I’ve been pondering creating a solo author mailing list recently. As the audience for this blog is likely to contain plenty of people who like my writing, I thought I’d ask you all about your experiences with mailing lists.
Currently, Simon Cantan and I have a joint list: however—while I believe readers’ tastes often bridge several genres—as my catalogue of work that isn’t humorous fantasy or humorous science-fiction grows, the possible gap between those mostly interested in our joint works and those mostly interested in my solo work also grows. Therefore, I’ve been pondering whether to create a solo list, and if so, what approach to adopt to mailings.
The Higgins-Cantan list is very release- and deal-focused: we send details of books that are about to be released, details of new releases, free stories, and deals on our books; we don’t send updates on our pets, reviews of films, or other non-book content unless it’s relevant to our books. However, that’s not the only way.
I read every email I receive from various author’s mailing lists (frequent readers of this blog will be unsurprised) and don’t consider any of the emails unwanted, but there are only some author’s whose mailings I habitually leave until I have time to read them properly rather than speed-read to see if that particular email is engaging enough to warrant extra focus. After a brief self-survey, my preferences seem to be for mailings that usually have several of the following:
Tells me about new releases and deals;
Contains something about the author rather than just books that are available;
Suggests other interesting books or items;
Isn’t extremely long and dense: I find reading a narrow column of text tedious after a while, so extensive paragraphs don’t hold my interest as well;
Isn’t extremely brief: while I don’t want to wade through pages of text, I want more than a reminder the author exists.
The more of these an author’s mailings usually contain, the higher the frequency can be without starting to feel overdone.
Those of you who subscribe to author’s mailing lists, what keeps you there? What content do you enjoy receiving from an author’s mailing list? What content don’t you enjoy receiving from an author’s mailing list? What makes you unsubscribe?