A key to using your website as a book-selling, platform-building tool is to capture email addresses. You will use these email addresses to regularly communicate with your followers, such as through a monthly newsletter. Keep them up-to-date on your writing and share interesting or helpful content. Then, when your book is ready, let them know. They will be more likely to read your email because you have been in regular contact with them.
Offer Them Something: You can just ask for email addresses, but most people won’t share this information without receiving something in return, such as a free e-book or a subscription to your newsletter.
Provide Assurance: For those who may waiver, assure them you won’t misuse their email address. Let them know you will not share it in any way with anyone else, that you will not spam them with irrelevant content, and that they can unsubscribe at any time.
Follow Through: Provide what you promised (a free book or newsletter), when you promised (either right away or each month), and do what you promised (don’t share their email address or spam them; honor unsubscribes).
Logistics: When they give you their email address, have them sign up directly through your email platform. (I use MailChimp.) It will automatically handle the verification (that is, the double opt-in procedure), handle unsubscribes, and maintain the database. Use the final step in the sign-up process to provide a link to your e-book or incentive.
Example: You may have noticed, that I’m not following my own advice on this site, but I am doing it on my main website and blog. So check that out as an example – and feel free to sign-up for my newsletter and get my free e-book!
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.