How Writers Do the Mailing List Thing

WPRLately I’ve been reading ‘Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success.’ It has some pretty good ideas (along with some bad language and some promoting of the idea of writing smut/erotica).

One of the ideas I’m dealing with is the idea that authors should have a mailing list of readers and potential readers. They suggest e-mailing the list once a week, or at least once a month. They believe this is the best way to stay in contact with readers, to let them know when the next book is coming out and the like.

Following some of their other suggestions I’m going to have an e-book of my poetry available for free very shortly. (I’ve composed the text and just have to get things formatted correctly using Scrivener, which supposedly makes these things easier.) I’m thinking I should have some sort of e-mail list started, and I can mention it in the back of the e-book.

What are your experiences with e-mail lists? Have you ever joined the e-mail list of a favorite author? If so, what did you think of the e-mails?

Have you ever started an e-mail list of your own for your books (if you are an author) or your business? How did that work out? What e-mail list provider did you use?

My one experience with starting an e-mail list was not good. I found a recommended free e-mail list provider and signed up. Within 2 weeks, that free provider had gone out of business.

And so I’m really nervous about starting an e-mail list. Since I’m on disability and have only a tiny income that doesn’t quite cover food and my bills, I can’t go for any paid services. And if I signed with a free one I’m afraid it would either go belly-up or quit being free. Though I understand MailChimp is pretty good and is free up to 2000 subscribers.

I had one thought, though. I thought I could create a second blog which would be my newsletter blog. I would strongly encourage people to sign up to follow the blog by e-mail. (I don’t do that for this blog because I don’t want to spam anyone’s inbox with the stuff I blog about here.) I don’t know how well that would work, though. What do you think?



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