Finally, a mailing list!

Every self-publishing (or ‘indie’) guru out there insists that the #1 way for an author to build an audience is to have his own mailing list and keep track of his customers that way. I have not followed this excellent advice until now. The sheer number of decisions involved (and the possible financial outlay) gave me a splitting headache.

Today, however, with the trivial investment of several hours of time and several hanks of hair ripped out, I managed to sign up for, and test, a free account with MailChimp. This will allow me to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send out up to 12,000 emails per month; which (a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me) means that each of my 3.6 Loyal Readers can be represented on the list 555 times. Or, you know, there might actually be more readers than that; but the figure of 3.6 is hallowed by time and custom, and I shall not change it now.

I would be most obliged to my Loyal Readers, however many there are of you, if you were to use the handy form in the right margin, just over there, and sign up for the list. I promise not to sell you any encyclopaedias; I’m only here to burgle your flat notify you about new releases.

Thanks in advance, all!

P.S. For those who are wondering, the final touches on ‘Angel Keep’ are now being applied. I needed to make sure that the link to my signup page worked; which it seems to. All I need now is to finish another Clever Biographical Assassination, upload the files, and let the KDP mills go to work grinding out sausages ebooks.


  1. Done. In my experience, mailing lists are really useful for an indie writer or a small press. Probably the most important promotion tool.

    The subscription process, however, is too complicated. Not only you have to sign in, you also have to confirm you’ve signed in by clicking on the link in an email you are sent (which ended up in the spam folder) and prove you are not a robot by choosing the right photos from a group (and it wasn’t clear which were the right ones).

    I also use Mailchimp (which is otherwise an excellent tool), but I’ve noticed that every one of those hurdles discourages people from signing in, so I mostly collect the email from anyone who is interested and do the subscription myself.

    • Unfortunately, if I don’t use the hurdles, the spambots can flood the mailing list with phony subscriptions. The minute the list goes over 2,000 subscribers, I have to switch to a paid plan (which I can’t afford at present). By way of comparison, my spam blocker is trapping an average of about 400 spam comments per day, and spam sent through my contact form gets through with dreary regularity.

      So I just have to grit my teeth and apologize for the inconvenience.

  2. Yes, I know. I just wanted to tell you (in case you didn’t know it) that you can subscribe people yourself (and those subscriptions don’t need to be confirmed by clicking on a link in an email).

    Anyway, even a small list of two or three hundred subscribers may mean a huge increase in sales. Not only does it allow you to advertise your new books to your fans, it also concentrates many sales in two or three days, which improves your Amazon rank considerably and triggers more sales.

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