There’s no denying it that most successful authors these days rely on a large newsletter to promote their new releases. By collecting the email address of those that have been interested in your books, you’ll slowly build up a list of targeted readers that you know already enjoy your writing. Bigger list = more eyes on your books = more sales! Over time, this begins to snowball because as you push more sales, platforms such as Amazon start pushing more readers to you.
One of the key techniques used by bestselling authors is to give away a free book to readers as an incentive for joining. They “pay” for the book with their email address. In turn, you get to market your future works to them and hopefully convince them to buy more of your books.
But, nobody just shows up on your signup page. You need to direct readers to it somehow.
The best way to direct readers to your signup page is in the back of your books.
At the back of every single one of your books, you should include a link to your signup page. Something simple will do, but I also recommend including an image to capture their attention. Here’s an example from bestselling author Kendall Ryan. She uses an entire page, just after the book finishes to direct people to her mailing list.
Include links on your website and in social media.
Readers will inevitably search for you in Google or on Facebook, so you should be prepared. As soon as they land on a web page that you can post to or control, they should see the incentive to join your newsletter. Here’s an example from bestselling author Alessandra Torre:
Her “newsletter sign up” button is very prominent on her website, as yours should be. Once readers click on it, they should be shown the free book incentive in order to increase conversion rates.
How to give away free ebooks to subscribers
These days, there’s a whole host of tools available to authors that want to give away free ebooks to new subscribers. Here’s the most popular ones.
Booksprout’s Reader’s Choice Giveaways
With Booksprout, authors are able to create a permanent landing page for their giveaways. That means it’s safe to use in the back of books without ever having to worry about updating them again.
Another feature unique to Booksprout is that it’s designed to incentivize every single reader that lands on your giveaway page because they, not you, get to choose which book they want. Thus, eliminating the problem many authors face with readers having already read the book they’re using as an incentive and losing out on that reader’s email address.
Here’s an example of a Reader’s Choice Giveaway page for Mark Twain. If he were trying to get new subscribers, that’s the page he would be sharing with his readers. Any email address collected would automatically be sent to his mailing list provider of choice.
Authors can optionally offer readers additional free ebooks if the reader shares them and gets a friend to subscribe as well.
As soon as someone subscribes to your newsletter, your mailing list provider (such as Mailerlite or Mailchimp) can send them an email. In this email, you can include a link to where your readers can download the free ebook. That file can be hosted on your own web server, or through a service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
With InstaFreebie, authors can create a landing page for a single book that will ask readers for their email address in order to collect it. As soon as they enter their email address, the ebook is emailed to them and you can collect their email address.
Keep in mind that InstaFreebie’s landing pages are for specific books only, so should you decide to change which book you’re giving away for free you’ll need to update the link everywhere.
Similar to InstaFreebie, authors can use BookFunnel to create a landing page for a single book. You can require them to provide their email address in exchange, which can then be exported later.
Again, Bookfunnel’s landing pages are for specific books only so if you want to change which book you’re giving away you’ll need to update it everywhere.