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Sell Your First 1000 Books

Lesson 7 of 18

Framework to Growing an Email List

Tim Grahl

Sell Your First 1000 Books

Tim Grahl

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Lesson Info

7. Framework to Growing an Email List


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 The Impact of Books Duration:25:28
3 Setting up the System Duration:15:39
6 How to Grow Your List Duration:24:59
10 Q & A w/ Tom and Tim Duration:18:00
11 Outreach: The Attitude Duration:1:09:21
12 Outreach: The How-to Duration:34:35
13 Outreach: The How-to Part 2 Duration:48:00
14 Natural Selling Duration:19:56
15 Interview with Hugh Howey Duration:48:20
16 Q&A w/ Hugh Howey Duration:52:16
17 Q&A w/ Hugh Howey Part 2 Duration:36:14
18 How to Launch Your Book Duration:57:14

Lesson Info

Framework to Growing an Email List

So the question now that I get is okay, I've signed up for male champ I've followed all the instructions I've actually got an email sign up I've got my pop up I've got my compelling reason people are signing up for my list by list is growing now what what do I do? Like people are on my list I need to send them emails what can I possibly send them? And so I get questions like should I send them something every week? Should I send them something once a month and when I do send them something what twice in them? So I just send them hey buy my book, aren't you? Do I send them content for my book and again in the next session? We're going to talk a lot about content, but what I want to touch on here is that there is no magic formula there are people that email every day there's people that email multiple times a day there are people that e mail once a month there are people that do everything in between and it works for different people. So if you're looking for some kind of magic formula o...

f like if ice in this this these number of e mails with this type of content book sales will follow there's really no magic formula, but I've come up with three guidelines that really help you make some good decisions and so the first one is to send enough to stay top of mind I recommend that you at the very least very least isn't like you're being really lazy send at least once every three months you want to send enough so that people actually keep you top of mine so they think of you when they think of the topic that you write about that you're what comes to mind they have good fuzzy feelings when they think about the content that you've been getting, you want to focus on being relentlessly helpful, right? And again, this isn't just being relentlessly helpful by giving diet tips it's about giving them things that you think important that you find important. So if I'm a fiction writer, what can I give something that's relentlessly helpful? I read a lot of fiction it's helpful for me tohave mohr fiction to read tohave mohr interesting things and I've seen a lot of writers do interesting things with teaching people how they write britt weeks does this really well he's a author of the night angel trilogy and light bringer trilogy some of those fantasy books I've read and he has this whole siri's about how he does world building about how he got a publisher and it's this really interesting stuff that's relentlessly helpful because he gets these questions all the time and the other thing is to keep it personal and again not personal isn't like I have to share personal details of my story of, like who I am that I'm uncomfortable sharing it's more about like this is not an email from your pr department like this is an email from you and in fact, when you're looking at, um, templates that you use that I've actually tested like template with sidebars and tipple it's with big headers and the thing that I found works the best is just it looks like an email that I sent them is just plain it says, you know, dear author or whatever their name is comma and I write an email and so I just keep it personal, and I tried to think how I do this and actually for a long time, this is actually what I did is, um I printed out black and white photos of my clients on pieces of paper, and I cut him out and I taped him on my wall because when I wrote an email that's who I was writing to now, of course I'm sending it to thousands of people. But when I'm writing an email, each one of those people on my email list are an author with their own hopes and dreams and what they want, they're trying to get what they want out of life, and I have some people in mind that I know represent a large quantity of people that are on my list and I write an email to that part person there's one author in particular I worked with the wall ago, her name merrily and a lot of times that I'm writing an e mail I'm writing an email to merrily because I know she needs my help and I know what I'm going to share because that also gets me out of a head, my head and another way in other ways you know, I write about marketing and there's a lot of really smart marketing people out there like smarter than me. I know that's hard to believe, but there's a lot of smart marketing people out there and sometimes in some of them are my friends and some of them are my email list and when I sit down to write something, I'm like they already know this stuff like I'm not going to say anything original they're going to look at this and be like that stupid tim's an idiot of course that's how it works of course that's what you're supposed to do and you know would really kind of get my head and then I just want to write anything right and there'd be like three months see I make the same mistakes you do it's been months you know there's been once in between me writing anything and so what I've so what I've done is I've really tried to focus on like the's air the people I'm trying to help and first of all those people are my friends and I shouldn't worry about it because they love me for who I am but there are people on my list that don't necessarily need what I'm writing about but you know what that's what the unsubscribe button this for if the list is not right for them if what I'm talking about is not right for them they need to unsubscribe in and move on and we're both going to be happier as a result and I'm focusing on these are the people I'm going to try to help and so keep it personal right it is if you're writing to somebody that you know needs your help in no need you're content and noah's gonna be interested in your content so with those three guidelines yet martin uh your first bullet they're saying enough to stay top of mine do you ever use surveys tio the people who are in your email saying how often would you like to hear from me so that you get some sense from them because some people I want oh, you know I wish there were more often and others I wish they would write less when I get in my email box and if they ask me I would tell them so I don't know if you recommend a survey approach to that to to your readers so there's times to use surveys and times to not and what I found is most times when you're asking for something that specific they don't really know they'll tell you I only want emails wants a month because I get too much email, but then you send emails every week and they read him anyway and so what I found is ice in emails as much as I think I need to send e mails and what I do is I try to do one every week at least every at least once every two weeks I tried to send email because that to me for the for my life, for what I'm trying to write about for what I'm trying to build, I found that's a good and we're about to give an example of, like, where to start, but I found that's a good thing, but just asking people they're not going to lie to you because they think they're telling the truth, but they actually don't know and what I found is I just send email and I watch what happens and I and, you know, what's really interesting is, um actually what kind of solidified in this and in my mind recently, as I was reading an article by the guy that was running the email campaigns for president obama's last reelection and he wrote about how, from what he can tell it's really hard to burn out a list, you can't send too much email, and so most of my authors are a little nervous about sending too many emails, so when we do a book campaign, we try to keep the emails to a minimum a cz much as we can. So for my email campaign for my book, I sent you nine emails and, like two and a half weeks, I just loaded him up, and I found that I tried my best to sin. What I thought was great, helpful content that would lead to sales in my book, each female stood on its own is helpful content. It wasn't just buy my book by my book, right? And I sit nine e mails across all of those e mails. I had the same open rates, I had the same clique, the rates I had the same engagement. I got no complaints. And so I found, if you're sending out great content, you khun send pretty much as much as you want. Would you send it? I mean, some people are very specifically their scheduled tuesday and thursday every week. Boom, boom brother is, you know, that's kind of a hit, miss and I think you said earlier that you want to also spell out what they're going to get and when they're going to get it and so how important is the telling them they're going to get expect this in the mailbox on tuesdays for example, I found this schedule is mostly for you more than the actual person reading it because they're just going to read it whenever it comes in their inbox the schedules mostly for me to know that because if I don't have a schedule if I don't have in mind I'm going to send something at least every two weeks I'm going to turn around twice and it's been five months before I've sent anything so I find the schedule more for you and actually let me jump into this real quick so I have a framework if you don't know where to start if you're looking at this I don't know what to send and I don't know when to send it here is where to start sin twice a month on the first and third tuesday of every month so that's about every two weeks right? And it gives tuesdays through thursdays are traditionally the best times to sin but you'll see data that's all over the place but you know you tried I tried to hit people when they're more likely have already cleaned out their inbox so I try not to sin too early in the morning I try not to send on mondays because what do we do? First think most people do first thing on monday, they get to the office and they're just turning three hundred fifty emails so yours goes out the door. Um, so send so if you're just getting started, you don't know where to start. Um, twice a month, first and third tuesday of every month the first email of the month so that first tuesday of the month, you sin content, great content, whether it's a new story, your work king on whether it's five articles you found online that you think people would be interested in, um, whatever it is, it's a gift, right? You're not trying to get anything out of it. You're saying, hey, here's, some great content I'm going to send you this, then the second email, which goes out the third tuesday of the month, is just an author update. What are you doing? What are you working on? Where you going? Toby, if you're going to sacramento, say, hey, I'm going to be in sacramento if you're going to be in sacramento sent me an email, we can have coffee, write or say, this is the new project I'm working on or, you know, the project I've been working on, I got to interview these cops because I'm doing this whole police procedural and I'm going to tell you about, like, this really cool thing where I got to do a ride along with cops is basically an author update what's going on with you, we're all authors, and we're going to talk about this more in the next section, but we were something interesting happened to you in the last month, right? As a writer, you've learned something interesting, right? One of my clients, they write the's er he writes he's really great bark books based on research, and he said, um and he was like, I don't I don't really have anything to talk about what my, you know, what am I gonna talk about him? Like, have you read any interesting scientific studies or research papers in the last month? He's, like, oh, yeah, I read this and I read this and I read this and I read this and I'm like, there you go, that's, something your readers are going to be interested in, right? So this is if you don't know where to start and you feel frozen because you don't know what to send. This is what I start out with one of my clients started doing this, and every day like clockwork, she sends it out. Every two weeks and it's just a way for her to send stuff out when she has something to promote she promotes it if she doesn't she just sends out great content and she's kind of on this schedule another client of mine she's like I don't think I can do twice twice a month I want to want someone I'm like great once a month first week of the month she was sitting down an email and after about eight months he's like you know what I love sending these things out I'm going to switch the every week so now she does it every week and so what I'm saying is this is not I told you there's no such thing as a magic formula this is not a magic formula except that it can magically get you to actually do it right we all want to do this stuff this is a place to start and I recommend you do it for six months and after six months step back and evaluate am I sending too much on my sending two little should I send something else should I be on some kind of other schedule but you need to do it long enough because it's going to be hard at first is going to feel like you're just forcing it and if you've never written these kind of emails before this is a great place to start a question on emails I know seth golden emails his block every day so there's that one approaches you create a balog and then you e mail that out as the content would that work his content or do you should you create separate content for email directly to the people that you're r this is describes to you list I usually look at those is two different things um because a lot of times that people sign up for your blog's they're not going to expect anything else and I also like to treat my email subscribers as kind of special so they get things that I want to put out publicly they get first look at things that I want to give out when I launched my book I did a promotion of like certain things you got if you bought the book and I only promoted that to my list as a bonus for being on my list and those of my people you know? And so that is a way to do it and again people you for any kind of idea you can find an example of somebody doing it what I'm trying to show you is this is what I've seen that works the most consistently and that any author khun do um you know, set going he sends his e mail out of the e mail goes out with his blood post every single day that man is a content machine I can that's like telling you to be like gary vaynerchuk right? Most of us cannot turn out that kind of content but we can do it twice come on I mean that's that's twelve pieces of new content a year and then twelve author updates you get to talk about yourself in an email pretty simple so real quick I want to jump teo analytics I promised you that we need to be tracking things right? We need to actually see if anything's working so when it comes to your email list there's a few things you want to track the first is your subscriber rate and this is very much connected to your outreach, but I put it here because we are talking about email list but you want to look at your subscriber rate are people actually signing up and over time arm or people signing up? So did you get more people to sign up this month and you did last month and that will tell you is your outreach working then when you're actually sending emails, how many people are opening them? So I get this question a lot how what is a good open rate? And again it varies and what you'll see is that, um it will start out bigger and then as your list grows and ages it will go down a little bit, but I've seen good email with big email list so not just small email is big e mail list that have done good inviting people to join sending out good emails on a regular basis that easily get thirty, forty percent open rates. So I really shoot for that third thirty five percent open rates, and that seems small in a lot of people that are just getting started, like only a third of opening my e mails that's actually pretty good and that's again a lot more than social media. And the other thing is, you have to remember that these emails, even if they're the best emails in the world there on the b list of e mails when my wife emails me when a client emails me when somebody personally emails me, those air always going to be those sub level e mails that were sending right and so an open rate and there's also a lot of false negatives, I'm not really going to get in the technology, but basically there's lots of times when people open the e mail and the system's not actually able to track it, so you're open rates usually a ceased a little bit higher than what it says you hadn't seen, like outlook if you're if you're reading the email and outlook pain if you don't. Open the email does that that doesn't show up is open doesn't not one hundred percent familiar without look because I'm a mad guy but like for for instance in gmail you know how it says if you use gmail it says click here to view images if you don't click that it doesn't get rated is an open even if you read the entire email so that's one example so yeah, that kind of stuff the other thing you want to pay attention to your click rate, how many people are clicking on it? And of course sometimes if you just send out straight content and you're not asking him to take action, your click rate it's going to be zero because you're not asking me to click on the nothing but it's nice to see when you ask people to do something how many people actually follow through and I've seen such varying numbers I don't even want to give a number of what's good, but what you want to do is start comparing it as you send out e mails what do your people clicking on you know and start thinking okay if I send this type of continental, I'm getting lots of people interested when I send this kind of content not as many people interested and that's just good to know to help you make decisions and so am I, you know we're getting to the end of this session, and I think we can ask him questions on this, maybe another session, but when I really want to drive home here, you know, we talked about a lot of little tactics of, like here's, how to get people on the list and compelling stuff, and you no use pop ups and all of that, but what I really want you to take away is get permission to stay connected to your readers. If nothing else, invite people to join your email list to be a part of it, you've noticed I've already done it by telling you what you get when you sign up for my email list, right? I want people that are watching this course to sign up for my email list because then I can stay connected past that course pass this course, and what this allows you to do is bring people along for the ride. I'm thirty two years old, I've got a lot of work ahead of me, maybe it's going to be author stuff, maybe not. I tend to get bored with things, but I've been doing this a while and I want to bring people along with what I'm learning I want to share everything I'm learning, not just this stuff, but maybe in the future and the way that I do that. Is by having that direct connection to a place that they are paying attention, that I can get their attention. And the way to do that is to have permission to email them on an ongoing basis. So if you are watching this online, if you guys decide to sleep through the rest of this course and not pay attention to anything else of one thing I want you to take away from, as a tactical thing is, if you want to sell books. If you want to connect with readers, get them on an email list where you can stay in contact with the long term.

Class Description

Self-publishing has turned authors and photographers into business owners. In this new era of publishing, you are your own startup and your book is your product. In this workshop, self-published author and book marketing expert Tim Grahl will teach you how to help your book find its audience.

Book sales depend not only on the quality of your work, but also on the strength of your marketing. You will learn how to develop a strategic outreach plan to engage your current audience and introduce yourself to the right new communities. Tim will also show you how to develop a reliable email list, use content to drive sales, and negotiate with publishers.

Whether you’re publishing a novel or a coffee table book of lush images, Tim will give you the marketing playbook your talent deserves.


Sonja Dewing

Loved it! A lot of great tips on what needs to be on your author page, even some helpful plugins for WordPress! Love the extras. Well worth it.

Mark Leruste

This was my very first Creativelive class and it was amazing! In short it's the course I wish I took before self-publishing my first book. It covers all the basics and highlights all the mistakes you're most likely to make as a first time author or a serial writer. Everything you need to know about selling and marketing your book is in here. I've been recommending it to everyone interested in writing a book! Thank you Tim Grahl for a brilliant course.

Rachelle Ramirez

I've had the blessing of training directly with Tim Grahl and this class pulls all the basics together. Master these techniques and you've leveled up as professional writer. Why write a book and not get it to its readers? These are the tools that not only sell your book but get readers interested in reading YOUR book when they a million other choices. Worth the money.