How to Build an Author Email List. The first 8 steps.

Blog 15

To launch a newsletter, you will need to use the services of one of the sites specializing in this. They are called email marketing services. From now on, I will simply call them EMS.

EMS allow you to save your subscribers’ emails and to send them letters – automatic ones as well as those written immediately before sending.

EMS also make sure that your letters don’t end up in the spam folder.

They all work in about the same way, and if you understand the logic behind them, then you will easily figure out how to use any one of them.

How it works

All right, let’s first describe a reader’s (our future subscriber’s) pathway, and then look at what happens at a technical level. 

In the A reader’s pathway section, each element that you need to work on will be marked with a number, and lower down, in the The necessary elements section, I will provide a list of everything you need and explain what it all is.

A reader’s pathway

At the end of your book, you invite the reader to your webpage (1), having promised her something interesting:  your lead magnet (2). The reader follows the link indicated and finds an extended version of your offer (3).

For instance, “Visit my website and receive an email with a set of book illustrations.”

Under this message, the reader sees a form (4) with two fields and buttons. To receive the lead magnet, she will need to enter her name and email and press the button.

After the reader enters her information, a message (5) appears on the screen telling her that the subscription process was successful and that the reader will receive a link (6) in her email that she can follow to download the promised illustrations.

The reader receives an automatic email (7) in which the author thanks her for subscribing, provides the promised link, and explains what to expect: what kinds of letters he intends to send out in the future and how often, as long as the subscriber confirms her subscription.

By pressing the relevant button, the reader confirms her desire to receive your letters and lands on a subscription confirmation page (8).

After some time (determined by you), your reader begins to receive your letters.

The necessary elements

Here is a list of elements needed for your newsletter to start working:

  1. Your webpage, where the reader can sign up for your mailing list. If you don’t have a website, take advantage of the page that the EMS generates for you. Later, you can replace it with your website.
  2. Your lead magnet: a file or a link to a webpage that you provide to your reader to say thanks for subscribing.
  3. A description of your offer. This is the text you need to place at the end of your book and on your webpage (1).
  4. A subscription form: this is code created by the EMS. It is generated especially for you, and you place it on your site. As a result, you end up with a form where readers can enter their names and emails.
  5. A message confirming that subscription was successful. It is generated by the EMS, but you can write your own text or send the reader to any page on your site.
  6. A link to the page where the reader can receive the promised lead magnet (2).
  7. The letter your reader will receive immediately after subscribing. You need to write the text and place it on the EMS website. The letter itself will be sent to the reader automatically and will contain a link (6) and a button (also automatically generated) with subscription confirmation.
  8. A subscription confirmation page. You can redirect the reader to any page on your site or keep the default message.

You will need to prepare these 8 elements before starting to work with any EMS. 

Then you need to select an EMS, carefully watch their training course, and place all your prepared elements on their site.
If you know what to do and how to do it, the whole process will take no more than an hour. But initially, of course, you will have to explore all the details and figure out how everything works.

The service I recommend

You can conduct a Google search using the keywords “email marketing service” and get an infinite number of options.

Practically all the EMS companies offer a free subscription and several paid options. The price depends on the number of functions included and the number of subscribers in your database.

At one time, I did a deep dive into these services and settled on Convertkit, so I can honestly recommend this platform. It is distinguished by a convenient and clear interface, excellent instructions, and responsive customer support service.

This platform includes a very wide selection of marketing tools and allows you to work at a professional level.

In addition, if you like this platform, you will be able to confidently recommend it to your subscribers and friends with affiliate links. That’s exactly what I do.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them. I will give you some tips on where to find good training resources.

Many people make this mistake: they start out with a simpler and cheaper platform, and once they gather subscribers and need to achieve some marketing goals, it turns out the necessary functions aren’t there, or they’re part of the premium service and very expensive.

For example, if a reader has already acquired one of your books, then you don’t want to send her a letter advertising that book, so you need the tools to somehow tag readers and then work with isolated segments of your audience.

Convertkit allows you to start working professionally right away.

I realize that all of this sounds very difficult and complicated, but this is exactly how you can set up your mailing list system, retain your readers, and sell more books.


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