If you’re a writer, you need an email list.

Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

I watched the movie Moneyball over the weekend. There’s a scene where Brad Pitt’s character is telling a room full of coaches about some unconventional method’s he’s going to use to build a baseball team for the Oakland A’s.

He only has one criteria. Is the player good at getting on base?

I’m that single minded about my email list. Any marketing effort I ever make revolves around one thing: will this encourage readers to join my email list.

Whenever anyone asks me for advice about marketing their fiction, I lead with ‘you need an email list.’ Period. In fact, I’m really not sure anything else matters.

It’s really that important.

An email list gives you access to your readers on a personal level. It gives you a way to build a relationship with them. It’s the driver behind turning your readers into a community.

If you look into it, you’ll find all kinds of marketing advice for writers. Build a website. Start a blog. Get some bookmarks made up. Write a freebie short story. Go to a conference.

But none of that matters if you don’t have a way to let your readers know that it’s happening.

And it’s not just about asking your readers to buy your book. It’s about finding your people and connecting with them. And that connection will lead to pretty much the only thing that really sells book: word of mouth.

Do the work of building an email list of readers who care about your work. Start now. Not when you’re done writing your book. Not when your book launches. Today.

You know, since you can’t go back and start it last year.

I’m hosting a free webinar with ConvertKit (my email service made of awesome) on Wednesday, May 9, at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST that will help you get started. You can sign up here. Even if you can’t make it to the live event, you’ll get access to a replay.

You’ll get at least ten ideas for building your list RIGHT NOW. Even if you’re starting from zero. Even if you don’t even know what you’d say to people. You can do this. I’m excited to help.

Click here to get signed up. Space is limited.

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes, is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation and the upcoming middle-grade novel The Astonishing Maybe and is the original Ninja Writer.

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