Email marketing for fiction authors

As an author, connecting with your audience is vital to getting your work noticed. It will literally take you from someone with a good book that nobody heard about, to somebody who’s book sells like hot cakes.

But there is a difference in which fiction authors and nonfiction authors approach their audience. And for the sake of getting your email marketing right, one strategy is not going to work for the other. Whereas a nonfiction author is all about teaching people and helping them achieve their goals, a fiction author is all about great stories. You write to entertain your audience, give them an experience and to dream away while curled up on the sofa. And most importantly you want to make your audience feel something.

It’s important to keep in mind that your main goal is to connect with people. When you write fiction, people would love to see the story behind the book. They want to get to know you, where you get your inspiration from, and how the story came to life. So the more you can share about you, your life and your story, the more your audience will love it. Your email marketing is the best place to start connecting with your audience to show them you can write great stories, and to give them a taste of your writing.  

So let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Sequence blueprint for fiction authors

Let’s be honest, so many people right now are creating awesome non-fiction books, that there is so much information out there on sequences for launches right? But now that you’ve written your awesome fiction work, an ‘educational’ email just doesn’t work. We get that!

To help make things a little easier on you, we’ve created a sequence blueprint that you can use to hook people in when your launch date is around the corner. With this sequence, you don’t have to be that author that only gets in touch when a new book is out. It will give you ideas to start connecting with your audience on a regular basis.

Day 0 - Welcome

Before anything else, welcome people on your list. Thank them for downloading your free sample chapter and give them an idea of what the book is about (don’t try to sell them!). And state that you hope they will enjoy the sample you’ve sent them. Let them know you’d love their feedback and that they can just hit reply on the email to let you know their thoughts.

Day 1 - Educational

When people get hooked on an author, they want to read everything they write and want to know all about them. So give them a little insight into your life. Tell them how your story came to life, or something that happened to you during your writing day, what your writing day looks like, or where your inspiration comes from (either in general or for this story – readers love this).

Day 3 - Educational

Continue to share snippets of your life with your readers. Share your love for writing and storytelling with them – really share your passion. Keep in mind that people are buying your books for your writing voice. So really use these emails to show you can tell amazing stories – rather than telling them your books are awesome. Use these emails as a writing test if you will.

Day 4 - Product information

Now it’s time to share more about the book you have coming up and let the readers in on any special promotions you plan for launch day. What is your book about, who is it for and share that cover you’re so proud of?

Day 5 - Launch

Launch day is finally here! You’ve worked so hard for it, and today is the day you’re finally ready to share your book with the world (I know, scary right?!). So make this email a party in their inbox. Share your enthusiasm and love for this story and let them know it’s ready for them to start reading.

Also, this is a great time to let them know about any promotions and special deals you have around this launch. Tying it in with a deadline when this promotion will go away will create a sense of urgency to help people make the decision to buy your book.

Day 7 - Educational

Now that your book is out, the work is not done. There is so much more you can share with your audience. Share the background of how this story came to life, how long it took you to write it and what you loved most about writing it. Be genuine, let your personality shine through, but most of all give your readers a great read for the next couple of minutes.

Day 9 - Educational

Every author works differently, but all authors have a favourite place to write. Why not share this with your readers show them where the magic happens. Or you can share some of the background and research you did to help this story come to life. Whatever you do, make sure it’s, again, a great and entertaining read for your audience.

Day 11 - Product information

Now it’s time to remind them about that special deal and promotion and let them know it’s going away soon. Repeat what the book is about, who it’s for and share the cover. This will create a sense of urgency with your readers and it will remind them that you are selling your book.

Day 12 - Educational

And lastly to finish off the sequence, give them another entertaining read straight into their inbox. Something personal to really hook your readers in.

Programs to use

To write your books all you need is pen and paper, right? (Or a laptop in this digital age), but these programs will help you to create that book you’ve been meaning to write with less stress!

(Note: these programs don’t integrate with ConvertKit, but are a great addition to your writer’s toolbox)

  • Scrivener– The number one tool used for writers, it’s great to keep you organised. It helps you streamline your research, create and move around chapters, and effortlessly create an outline for your book. (Paid)
  • Evernote– This program is created to keep track of your notes on all your devices. The great thing about Evernote is that you can keep working anywhere – because you have everything you need on hand. When creating a book, you can easily create a ‘stack’ of several ‘notebooks’, kind of like creating folders. This makes it super easy to find everything again. (This comes as a free and a paid version)
  • MS Word or Google Docs – Of course, if you prefer to work in one document straight onto your desktop, a simple writing program works perfectly too! With all the new options out it's super easy to create a hyperlinked index and make it easier to move through your document. (This comes as a free and a paid option)

Integrations

When you’re working hard to let people know about your book, you want the different platforms to work seamlessly together. We get that. So here is our top pick of platforms you can connect with ConvertKit to make sure your book sales go (almost) fully automatically.

If you’re selling your own books and PDFs, it’s great to have a platform that works with ConvertKit in making this happen (and makes it easy to deliver the product. Here are our top picks if you want to build your own web shop.

Grabbing the attention and really show what your book is about is made easy with these tools. They help you capture subscribers and really sell your books (which is what you want).

  • BookLaunch- Specially designed with writers in mind. It gives just the right amount of information to get people hooked. The great thing is that it links up with several booksellers too. So you can connect your book to your own webshop, but also to the Kindle store, Barnes & Nobles and much more! This is how it works with ConvertKit.
  • Leadpages– Though this is more generic and not as specifically aimed at writers, Leadpages is still a great tool to help sell your eBooks. They have a lot of different templates to choose from to build a landing page that resonates with your audience. (Note: Leadpages only integrates with ConvertKit when you use the drag & drop builder). This is how it works with ConvertKit.

Other integrations that work for you:

  • WordPress – To keep connecting with the people that land on your website or blog and to stay in touch with them. Most of the time your website is the first impression they will have of you, and with our WordPress integrations, it’s easy to capture those people and stay in touch. This is how it works with ConvertKit.
  • Zapier– Is there a program you want to use with ConvertKit, but we don’t currently support it? Zapier is the perfect solution that will save you a lot of time (which you can put back into writing again!) This is how it works with ConvertKit.

Rules & automations

Making ConvertKit work for you will save you a lot of time - time that you can use to write and connect with your audience, here are a few automation rules you can use to get started.

Trigger Action
Someone subscribes to your newsletter Subscribe to a welcome sequenceTag ‘welcome’ and ‘interested in my work’
Someone finished the welcome sequence Unsubscribe from the welcome sequenceSubscribes to the second sequence (if having any!)Remove ‘welcome’ tag
Someone opts-in to get a free chapter or checklist Subscribe to free chapter sequenceAdd tag ‘interested in [book title]’ and ‘free sample [book title]’
Clicks on a link to read you blog post Add a tag that is appropriate per topic so you can see who’s interested in what (bonus: that gives you great insight in your customers too )
Clicks on a the sales page link Add tag ‘interested in buying [book title]’
Buys your book Remove tag ‘interested in [book title]’, ‘interested in buying [book title]’ and ‘free sample [book title]’Add tag ‘bought [book title]
Finishes the launch sequence Unsubscribe from the launch sequence

Bonus: Want to know where your audience hangs out, create a [ref campaign] for each social media platform. When people click on the link to your landing page it’s easy to see where your people come from and makes it easier to double down your efforts on a specific platform to really connect with them.

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