Book MarketingEmail

Mistakes Authors Make With Email Marketing

If you’re only communicating with your email list when you release a book or have a sale, you’re doing it all wrong. 

As you might already know, your email list is the single most valuable piece of marketing you have. Not only is it among the most affordable pieces of marketing, but it’s the most effective.

Let’s talk about why email marketing is so valuable. 

Anyone who is on your list joined your list because they want to see your content. They opted in to hear from you weekly/monthly because they think you’re pretty dang awesome. That’s even despite the fact that people hold onto their emails tightly, like it’s a big wad of cash, because they’re afraid of their inboxes turning into the land of Spamalot. 


When you put an ad on Facebook or Amazon, not only are you going to pay a pretty penny for it, but it’s going to be shown to people that may not care about what you’re offering. But the ones who are on your email list, they are your golden trophy children. They care. And they care a lot! They will not only see your content, but they will want to see it!


We can agree that your email list is the single most valuable piece of marketing you have access to, but if you’re not utilizing it correctly, what good does it do you?


Let’s talk about the top two mistakes authors make when email marketing:


  • They only email their list when they release a book or when their book is on sale
  • They don’t engage their audience 


It might seem sensible to not “bother” your audience since everyone gets so many promotional emails as it is. But that couldn’t be further from the truth because, remember, your subscribers chose to hear from you. So give the people what they want! Plus, your emails aren’t going to be purely promotional, in fact, it should mostly not be.


You should be emailing them once per month, at the very least. Many people choose to send a monthly newsletter, but if you want my advice, which I assume you do since you opened this blog post, I recommend sending an email every week so you’re always fresh in your audience’s mind. 


What should that weekly or monthly newsletter consist of? I’m glad you asked because it brings me to the next mistake that authors make when they utilize email marketing: They don’t engage their audience and/or they only send promotional content. 


If there’s one thing that’s worse than getting out of touch with your audience, it’s sending emails that are purely spammy. 


If you sell books, it only makes sense to send your audience links and info about your books when you email them, but that can’t be the only thing the email says or you will lose subscribers in the blink of an eye. 


Whenever you send an email, you need to think about what sort of content your followers might want. Assuming you’re an author, your audience must be readers and they are probably going to want to digest content related to books. 


Here is some content ideas for you to share with your readers:

  • Reading memes!

Who doesn’t love memes? They’re funny and they offer instant gratification. You can find reading memes on Google and on Pinterest. If you don’t want to find these yourself, then you can use this product, 365+ Days of Bookworm Content for Social Media, which has everything you need all in one file!

  • Graphics with Inspirational quotes about reading. You can also find these in the product listed above. 
  • Links to free books on Amazon
    This is controversial in the book world. Some people will tell you that having freebie chasers on your email list is a waste of time because they will only stay on your list for that and not your books.

    I will tell you why I disagree.

    This is a numbers game. If it takes 100 people on your list to sell 1 book, then you want to get as many hundreds of subscribers as possible, so it makes sense to have more on your list. Not to mention, you’re going to win these subscribers over with your amazing content and great personality, so they will eventually turn into customers, right? Right!
  • News articles related to reading and books
    I’m always surprised how many people actually click those kind of links, but they do!
  • Engaging graphics that questions to you readers
    This one is great! I have a “question of the week” where I ask my readers a question and they click “reply” and answer the question. It is SUPER important that you are always trying to get your readers to hit reply and say something. Not only does this engage them, but it helps keep your emails out of their junk folder.
    I really can’t stress enough how important this one is!


One of the most important things to keep in mind when committing to email marketing is CONSISTENCY. If you tell your audience that you will be emailing them once per week, then never miss a week. 

Don’t email them more than what you say, except on special occasions like book releases and sales. 


If you have read all this and are thinking, “Cassandra, this makes sense and all, but I really don’t have the time for this! I happen to offer email marketing as a business where I do all of this for you. Contact me at to learn more!


If you think you can do this yourself, but you’d like some bookworm content for your emails without having to chase them down on the internet all the time, here’s the link to over a years worth of engaging content for your readers:

In the comments, let me know when you think of this post! Thanks for reading.

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