Is Email Marketing Worth it for Authors?

Kelly Hashway did a post today on email marketing. Talk about a coincidence. Check out her post!


I keep hearing over and over and over how the best way to reach readers is through email. I was all set to start my newsletter then, I started thinking. Is email marketing really effective or is it like Goodreads? Some brands sing its praise while others don't see its usefulness.

People can subscribe to this blog by email but I don't control that. I have no idea who subscribes. Blogger doesn't give me a list of emails.

I try not to jump on a marketing tool just because people say I should. Some have said you can't write a good story unless you outline. No one really knows what makes a bestseller.

It seems odd that email is still the best way to reach people. Clearly authors find it useful or there wouldn't be tons of articles on it.

On the other hand, I've subscribed to a lot of newsletters and I read less than half of them. I get most of my info from my Feedly, content agitators like Paper.li and social media. Generally, the only emails that get me to buy book are Bookbub and Amazon recommendations.

Funny enough, I find Goodreads blogs to be effective. Whenever I get that email from Goodreads, subject- New Updates from Authors You Follow, I always open it. If there's a post that sounds interesting, I read it.

Maybe I don't understand what email marketing really does for authors.

Email Newsletters for Authors: Get Started Guide
"While email lists have many uses (from selling your books to delivering paid subscription content), their most immediate use for freelance writers and authors is to keep readers and professional connections informed about what you’re doing."
I can see that. I'm starting my own business soon. (More on that in a later post!) Is social media as effective at keeping people updated. I still haven't found a way to get readers to buy my books. Something different is in order.

The article also said:
"Emails can’t be missed like a social media post that disappears in readers’ feeds as more posts follow it."
Emails can be missed if you get a lot of them a day. Although, with the way gmail is arranged, it is harder to miss an email.

During my blog tour, my Facebook likes and reach increased. I'm also getting more action on Twitter and Instagram.

Kick Ass Book Launch Tips (from Two Authors Who Really Know) 
"My most essential tools are my blog and my email list. At the end of every book is a link to “sign up for new titles”."
Really interesting article but I need a reason why an email list is an essential tool.

Email News and Strategy
"Collect these emails and then invest in email marketing software. With affordable, user-friendly email marketing software, you can send out emails promoting the release of your book-to readers as well as local media-and then send emails announcing any appearances you'll make to promote the book, such as signings and reading."
I learn about upcoming books through Goodreads and Amazon emails. I guess with your own email newsletter, you have more control over the content. What happens in the unlikely event that Goodreads and Amazon go away? So, email marketing is about the long run. Ok. I can get behind that.

However, it rarely occurs to me to sign up for an author's newsletter. I usually follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook page or add their blog/website to Feedly.

How to build your email list: email marketing tips for authors
"Because countless studies have shown that a subscriber on your email list is FAR more likely to take a requested action than one of your social media followers."
If someone subscribes to your newsletter, that might mean they really want to keep up-to-date with your books and events.

However, I don't buy anything from an author's newsletter. The only emails that get me to spend money are ones from Mediabistro, Writer's Digest, (as mentioned before) Amazon and Bookbub.

I can go back and forth on this for days. I'm still not sold on a newsletter. People can subscribe to this blog by email. That's a newsletter just one I don't control.

I'll focus more on getting reviews and creating fun campaigns through social media.

I think the most effective way would be the non-traditional approach. Kelly mentioned this. Instead of starting your own newsletter, find out how you can get included in someone else's newsletter, someone with thousands of subscribers.

When I start my own business, I might start a newsletter. Don't know yet. Someone should come up with a new name for it. Newsletter brings to mind paper not digital.

As writers and readers, what do you think about email marketing?

7 Email Marketing Secrets Every Fiction Writer Should Know
Book Marketing the Old Way Versus the Way That Works Today—Part 2: Email Promotions
Email Marketing for Authors: How to Create an Effective Newsletter