Every so often, the fingers get itchy and tend to open up one of the many alleged spam emails one signed up for on a range of websites that sell or make products, in a plethora of areas and niches. If one is lucky, that one email actually talks about you and how you can get upto something, change something, or perhaps it talks about the writer of the email, leading by example and moving you with words that call for purposeful action in a positive way.
Now that is the kind of email you have to send in order to sell your book and your words to readers, as an indie author. Your emails or newsletters to your readers could well be a crossroad, from where making the right turn will lead to something bigger and better, as in life. No one likes predefined denouements to their life’s story, or to be told what exactly to do, or even to be sold a point of view. Which is why you need to master the art of inspiring without being pushy.
1) Define your goal:
What do you want the reader to do, on reading your email or newsletter? Think along the lines of the subject of your book, and take action? Consider gifting a copy to a friend? Give to charity by buying x number of copies? Where are you taking the reader? To your Facebook page? To an online retail store to avail a special discount? Think this through before you start composing your letter.
2) Don’t oversell:
If people on your list are fun, and good listeners, you may get away with something funny or even slightly preachy. But if they’re a serious lot, they’ll look for purpose and meaning. Either way, you can’t push yourself, your work or your product on them. Give them something to chew on, something to reflect on, and in doing so, lead them to something you have or have experienced. And stop at that. It’s a journey from wanting to sell and selling, so go one step at a time.
3) Learn from the spam you receive:
Think of the spam emails mentioned at the beginning of this piece. Why do you dump some of them straight into the trash, and why are some of them sitting neatly piled up in your junk folder? What is it about these emails that makes you squirm?
Try to narrow down your annoyances to a broadly defined list and see how to avoid making those mistakes. Having a readership is bigger than having them buy your book/s, so retain the happy lot you have, cheering for you from the sidelines.
In Part 2, we will cover some more vital points on how to retain a decent readership and sell to them without seeming like, well, you’re selling. Everyone envies and wants a bestseller, and if you do things right, maybe you’ll have one too!