Don't Rely on Facebook - Why Authors Need to Build a Mailing List

Three Ways to Effectively Build your Author Mailing List

Yesterday, I was trying to calm down an author who was supposed to do an Instagram Live event for her cookbook launch. Instagram was down for most of the day yesterday, along with Facebook and WhatsApp. Needless to say, she was anxious and freaking out. Luckily, she was able to push her event to today, but I advised her to come up with a way to connect with her readers directly.

One thing I always advise authors do is to make sure they build their own email list. It’s great to build your author brand on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media sites, but the rules for those platforms are constantly changing. In the event of an outage or (cough, cough) their platforms go down, you won’t be left stranded without a way to reach your audience.

Another reason to build your email list is because by itself, Amazon is not a sales strategy. If you publish a book and just post it on Amazon, will it sell? Most likely not.

Here are some things you’ll want to do in order to build your email list:

1)    Sign people up through your author blog via popup.

a.    I’ve seen a lot of people put their email opt-ins on the sidebar of their blogs. But too often, the right bar or left rail get hidden and ignored. Consider using an eye-catching popup that entices people to join your list. Leadpages and Sumo both have some pretty easy to integrate popup options.

2)    Have an author’s letter at the end of your book that lets readers know about your newsletter.

a.    One of the easiest ways to get existing readers onto your list is by asking them to join at the end of your book. A simple, gracious note  thanks them for reading your book and invites them to stay in the loop about your other titles. Here’s a sample:

Sample Author’s Note
Thank you for joining me in telling the story of [description of your characters or your book]. I hope they touched your soul the same way they touched mine.

If you loved the book and have a minute to spare, I would really appreciate a short review on the page or site where you bought the book. Your help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated. Reviews from readers like you make a huge difference to helping new readers find stories similar to [name of title/name of characters].

*Link to Amazon page:

*Link to Bookshop
*Link to Barnes & Noble page:
*Link to iBooks page:
*Link to Kobo page:

Thank you!
[Your Name]

p.s. If you’d like to know when my next book comes out and want to receive occasional updates from me, then you can sign up for my newsletter here -> [link to newsletter]

3)    Create a compelling opt-in gift for your readers

a.    In order to get people to sign up for your list, you need to give them a reason to want to hear from you. The simplest way to do this is to offer a gift for subscribing. The free gift can be anything from a free chapter of your next book to a free guide or ebook the visitor gets for joining your list.

You want to make sure that you have access to YOUR fans and can get to them directly. That way, when you write the next book, you’ll be in control over the messaging and can let your readers know right away. So the next time Facebook goes down, you won’t be left stranded without a plan.