high unsubscribes when you import your giveaway leads or shared lists? Watch this recording of a live presentation I did, which helps Fiction Authors import leads (aka email addresses) from giveaways and shared author efforts while drastically reducing unsubscribes. This method also encourages the right readers, who are REALLY interested in your books, to join your newsletter without raising any red flags with your email service.

TRUTH: Mailing List Services (MLS) are not interested in helping you maintain a healthy list. They’re interested in maintaining their reputation with free email client services (e.g., Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). I get it! They’re trying to run a business and the spammy male-enhancement-pill messages that flood our inboxes have ruined it for us people who are legitimately building our fan base! But fear not! The technique I teach in this video will not only get double-opt-in from your subscribers, your MLS will be happy!

NOTE: I apologize for the poor audio quality. I’ll be using my better microphone in the future when I start recording my other instructional videos. Thank you for your patience!

Links discussed in the presentation:

Author Platform Rocket – Perpetual Giveaways – http://authorplatformrocket.com
To help you build your email list while you write

15 Email Statistics That Are Shaping the Future – Convince & Convert

15 Email Statistics That Are Shaping The Future

Josh Earl – Teaches how to increase your sales via your email list

How to Make More Sales with Email Courses

CAN-SPAM Act Statement for Your Giveaways

NOTE: When you enter, you’ll automatically be signed up for my mailing list so you can receive your books and prizes! Subscription is FREE. The forthcoming newsletter content will be relevant to the subject matter of this giveaway – to promote books – and is therefore considered appropriate under the CAN-SPAM Act. If you do not wish to be on my mailing list, DO NOT enter the contest. However, you always have the option to unsubscribe at the bottom of any email you receive from me (the author), so all control is in your hands. CLICK HERE to download this text.

Link to CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Guidelines (use that in the statement above by linking “CAN-SPAM Act”:
https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

Join Our Mailing List!

If you enjoyed this presentation and would like to be notified when others are posted, subscribe to my YouTube channel or SUBSCRIBE TO MY AUTHOR LIST.

How To Build Your Mailing List Quickly

email-list-gift_600x439Trying to get people to join your mailing list can be a little tiresome. I’ve recently stumbled upon a method that has helped me add over 900 subscribers to my list in a little under 3 months. It’s inexpensive in the grand scheme of things, and it takes very little effort, which allows me to focus more on writing and communicating with my current subscribers. I use two tools: InstaFreebie & MailChimp.

Now…for those who like BookFunnel, you can use that in place of InstaFreebie due to their recent updates – BookFunnel Giveaways. These pretty much do the same thing as the Required Opt-In giveaways on InstaFreebie: In exchange for a free eBook, readers need to provide their name and email address. I’m not sure about BookFunnel’s ability to integrate with MailChimp, but I do know you can export your leads and import them into your mailing list service, which you can also do with InstaFreebie. I don’t use BookFunnel, so I can’t speak to how to use their services. I’m an InstaFreebie whore. Continue reading

Re-Blog: Here’s a Handy Trick If You Use Word by Leah Braemel

Warning Scrivener Users!

I had a melt-down-worthy moment with Scrivener recently. (I’m on a PC, by the way.) I just finished composing my entire 113k manuscript for my next novel and Scrivener did some updates to their software. When I opened my manuscript in the updated version, it told me I had to convert the old file format in order to be used in the updated software. Where there were once seventeen chapters and an epilogue, I was down to the first three chapters of my book! Fifteen chapters…GONE!

Thank the GODS I still had my old computer with the older version of the software and was able to open the back-up and export the whole thing into MS Word. Crisis averted and I didn’t end up sitting in the corner, sucking my thumb and rocking back and forth while I lamented over losing my novel. What a nightmare! Continue reading

Plugin Review: MyMail Newsletter

mymailUPDATE: I still think this is a nice option for authors who have a small mailing list. However, I will caution you that if you’re actively building your mailing list – which you should be if you want to make money from writing books – you will quickly outgrow this plugin AND your website will probably be unable to handle the workload. I had only 4000 people on my mailing list and sending out a broadcast message took 13 hours to perform. Not very efficient. My current recommendation (as of 9/21/16) is MailChimp. But I’m outgrowing them, too, due to a rather complex Reader Club drip campaign I run.

However, I’m keeping this evaluation on my site for those who have a mailing list smaller than 2000 subscribers. Continue reading

Arial’s Author Toolbox

I’ve been doing a LOT of reading lately, but not fiction. This year (2015), I’ve been spending a lot of time honing my craft and doing my best to be a more efficient writer. In addition to that, I’ve been focusing on how to best market myself as an author.

Self-published authors – and actually most authors these days regardless of who publishes their books – have to devote a portion of their time to marketing. More and more publishers DON’T do marketing for their authors or the marketing is very broad (e.g., specials on a genre versus pushing a certain author).

So how does an author find the time to write AND market? THAT’S the big conundrum I’ve been putting nose-to-the-grindstone effort to find out. And guess what…you all will get to benefit from my efforts! UPDATED 2/9/16: I’ve just updated this post. See changes noted below. Also, though I’ve changed some pricing and removed other, please check pricing before you buy. They change all the time. Continue reading

Indie Authors – Should You Publish Your Books to Audio??

bbb01_audiobookI’m just gonna answer this question right off the bat: YES!

Now I’m gonna tell you…

  • Why you SHOULD produce your books to audio.
  • HOW to do it AND how to do it for FREE (or at least no money up front)
  • When you should do it for free and when you should pay outright for the work.
  • And why you shouldn’t do it yourself (or how to determine if you should)

Why Should You Produce Your Books to Audio

I have threes answers for this one:

  1. It’s another stream of income you don’t have already.
  2. Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular.
  3. You’ll be tapping into another audience of readers.

Continue reading

3 Dangerous Book Marketing Ideas which Drain Your Bank Account

Bookmarks…jewelry…spa items…promo items in general…

You can put your book cover or author name on anything nowadays and though these items do get a lot of attention (Who doesn’t like free stuff, huh?) are they a worthy investment? Are you wasting your money on these items and not seeing a large return on sales?

Here are 3 Dangerous Book Marketing Ideas which Drain Your Bank Account...followed up by suggestions on how to better invest your money, get more attention for your books and still get the write-offs. Continue reading

Ideas for Promoting a Series

ideasAs the author of the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, I’ve run into a few challenges with promoting the other books in my series after Book 1.

The biggest challenge has been trying to get people to review the 2nd, 3rd or [insert #] book in my series when the reviewer hasn’t read the previous books. Though the books in my series can be read as standalones, there is the over-arching storyline the reader might miss out on if they read the books out of order.

So how do you catch a reader up to the main storylines of the previous books without them having to read the books? The Synopsis!!

I know…I can hear you groaning now, but the full synopsis can be a great marketing tool! AND if you convert it to an eBook, you can send it to the reviewer with a nice cover image, your publishing and copyright information and buy links. Continue reading

Attn: Bloggers – Please Put a Search Feature on Your Site

Blogging Tip: Search Feature

This post is primarily for bloggers, but this can apply to authors, too, because they usually have their own websites and blogs as well.

I’m going to get to the point immediately: PLEASE PUT A SEARCH FEATURE ON YOUR WEBSITE or BLOG.

Why? Because the next question will be a mute point and make everyone’s life easier.

Is Your Blog Easy To Navigate?

That question is SO relative, it’s insane. Everyone is used to whatever websites they visit and if something isn’t in the same place as the websites THEY visit, they’re going to get frustrated and leave. So, you can do all the research you want to on what’s commonly found on websites similar to yours–and you’d do yourself some service (and your visitors) if you did such research–but someone will inevitably have a hard time finding something on your website.

So what do you do as a fail safe for any visitor? Continue reading

Mailing Lists 5 – Newsletters

mailing-list-serviceThis is the final post in a five-part blog series about how to create and manage a mailing list. Here are the links to the articles in the series:

Newsletter Frequency

One concern I’ve heard often is, “How often do I send a newsletter out?” If you implement a plan like I’ve outlined in this series – a drip campaign that feeds your readers regular freebies of your short stories and whatever else your talents will allow – that would be weekly. Which means…you’re already sending out newsletters automatically, so don’t stress! That’s the beauty of the drip campaign and the plan I use.

The next question I usually hear is, “Well, if all the newsletters on my drip campaign are about my backlist, when do my readers get to hear about new releases or current events?”

That’s what the occasional one-off message or manual campaign is about. In short, your entire Reader Club will consist of weekly messages that go out based on when someone signed up AND the manual messages you send to keep your readers up to date on what’s happening with your new releases and general author happenings. As you’ll see below, those manual messages will help keep your automated drip campaign from sounding…well…automated.

I’m going to give you a bunch of suggestions and examples of why you send out a manual message in addition to your already-running drip campaign. So relax! The pressure is off!
Continue reading