Here’s one of the biggest reasons why authors aren’t using email marketing to build a fan base and stay connected:
“I don’t know what to write about.”
Many nonfiction and fiction authors don’t have ideas for content they can offer in their emails—like juicy tidbits that tie into their expertise, topic or books. Yet at publishing conferences, they hear speakers and book coaches recommend that they build an email list. Most authors have no clue where to start.
That’s why I’m hosting a free webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday Feb. 25 on “How to Use Email to Attract Fans, Create SuperFans and Sell More Books.” Register here.
Here are some examples of authors who are using email to stay in touch with their fans. I’ve included some fictional examples, too, so you can see how email can be a powerful marketing tool for authors in any genre.
For a Freelance Writer
Freelance writer Elizabeth Cottrell writes about four key topics at her blog at Heartspoken.com: “the connection to self, to others, to nature and to God.” Two important topics are the importance of handwriting sympathy and thank-you notes. In her emails, she can share:
- A short template for a sympathy note.
- 3 things NOT to say when sending a sympathy note to a friend who has lost a loved one. (Example: “You’ll eventually get over this.”)
- Her favorite three websites or Pinterest boards where people can find inspiration for writing thank-you notes.
For a Children’s Educational Curriculum Writer
Author Rosemarie Pagano created a fun vocabulary series called FAB VOCAB for kids, designed to teach students about unusual words. She created a character named Robin Bird to make learning fun and easy to understand. She has a weekly blog series called FAB VOCAB and she’s creating “The Worm Whisperer” series, all about good worms, bad worms and yucky worms.
She told me about these three ideas can share:
- A “word of the week” and the history of the word, with a download link to a printable image the child can hang on a wall or collect in a “FAB VOCAB” index card box. She can cross-promote from the blog to the email tips and vice-versa.
- A request for students to send her a word they find interesting, gross, confusing, etc. What a great way to engage readers!
- A monthly “word search” diagram that challenges students to “find the word” hidden in a word puzzle she will create. Note: Rosemarie is creating a lot of her own content. But you don’t have to do everything yourself. In addition to your own content, you can link to other people’s articles, blog posts, etc.
For a Children’s Fantasy Author
You’ve written a book for children, about a secret forest inhabited by fairies. Share:
- Instructions on how to make a fairy costume. These don’t even have to be your instructions. You can link to someone else’s.
- The 5 most famous fairies in history, and a short explanation of their origin (the Tooth Fairy, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Tinkerbell…)
- Your favorite online stores for games, costumes, puzzles, books, calendars, posters and music about fairies.
For a Contemporary Romance Author
A romance author can write:
- Do’s and don’ts for online dating.
- Her favorite three places in Denver for a fun first date. She can use this same idea for other cities in future emails.
- The benefits of marrying late in life.
For a Gluten-free Cookbook Author
Your book is about how to make gluten-free desserts. You can share:
- A funny story about the biggest mistake you made when learning how to bake gluten-free. (Readers love this!)
- The following week, ask readers to submit their funniest story to you with permission to share them with your other readers.
- Your three favorite foodie TV shows, even if they aren’t about gluten-free cooking.
For a Murder Mystery Author
You write about murder mysteries. You can share:
- An interview with a forensics expert.
- A character, a scene, a chapter or a sub-plot you created and then decided to eliminate from one of your books—and why.
- Facts about the most puzzling real-life murder mystery of all time, with a link to a book, video or podcast about it.
For a Relationship Expert
You write about how to create healthy relationships that lead to a lifelong marriage. You can share:
- An example of a celebrity marriage that has endured for many years—and why. Offer their tips and your own.
- How TV shows like “The Bachelorette” harm young people.
- A mistake you made in your own marriage, what you learned from it, and how your readers can keep from making it.
For a “Millennials in the Workplace” Author
You write about how large companies and small businesses can find and keep millennials. You can:
- Have a contest and ask readers to tell you about the most unusual benefit or perk they offer to attract millennials.
- Tell readers about your three favorite White Papers or research reports on the effect of millennials in the workplace.
- Surprising statistics about millennials.
Have these jogged a few ideas for content YOU can offer your readers? If so, share them in the Comments below. If you’re still puzzled because of your unusual topic or title, be sure to attend Thursday’s webinar. Register here.
I hope to see you on the call!