Three Reasons Why You Need a Mailing List as an Author

by Ali on December 20, 2012


 Take Me to the Castle - FC Malby

Today’s guest post is from author F.C. Malby, who’s just launched her debut novel Take Me to the Castle. In this post, she tackles a hugely important topic – why you need a mailing list (also sometimes called a newsletter list or email list).

Over to you, F.C.!

Many new authors, faced with the prospect of marketing their books, wonder how to sell their work effectively without it becoming too much for others to read or it looking like spam.

You need permission to send people information, it can’t just be sent out randomly. Building a platform, via Twitter, Facebook, a blog, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, is just part of the work of reaching your potential readers.

You need a mailing list. Why? Here are three reasons:

1. What if any of these sites folded or restricted what you post in a way that hampers your marketing?

You might have built up followers on Twitter and Facebook, but if they ceased to exist tomorrow what would you do?

If you are a self-published author this is all the more important. Amazon might be a giant within the publishing world at the moment, but what if the mighty machine also ceases to exist (unlikely but a possibility), or any of the other publishing platforms like Kobo, BookBaby, or Smashwords?

2. When you release subsequent books, you will be able to reach your target audience quickly.

Youwill have readers already waiting to read your next book, if you have written a great book which is a) well edited and b) has a really appealing cover design.

These are areas that you can’t afford to skimp on if you are self-publishing your work. You are asking people to pay for your writing, so it needs to be at least as good as a traditionally published book, if not better, and worth every penny or cent!

3. It is important to build a relationship with your readers, where they can respond to you and communicate with you as an author.

If you ask any marketing expert, they will tell you that a key to their success is relationship marketing, mainly through email lists. Statistics show that most people will need to be exposed to a product (your book) between four to seven times before they will consider making a purchase.

Our daily timetables are crammed full of work commitments, and people surf the internet at an increasing speed. Many will have up to ten pages open at any one time.


So, do you have a mailing list yet?

If not, I would recommend reliable mailing list services like MailChimp, which lets you add up to 2,000 subscribers for free, or AWeber, which is also very popular. You may also have a mailing list application built into your website. I currently use Network Solutions for my mailing list and website.

I can’t over-state this as a necessity for all authors, whether self-published, traditionally published, or both. Do make sure that your personalize emails with your author brand, so that people become familiar with you and instantly recognise you.

Get building and you’ll be surprised at how quickly it picks up. You may start with people you know joining and in time, as people get to know your work and your readership builds, so too will your mailing list.


FCMalby F.C. Malby is a short story author and a novelist. Her debut novel, ‘Take Me to the Castle,’ is released this week on Amazon in paperback and on kindle. The book is set in Prague and Letovice, in the Czech Republic, during the fall of communism.

You can find F.C.Malby on:






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Friday Features #36 - yesenia vargas
December 22, 2012 at 4:10 am

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Joel D Canfield December 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I’m constantly reminding my clients, don’t create fans of your *book*, create fans of yourself. Once they love YOU, you don’t have to re-sell every book you write. And if you do something other than books, they’re more likely to connect to that as well. (Fans of me don’t just read my business books, they read my fiction, they listen to my music, and they work with me on their websites.)

It’s all about relationships.

Years ago I started keeping a copy of everything I posted in a venue I didn’t control. More than once, sites have disappeared, but I’ve still got my stuff, and I’ve still got my connections.

I’ll +1 your comments on Mail Chimp. Great tool.
Joel D Canfield’s last blog post ..Practical Advice from ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman (An Actionable Books summary)


fcmalby December 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Absolutely, Joel. Thanks for your comments. It is easy to get caught up with any one book, especially if it is a debut novel, but writers need to think long term and build relationships. Facebook, and other sites, may come and go but if you have build up good relationships, then people will be more likely to follow your journey and communicate. As you say, sharing other parts of your life are important as well. I’m also a teacher and a photographer, and it’s great to have other areas to share and help make connections.


Jacko December 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Really good post FC,

The one thing that every internet marketer agrees on is you must prioritize your email list.

This goes for all entrepreneurs somehow authors forget this means you too.

How else can you stay in touch with the people who are actually going to buy your book? Who else will write reviews and give your articles retweets?
Jacko’s last blog post ..Want to earn extra money? Join the club – Friday is your last Chance to join HIC


fcmalby December 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Hi Jacko,
Internet marketing has, thankfully, had a huge impact on writers who want to create relationships with theri readers. It is important to remember the need for a mailing list and regular contact. Thanks for your comments.
fcmalby’s last blog post ..Three Reasons Why You Need a Mailing List as an Author


Karen Cioffi January 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm

As an author online presence instructor and coach, I advice my students/clients to create and build a mailing list. All three of your points are excellent reasons.
Karen Cioffi’s last blog post ..The Fastest Way to Build a Freelance Writing Business and Start Making at Least $100 a Day


Fiona January 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Thank you, Karen. It is important to keep building the mailing list by adding a link to your website, adding it to your book and offering opportunities for readers to sign ip on different social media sites.


Dan Hodgins, March 1, 2013 at 6:18 am

Growing a mailing list is the most valuable business decision an author will ever make. Having the ability to send out emails and literally generate revenue is a beautiful thing, and it’s for this reason that a loyal mailing list is the most valuable business asset an author can build.

There’s so many ideas for capturing emails and growing a mailing list it boggles the mind. For a few dozen more ideas check out this post:


fcmalby March 1, 2013 at 7:47 am

Thanks for the list, Dan. It is a valuable asset for an author and one which is often under utilised.


Isabel Dare March 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

‘Relationship marketing’ is definitely the way to think of mailing lists, I believe. It’s not about pure promotion, it’s not about bugging people, it’s about building relationships. I also like the intimate feeling of a mailing list as opposed to, say, Twitter.
Isabel Dare’s last blog post ..Backstage Pass (Reluctant First Time Gay Erotica)


fcmalby March 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

I agree, Isabel. It’s about connecting with people rather than just blindly promoting your work and a mailing list is more intimate than social media sites. You can communicate with people on a different level.


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