Setting Up An Author Email List


‘You need to set up an author email list. It’s easy – right – err no’

Having been monkeying around with another email provider for a year and still unable to figure out how it worked I was starting to loose hope that I could ever set up an author mailing list; at least without having to pay a professional $150 dollars an hour. Being honest, as a new writer with one book and a lot of short stories published that’s probably a month’s, OK a years, royalties. What I needed was an e mail provider that was easy to use, cheap (preferably free to start with), and that could be integrated into my WordPress sites. There followed a lot of research into marketing and email list with several false starts.

What the research told me

Primary marketing method

Set up an author email list (To find out why this is the primary method read next article – coming mid June 2021 Marketing Your Book – A New Author’s Tale).

Once this list is established the secondary methods kick in. Social media and my websites would, hopefully, drive interested people to sign up.

But what do I send them? People are going to get very bored with a series of ads for my books, so I would need to create a newsletter. This became create newsletters. Why? Have you ever unsubscribed from a newsletter that sends you a load of junk you are not interested in? Yes – so have I. So, if I could create newsletters that would appeal to different audiences, and then send them out to the appropriate audience, everyone would be happy.

These are my target audiences:

  • Existing readers of my books and short stories (to keep them engaged until my next book is published).
  • Potential readers
  • Writers who are also potential readers – you?
  • Since I have a connection with fetish photography I also have a couple of other audiences I would like to cultivate.

Isn’t that lot of newsletters to write?

Let’s break this down.

  • Existing readers. I want to tell them about new, free to read, short stories, send updates and teasers for the next book which is already with the publisher and ask questions that will help me give my audience what they want. What I don’t want to do is send them offers for the book they have already bought.
  • Potential readers. Same as the existing but with offers for the existing book. So it’s really just a case of adding these to this newsletter and maybe taking out some of the teasers for the next book. I’ll leave in the free short stories as they are a good way to interest people in my writing before they shell out money for the books.
  • Writers who are potential readers. Same as potential readers but with interesting marketing or writing articles included.
  • The photography newsletters are completely different but will work on the same principle.

All this is fine but I needed to be able to send these newsletters out to my audiences which brings me back to the email provider.

The Solution

Tim Denning mentioned ConvertKit in his post about Substack and Joanna Penn also recommends it.


I have now been using it for month or so and, although it is not completely intuitive, it has a very comprehensive and easy to follow help. All you need to do, once you have signed up, is click on learn. Go to Starting an Online Business. This will lead you through the use of ConvertKit and provides a lot of other useful information. Joanna Penn also has a free tutorial How To Set Up Your Author Email List With ConvertKit | The Creative Penn.

Got a better solution – there’s lots out there? Comment or message me @simone_author

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Useful Articles

Maybe a bit OTT for a new author on a budget but still useful. Tune Up Your (Book) Marketing Campaign With User Generated Content | by Talking Nina | May, 2021 | Better Marketing

10 Mistakes Persuasive Marketing Makes | by Steve Genco | Better Marketing

You Can Make a Lot of Money with a Substack Newsletter | by Tim Denning | Entrepreneur’s Handbook

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