In 2018, one of the hot, new ways to market your book is by building your newsletter email lists. The idea being email is far from dead, and is in fact one of the most effective ways to market. And many authors have banded together to do what’s known as a newsletter swap. In short, it is what it sounds like: you promote theirs, they promote yours, everybody wins. But how does one go about getting into these things?
Step 1: Set Up a Newsletter
Okay, this is where that free* part comes in. The very first step to a newsletter swap is to make sure you have a list to swap with in the first place. So you’ll want to take some time to build your author newsletter. But of course, you’re already doing that, right?
MailChimp and MailerLite are both excellent options (we use the latter). Both do offer free plans, however, you’re limited in the number of subscribers you can have. So you may have to pay a little bit in order to get to the higher numbers.
Step 2: Grow Your Subscribers
If you’ve got ten folks on your newsletters, sorry to say that probably nobody’s going to want to promote your book on their list of 10,000. Where’s the benefit to them, right?
Once you’ve got a baseline newsletter, grow your subscribers. You should take care to grow smartly; after all, ten thousand email subscribers who don’t buy anything isn’t worth much, right? The best way to grow your subscriber base is to give away a free eBook in exchange for a newsletter. Instafreebie is a great source, as is Bookfunnel. Or, for a cheaper option, you can set up a download plug-in on your wordpress site and send people there via your mailing list landing page. (Don’t know how to do that? Contact us for a quote!)
Step 3: Join an Author Groups
Most authors these days find swaps via Facebook Groups. Nowadays, there’s a group for every genre and niche out there. Get a feel for what the list sizes are for authors and what they’re looking for in response. Where you can fit in, offer to swap.
Step 4: Schedule Your Own Promotion
It’s a good idea to figure out a system to manage promotions so you don’t forget anyone. We’re big fans of Google Docs and Forms as an entry form. Just make sure you keep track of who’s supposed to share what on what day, and the same for your own.
Step 5: Keep Growing
Post a link to your free book in your book’s back matter. Sign up for newsletter builders with other authors. Keep growing your list with avid readers who want what you’re putting out there. Not only will you continue to qualify for larger swaps, but you’ll be cultivating a list of readers that you own, and you won’t have to pay one red cent to access them.