How this author makes subscribers to e-mail marketing and Amazon super fans
Amazon is a platform for selling products, not a sales strategy. How this author used superfans to reduce noise and increase demand for his book series.
By Kristin MacLaughlin June 17, 2020
Eric R. Asher is a former bookseller and cellist living in Saint Louis, Missouri. If he doesn't write, you can usually read, play, or see him buried under a small avalanche of transformers. He is a successful author who publishes himself on Amazon.
But that was not always the case. Asher had to navigate the world of publishing to learn that writing the book is just the first step.
Successful authors today have to win over an audience to sell books. The right tools to authentically connect with your audience can make all the difference.
Asher discovered that email marketing was his most valuable resource. If you have an email list, you have a built-in audience to sell your books too. If you don't, you may not be able to.
With the help of email marketing, Asher built a fantastic system to promote his book series. Today Asher is the author of over 20 books available through Amazon, Audible, Apple Books and Barnes & Noble.
Amazon is a platform for distributing books, not a sales strategy.
Asher's career hit a crossroads when his agent told him one of his books was unpublished.
"I said to my agent," I'm pretty sure you're wrong. I will withdraw the rights and do it myself. "And it was one of my most successful projects," says Asher.
He turned to self-publishing on Amazon, which he discovered worked well for an audience of young adults.
The license fees you earn with self-publishing are very tempting. "I have friends who sell more books than I do, but because they publish in a traditional way, many make less," Asher says.
Amazon does not allow Asher to harvest the demand, not to generate it. As an author, you have to create your own demand. Email marketing not only helps authors create demand, it can also make the difference between a published author and a published author with income.
Email – the ultimate book marketing channel.
Email guarantees that Asher has a fixed audience of people who know, like, and trust him, regardless of the publisher. It also gives an author the ability to distance himself from a publisher because you have an integrated audience to reach yourself.
With email, Asher can continue to build relationships with people who are interested in his work even after reading one of his books.
No other service – not even social media – is so personal, powerful and affordable. Email marketing is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined in customer acquisition.
But not all email service providers are created equal. AWeber's positive reputation for delivering messages to subscribers' inboxes and avoiding the spam folder was one of the main reasons why Asher became an AWeber customer.
“My author friends had nightmares with other platforms that had problems with deliverability. You even lost an entire mailing list. I prefer to pay a few extra dollars a month to keep my mailing list on a stable platform, ”says Asher.
Create a compelling gift to get readers to sign up.
One of the easiest ways to create an email list is to create a compelling opt-in gift for your new subscribers.
Eric offers free content in the form of a free short story book entitled "Whispers of War". Visitors will receive a free book via a link in an email after providing their email address.
While not everyone signs up for your free gift, those who do are more likely to buy future books. Build the relationship early by sending them a welcome email campaign to keep them busy.
Landing pages and registration forms facilitate the segmentation of the target group.
Asher uses special landing pages and registration forms to segment its audience according to their interests.
"I write for multiple genres and there isn't really much overlap in readership between these genres. I like segmenting my list by the genre book the reader found me in," says Asher.
By segmenting their audience in this way, they can create newsletter content based on the genre that their audience is interested in.
Build a relationship with your audience with automated email sequences.
After someone has entered their email address in a registration form, Asher sends them a series of emails with free content to make them accessible to both genres. The first email contains a link to download a free urban fantasy novel.
The second email in the series contains another free download of content that brings readers closer to his other genre, Steampunk.
When someone clicks on a link in a newsletter, that user is identified by their interest. “Marking is invaluable for retargeting. When someone clicks on a link, the next time I have a new book in this series, I make sure that they are informed about something new, ”says Asher.
No matter how readers consume his books – whether via audio, e-book or print – Asher stays in contact with his audience through his newsletter.
“I used to think that the newsletter was a nice addition to social media. Social media algorithms have changed over the years. I think it is more important to have this newsletter as the core. I found emails to be invaluable, ”says Asher.
Build up super fans via email.
When it comes to launching a successful book on Amazon, it is critical that the right group of people stand up for your work.
Asher's group of superfans helps him expand his reach. You get early copies of his books and leave honest reviews on the booksellers' websites.
Asher stays in touch with this group via email, which ultimately helps him build closer relationships with them.
Reviews are important.
"One of the biggest things I think a lot of authors don't do is ask for reviews. After I send subscribers a link to download engaging content, I send an email:" Hey, my new one Book has been published. If you have three minutes, please leave me a review on Amazon. "Many authors don't know how useful a review can be. The reviews are fantastic," Asher says.
Reviews help convince browsers to buy. It is the best social evidence that your book is being read and people are interested in the content. Amazon also takes note of ratings in the ranking. Asher reuses ratings to generate more sales via email.
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