Think Big: How To Use Pay-to-Play Mass Mailings To Promote Your Self-Published Book | Self-Publishing Relief

by | Marketing and Promotion | 0 comments

Large, targeted email list services that connect writers to readers can be a great way to announce book launches and price drops to massive audiences. Thinking you might want to take advantage of the powerful sales-driving, reputation-building engines that mass mailing lists promise to be? Self-Publishing Relief reviews what you need to know.

The Top Mailing Lists For Self-Published Authors

Bookbub: Bookbub might be the current gold standard of booklover mailing lists: it alerts subscribers when e-books in their favorite genres (and by their favorite authors) go on sale. Currently, the site boasts over six million subscribers. Some books that are promoted on the list have achieved bestseller status.

Shelf Awareness: Shelf Awareness is a daily email service in two forms: 1) book lovers (over 350375,000 of them) are alerted of great new reads and deals; 2) book publishing professionals (thousands of librarians, reviewers, and booksellers) are guided to consider new releases for review, hand-selling, purchase, and trickledown promotion.

Kindle Nation Daily:With almost 400,000 subscribers, Kindle Nation Daily spotlights Kindle eBook deals in many genres—like Bookbub, but only for Kindle-friendly titles. Kindle Book Promotions and Book Runes are similar.

Buzzing About Books: This newsletter focuses on book club-friendly reads and has over 8,000 book club members. The company also offers advertising opportunities via their Book Club Cook Book daily blog.

Book Reader Magazine: Though this list may be small at around 1,000 subscribers, authors may find the lower cost yields welcome results.

There are many more targeted email lists for book authors than those we’ve listed here. Find another list of book promotion email services here .

The Pros And Cons Of Paying For Mass Mailings To Promote A Book


Effectiveness. If your book has real crowd-appeal, a mass mailing can result in substantial sales. If your book is timely and summarizes well, you might even find yourself bumped to a best-seller list!

Trickle down. Promoting one book on an author mailing list can lead to sales of your other, full-priced books.

Increased reader reviews. Reader reviews are one of the best ways to convince a book browser to turn into a book buyer. When your book gets a mailing list bump, you could see increased reviews.

Media attention. You might also see an uptick in reviews from book bloggers and other industry opinion-makers, especially if your book is new.


Expense. Mailing list spots on bigger lists tend to be very expensive—at the time of this writing, the cost can run over a thousand dollars. And there are no guarantees. If your books don’t see a sales bump, your investment is unrecoverable. Smaller lists may have smaller fees.

Competition. On some lists, your book may appear alongside many others—which means it has to compete for readers’ attention.

Limitations. Some lists have stringent criteria for the books they will advertise, such as minimal sales history requirements, publisher restrictions, etc.

Niche markets. If your book appeals only to a very specific sort of reader, a wide-reaching, blanket approach may not be an effective way to invest your money.

Is It Worth Spending Money On A Targeted Email List Of Book Readers?

While some authors will be over the moon about the results they see from email list investments, others may be disappointed. Many factors come into play on the day your book promo arrives in people’s email inboxes: Does your book have an easily summarized hook to draw people in very quickly OR a track record for quality (sometimes evidenced by citing numbers of 5-star reviews or quotes from reputable writers)? Will your book have to compete with a big-time, irresistible best-selling author’s book on your promo day? Will your book appear at the bottom of an email or the top? Could your book promo date land on a big news day, when people aren’t reading email?

All forms of advertising have their own risks. Talk to other writers, ask for advice, and then make the most of your decision by working with promoters to spread the word about your book!


QUESTION: Have you ever used a book promotion email list? Tell us how it went!




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