The no-upfront-fee ebook distributor Draft2Digital took another step into providing author services this week with the announcement of a mailing list service.
Building a mailing list is one of the most important things a self-published author can do to turn her successes into a real career. Discovery is the biggest challenge for any writer, but once you’ve been discovered, it’s critical to keep that new fan engaged.
Many authors recommend mailing-list services like Mailchimp or Aweber to handle this task. You can sign up for an account and send some newsletters out for free, until you reach a certain number of subscribers or mailings. You’ll have to provide some personal information to comply with anti-spam laws, though, and the setup can get pretty technical for someone who’s not already comfortable writing HTML.
As usual, that’s where Draft2Digital comes in. While we can’t help you with a full newsletter, we can offer you a next-best alternative that costs no money and only enough time to check a box on our website.
Authors who distribute one or more of their books through Draft2Digital will soon have the option of setting up a mailing list for readers. D2D says that it's going to be a limited function mailing list which authors can use to automatically notify readers of pre-orders or new releases.
When the service is live, readers will find the signup page at D2D's new site, Books2Read.
Authors won't be able to notify fans of sales, or books released through other channels, so it's not going to be a terribly useful mailing list service. But if Draft2Digital is your main ebook distributor then this is definitely worth using.
D2D is right in that mailing lists are a moneymaker, so this is a tool every author should be using.
And while we're on the topic, authors who want to set up a more complete mailing list should consider pairing a blog with Feedburner. You can take the RSS feed for either the blog or (the better solution) for one category and set up Feedburner so that it will send out email notifications when you publish new posts.
P.S. That's just one solution I thought of while writing this post; if you know of other better ways to do a mailing list, please leave a comment. I'm not the only one who would like to learn new tricks.
image by shawncampbell