Thursday, August 8, 2013

Marketing, Naked Thursday Style

(Warning: On Naked Thursday, I sometimes may tell you more than you want to know)

So I hear stuff sometimes, right? Stuff I'm 'Supposed to' do, and if it rings true to me and I feel even remotely capable, I'm like 'yeah, okay.' I've got FOMS, see? (fear of missing something) so I generally am open to experimentation. Broadly... Like I'm totally easy.

But SOME of this stuff, I just think ARE YOU HIGH? Stuff that either seems like just an insane amount of work, an insane activity, or REALLY BUGS ME when I'm on the receiving end, so I just am loathe to start bugging people as badly as some people bug me. Make sense?

Anyway, I thought I'd do a little series on this as I lead up to having to promote the heck out of myself... just ADMIT to y'all my ISSUE with something that I'm theoretically supposed to do, and see if you can talk me into it<--this is your goal, if in fact you disagree with me: TALK ME INTO IT. Look at it as a challenge.

Today I'm going to start with a biggie because it fits TWO of the categories above. It both seems like an insane amount of work AND bugs the crap out of me. (no offense if you do it—we've all been told we're supposed to, so I only blame you as part of a collective, not personally.)

Mailing Lists

Now I could be on THIS (Hell's mailing list)
I DON'T WANT TO BE ON ANY. That doesn't mean don't email me. By all means, DO if you have a personal or small group of friends type plea or question. But all that NEWS? No. I want to get that in my Facebook feed or from your blog. NOT in my inbox. My inbox is where I do BUSINESS and I don't want it clogged when I am trying to look at what I need to do.

(now if I've signed up for something, that's another matter entirely—by all means, remind me)

(and likewise, if you've done me favors—hosted me, shared stuff—then PUT ME on your list of people you are asking for stuff from (this goes for pretty much ALL my regular blog visitors), but I look at this as 30-50 friends unless you're Alex and really HAVE several hundred friends--and for a specific REQUEST, not NEWS--I don't look to my email for NEWS unless you are my agent or editor)

But everywhere I turn it says 'Oh, an author needs a mailing list' like it's a REQUIREMENT to be annoying in order to sell books, and this just doesn't ring true... But maybe that's just me.

So here are my questions:

1)  Do you LIKE getting a newsletter from authors?

2)  How often is too often for a mailing list mailing?

3)  Do you mind mass mailings for favors?

4)  Do you READ stuff that comes to you and 200 other people?

5)  Do you HAVE a mailing list?

6)  Has it really done miracles for you and if so, explain.

Go on! Convince me!


Diana Wilder said...

You won't get any attempts at convincing from me. I think it takes a lot of cheek (high and low) to think that everyone and his brother will squeal with joy if they get some sort of mass mailing from me.

Of course, to me, in my own head, 'mass mailing', if not from, say Gumps or Neiman Marcus, who think I have more liquid assets than I do, equals 'I'm too lazy to write you a seemingly personal note'. That includes the writer of a horror story that 'will haunt you forever' who emails/FBs me every other blessed week and has for this book for the past year.

*cough* where was I? Oh. Yeah, I agree with you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I do think mailing lists are good to share news about your book once you know you're going to be published. And it's important not to send them out too often or they would get deleted. But I do read most of the ones I signed up for.

I think a great way to get more people on the mailing list other than regular followers is to tie it in to giveaway contests when you're celebrating something like a cover reveal, etc on other blogs, especially book review blogs.

Liz Blocker said...

I'm torn.

I mean, I hate mailing lists. They;re annoying. They clog up my inbox. And so on.

On the other hand, sometimes I forget to check blogs and FB, and then a (VERY OCCASIONAL) email to tell me your book is on sale, or that you'll be at a signing somewhere, could be nice.

Ultimately, though, no matter how much I hate mailing lists, if I'm the one who signed up for them then it's my own darn fault. So, I guess the best argument in favor of them is that it's up to people to put themselves on (and then we have to trust they want to be there) or take themselves off (and then we cry).

Jai said...

If I've signed up for it is because I'm interested. However, if it is too frequent I'm all for the delete button.

Stacy Gail said...

*sigh* I'm about to get a newsletter going, actually. I've held out this long because I hate them. HATE. But I've been asked one too many times this past week (once by an editor at Carina *cringes*) why I don't have one. My official response: "I forgot." My REAL response: "I'd rather set my hair on fire than set one up."

So... I'm doing it. Kicking and screaming all the way, but I'm doing it.

Maybe. :(

Helena said...

You know me, Hart -- I'm a techie incompetent, so of course I don't have an emailing list, so maybe my opinion in this area doesn't much count. I can tell you, however, that I love getting emails from you and other bloggie friends that are just for me, and I'm glad (and even grateful) to get reminder emails for blog events I've signed up for. Beyond that, I would only want a newsletter-type email once from anyone that announces a book release. More than one and they'll be like the RUGS U.S.A. emails I keep getting that I delete instantly as if they carry viruses.

Because so many people don't like receiving mass emails, I really question the validity of the marketing assertion that an author must have an emailing list at the ready.

Missed Periods said...

To be honest, I rarely read them.

jack welling said...

I'd read newsletters and mass mailings from the authors I follow. They however do not use them.

I do receive mass emails as newsletters from two bookstores - neither even remotely in my geographic area. I also read the daily email blast Shelf Awareness - the pro edition.

If I believed myself to be an influence reader who consumes, reviews, and recommends... then I'd sign up for your newsletter. I have a friend who does just that as her avocation. She's something special. She's a "reader."

I'd sign up for your newsletter.

mshatch said...


1) Hell no!

2) Once

3) Absolutely.

4) That's why I have a delete button!

5) Nope.

6) N/A

However, like Natalie said, if an author I knew (like you for example) sent a mass email announcing your new book, I wouldn't mind. The problem is when an author inundates the entire blogosphere with their promotion, then it becomes annoying.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I am so GLAD to read this post!!! Because it's one of those things I've heard as well and just can't bring myself to set up a mailing list *shudder* like some kind of spammer. Or a newsletter, which seems like a lot of work and really in the same category. Why should I go to all that work to create a newsletter when I have Facebook, a blog, a website, twitter etc etc?

Cherie Reich said...

1. Yes, I do like getting newsletters from authors--but only if I signed up for the mailing list to begin with (i.e. don't put me on a mailing list).

2. It depends. Most mailing lists I subscribe to send out a newsletter once a month or once every other month. A few do it when they have news (2-3 week intervals). Any more than that, then it can become spammy.

3. For me, if I need a favor, I will either go individually with people OR post it on my blog and put up a link/form. That way people can sign up as they wish. But just emailing a bunch of people for a favor, I just don't know.

4. IF I signed up for it, then yes. If not, then no.

5. Yes, I have a mailing list, but it is an author newsletter. I only send it out when I have news/discounts/etc. and only to people who've signed up for it.

6. The newsletter does have a 50% open rate, which is good (I think the average is 25% or less). People like the discounts I put in, and it spreads the word about new releases and such. I don't know how successful a general mailing list would be (i.e. you add emails to it instead of the person adding herself to the list).

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I had a mailing list when I was promoting my 5 book series, and it was family, friends, and those who'd signed up to get my newsletter, which at the time was every month. I made it wasn't just advertising, which would drive anyone bonkers. It had some industry news, a guest article or author feature, and then listed my appearances and any news of upcoming books. A year after my series ended, I shut it down, and got a lot of responses from people who were sad to see it go. I think if you do it right and it's not all about you, then it works.

Jan Morrison said...

Hmmm...sometimes I THINK I want to receive newsletters from authors I like but I only think it. They actually annoy me and I just delete them. No newsletter is going to get me to buy a book. It just isn't. I would spend my energy otherwise. You want people to buy your book because it looks like an interesting read, no? Not because someone feels 'ah shit, I might as well or they're just going to keep bugging me - but I'm not reading it!' I'd rather put the time into doing bookstore readings or blog visits or radio interviews where people get a real taste of who you are and get excited about that! I know it's Friday but just writing this made me go and take my clothes off. Everything seems so complicated. Let's just get naked and drink margaritas, kay?

Tara Tyler said...

nix no nada zilch interest in mailing lists
but i do have one friend who swears by hers because her fans (wish i had fans!) love getting her updates. i think she does it monthly...