The most important tool of high-selling indie authors

Celebrate blog hopRecently I’ve been reading a few how-to-write books that have sections on how to market the book once you have written it. A topic close to my heart, because my first book, Where the Opium Cactus Grows, didn’t sell many copies, and my short ebook, surly petunia, got downloaded 60 times when it was free but hasn’t done well as a 99 cent ebook.

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

So, what do the high-selling authors regard as the best tool to sell books? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? A pricy-but-static author page with your very own domain? None of the above.

The best tool to sell your books is to have an email list— a list of people who have ‘opted in’ and agreed to receive emails from you. These are the people most likely to buy your books, if you keep on producing them and you let your mailing list know about them.

The recommended tool to manage your email list is MailChimp. It’s free for your first 2000 subscribers. It gives your subscribers an easy way to unsubscribe if they want to. Which makes them more likely to sign up in the first place.

It’s recommended to recruit people to your newsletter through your blog (every author should have one) and through your social media accounts. It’s important to promise (and then deliver) useful and interesting exclusive content through your newsletter, once or twice a month.

The contacts you make with people through your blog/author page and your social media can be fleeting. Your email list makes it easy to stay in touch with your most enthusiastic contacts and make them more enthusiastic through inside information.

My own email newsletter is called ‘Nissa Annakindt’s Antimatter Life. What am I going to send you if you sign up? Well, you will be the first to know when my next poetry book and my zombie book come out. I will also share the book covers in advance and give you some insider details.

But I also want to give my subscribers info they want and can use. For example, I might mention books I’ve read and liked, writing markets I have dealt with, or even share a recipe or a kitten picture. If you sign up for my list (click on, let me know that in a comment and feel free to make suggestions on what you would like to read in the newsletter.

Celebrate the Small Things

It’s a little hard to celebrate today. I stayed up late watching news coverage of the murder of police officers at a ‘black lives matter’ rally in Dallas. This morning I woke up to news that the death toll had climbed to five, and that certain politicians were already using the tragedy to promote their political ideas.

But some things are going well. I’ve started my own email newsletter and I’ve learned a little more about how to use Twitter. (I’m @nissalovescats) I’ve just read some great books by authors I know on Facebook. And I’m not too far behind on my Camp NaNoWriMo project (which includes zombies. And Russians. And a dwarf/little person and scary Soviet era experimentation.)


What I’m reading:

Blood Song by Robert Mullin (free on Kindle, about a woman gladiator on a strange world.)
On Different Strings: A Musical Romance (99 cents on Kindle, romance)
Shatterworld (Shatterworld Trilogy Book 1) (2.99 on Kindle, story of a space colony, has autistic character.)

4 thoughts on “The most important tool of high-selling indie authors

  1. I’ve heard mixed results from authors concerning their newsletters. Some claim it’s the best thing ever, others are dropping them because they didn’t find it brought many results. Here’s hoping the first group will include you! As to the world today…*grumble*…it’s exactly why we need to celebrate the wonderful, little things we can.

  2. I didn’t realize you had Twitter – I’m now following you! Yes, newsletters are the way to go. But authors are mostly forcing sign-ups via rafflecopter (and those people unsubscribe pretty quickly) or with free novels. That makes people stay around longer. Honestly, unless the newsletter writer is extremely entertaining or is giving away more free stuff (like free short stories), I will unsubscribe after a few months. I don’t like it when every monthly newsletter is “Buy this!” I have a newsletter but am neither promoting it nor sending any newsletters out because I don’t have a large enough supply of free stories. When I come out with a couple more novels, I’ll start it up with a giveaway.

    Thanks for letting me know about your friend Robert Mullin and his free book. I’m putting it i the Freebie section next Friday. I hope lots of people download it!

  3. From the books I’ve read, the best way to do a newsletter is to give the readers useful and interesting content. I thought I would share good books I’ve read recently, share a recent poem I’ve written or a new resource for writers or readers. I don’t know for sure, will have to see what people who sign-up like best. I just hope enough people sign up for it that I can do a newsletter this month.

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