How to build an email list the easy way (Part 1.)

An email list is an absolute must for any writer or indie-author. This post is for people who are just getting started with their author platform or don’t have a large email list and the writers who want to make a living and have a long career.

The illusive email list is what every blogger or marketing guru talks about it constantly but nobody gives you an actual strategy on how to build one. Here I will give you some quick ways to build your list.

There are two main ways readers will find you and sign up to your list. Either a book you wrote and is published (preferably self-published so you can use these tactics) or a blog. I say a blog and not a website for a reason. You need a blog to drive traffic to your site. No blog, no traffic. Of course there are exceptions if you’re already well known to the public or you are J.K Rowling. Everybody else needs to find their blog readers who will be potential book readers.

The second way people will discover you is through your work. That is your books. But how do you get people to sign up for you’re email list once they buy your book? First you need to maximise downloads and sales. A good way is to do this is to give away the book for free. I know what you are thinking! Free? Yep. You will get a ton of downloads and yes I’m talking about the eBook format. Print books can’t be free as you will lose money on them and they will be a fraction of your sales anyway.

Active Patience in the Free Category on

So now your book is free and you are getting decent downloads, you need an incentive to get people on your list. What to do? Inside your book you are going to give away something else for free. This can be any of the following:

  • Another book (a popular option for fiction and non-fiction authors)
  • Cheatsheet — Breakdown something into a handy and useful A4 page for your reader.
  • Character Family Tree or Map.
  • Course eg How to write a book in 60 days. You can do this simply by sending automated emails with the lessons.
  • Infographic.
  • Meditation.

Your giveaway can be one or a combination of the above and it’s really up to you what you giveaway but people need an incentive. Very few people will sign up just out of the goodness of their hearts. Of course there will die hard fans who don’t need an incentive but you need to capture as many people as you can if you want to have a long lasting career.

Allison Tait’s Blog

Once you have decided on giveaway. I’m assuming you already have a blog or a site set-up? If not quick get one and don’t forget publishers love blogs and will want to see you blogging. Find out more here: 5 Reasons why Publishers love bloggers.

So you are blogging now and using key words and getting yourself out there and making connections with other bloggers and creating amazing content. The traffic is trickling in. This is also going to serve the customers who have read you’re work and you have a chance to capture them also on your list (if you already haven’t). There’s a few ways to do this depending on how aggressive you want to be:

  • Create a page on your blog with the Free Giveaway you have created. Put some pretty pictures of what they will get, a description and a link to the sign up form. Upon the Welcome email they get their free bonus/incentive/reader magnet.
  • Install a plugin pop up with a form to sign up for their freebie. I use AppSumo which has allot of other tools you can use to capture emails.

So now the emails are coming in and by now you realise you need more books! The more places you are the better. The next book you’ve written you want to launch it with a bang. You wan’t even more subscribers and potential readers to convert. I will reveal all in Part 2. of this post.

If you liked this post please share and/or comment below……

Image via by James Tarbotton

Go to Part 2. here.

Originally published at on August 4, 2015.