Following Authors

There’s a nifty new way for you to keep track of your favorite authors which I wanted to share with you today. First off, though, let’s review the available options.

• Earlier this year, Amazon introduced Follow buttons on the author pages on their site. On every author profile on Amazon, there’s an orange button under the author’s picture. You can click on this to follow the author. What exactly does this mean? I’m not sure. Sometimes, I’m invited by Amazon to send a personal message to you when I have a new release. Sometimes, I’m not. I always do it (and I do it right away) but I have no idea when or if you receive it (much less whether all of you who have followed me will ever receive it). You can follow me on Amazon as Deborah Cooke or as Claire Delacroix (or both!)

• There’s a new option for you to keep up with authors. This week, BookBub introduced a new capacity for their author profile pages. These were introduced earlier this year, I think to ensure that readers didn’t miss a sale title by a favorite author. Beginning in January, though, if you follow an author on BookBub, you’ll receive an email notification whenever that author has a new release. Currently, this is providing US buy links for US readers, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t expand into other territories. BB says they’ll send a message within a certain number days of the on-sale date of every new release. Right now, I have only a BookBub profile for my Claire Delacroix books.

• You can also subscribe to an author’s newsletter (here’s mine) or follow the author’s blog (the sign up is in the right sidebar.) This is the easiest way to make sure you’re getting all the news from your favorite authors.

Here’s one last wrinkle for you – if you subscribe to the author’s newsletter, be sure to add the specified email address to your address book, too. A number of servers (gmail.com and aol.com are particularly inclined this way) are tending to perceive author newsletters as spam. Make sure you get the first newsletter when you sign up, and that it isn’t in your spam folder. Once your mail software is trained to accept the newsletter as something you want to see, then you’ll be keeping up to date easily with all the news.

As always, happy reading!

Newsletter List Management

Oh, that sounds serious, doesn’t it? Well, I’ll try to not be boring about it all.

Once upon a time, I attended a workshop about maintaining a healthy newsletter distribution list. It was pretty interesting and the speaker made a number of good points (sorry, but I forget her name!). I came home with a fistful of notes and filed them away for One Day.

That day has arrived. My newsletter subscription rate has grown (yay!) to a very nice level, but there are people who don’t ever open a newsletter. Maybe they forgot that they subscribed, or maybe they changed their mind about reading my news.

This speaker suggested that if a subscriber doesn’t open three newsletters in a row, they should be dropped from the list. Anyone can be too busy to open one (and then forget about it) but leaving three unopened—to her thinking—means the subscriber probably isn’t interested and can’t be bothered to unsubscribe. I think she’s probably right. I do that very thing – subscribe to things, never open the newsletter but never unsubscribe either.

I didn’t think much of her advice until I recently reached the threshold that I need to pay for the distribution. Oh! The cost isn’t much and I don’t mind paying it, but it will add up if there are thousands of people who don’t even open the newsletter because they don’t want it. Paying for the distribution of newsletters that people don’t want is just dumb.

So, tomorrow, my monthly newsletter will go out and I’ll begin to divide the list into those who open the newsletter and those who don’t. (Computers make this all so very easy.) If you want to stay subscribed to my newsletter, all you have to do is open it. If you want to unsubscribe, I’ll be sorry but I understand that tastes change and emailboxes get filled to bursting. There are seldom enough hours in the day to get things done. You can always resubscribe if you change your mind. 🙂