Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Building a Large Following One opt-In at a Time
By Cat Muldoon
Author of Rue the Day: The Undercover Heir, Book 1
Available at

Plenty of authors, even highly successful ones, leave a lot of money and followers “on the table” by not doing one simple thing. I’m pleased that I learned this from someone who has gone from knowing nothing about marketing to teaching it to authors.
I met a dozen authors recently who all have sold over a million books, and some of these fantastic authors had no idea who visited their website. Think about this. It’s great to give out samples of your stories or other gifts, but why not get people to give you their name and email address, then you an not only deliver stories to them, but also keep in touch over the months.
You can do this for only $20 a month with what is called an auto-responder. The one I recommend is at Before you have a fit about a monthly charge, realize this. You can keep more than one list (like one for certain cities or places you visit often, or one for those who want to hire you to speak, and so forth.
The best thing about a list, though, is this: It gives you a chance to keep in touch with someone who first comes to visit. Let’s face it, we’re all bombarded with so many messages to buy this or that book, and we can’t get them all. And in this attention economy, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” So if someone loves your book excerpt but forgets about you, you’ll never sell them a book or speak to their book club.
If you use the auto-responder to get their name and email (and by the way, they even give a second, “yes I really did mean to sign up for this” message), then you will build a relationship with them over time, keep giving them wonderful content, and they’ll remember you. You can even have your blog posts automatically sent to your subscribers, again personalized with their own name.
Your message will be sent individually, not in bulk. So if your name is Tom, when I send you a message, it will read, “Hey Tom, did you know that I can personally visit YOUR book club?” This is a wonderful way to build relationships and sell books. Also, when I’m traveling, such as doing a book signing or attending a conference, I can send a note to the list and say, “If you’re in Utah, you can meet me at…”
And if you would like to invite me to your book club or writer’s conference, please drop me a line at And don’t forget to sign up for my excerpts of Rue the Day and other stories…and my latest drawing or contest!

No comments: