Saturday 21 July 2018

That all important mailing list

Email, Newsletter, Marketing, Online
One of the most effective strategies for connecting with your readers is to build up a mailing-list of all the people who are interested in your books. These may also be people who will in the future act as beta-readers and reviewers.  

You can create this list using your group facility in your normal email client. However, some of these limit the number of emails you can send at a time.

You can also use a company such as Mailchimp. Mailchimp is free until you have over 2000 subscribers or sending more emails per month than you'd actually be able to send. With Mailchimp you can:
·         Make your email look very attractive – perhaps including your branding images
·         Keep multiple lists – perhaps different ones for different types of books
·         Combine lists when need be
·         Segment lists when you need to – e.g. only send a follow up email to those who haven't responded to the first one
·         Embed sign-up forms into your website, blog, Facebook page, and end pages of your book   
·         Set up autoresponders so that you can send a series of welcome emails to new subscribers. I've included an example below.
·         Add people to the list yourself. Take a little care with this. You must have their permission to do this.

My auto responders

This is what I sent out to my School Visits list. You can also set the interval at which you send out the letters. I programme the first one to go out one day after sign up and the rest at one week after the previous one.
See some examples here:

School Visits Automations

Here you'll read all about the workshops in schools that I offer and I'll send you reports about the ones I've conducted.  I also post them on my blog that you can see here.


Letter 2

I thought I'd just give you a head's up about how often you might expect to hear from me.
I'll send out the big newsletter once a month, usually shortly after the end of the month.
In the middle of the month, I'll give a short update on any progress, if appropriate, on any of the matters I've mentioned in the main newsletter. 
Occasionally if anything very exciting and time sensitive happens, I'll send out a Stop Press- type message.
I'll often post on Twitter. Find me @gilljames   


Letter 3

I hope you're continuing to find my newsletter interesting. If you're looking for work on the Holocaust you may find The House on Schellberg Street useful. You may find the Books and Other Resources particularly interesting. I'm continuously adding to this. Each book / resource description gives an indication of age-group suitability. Take a look here.  
Enjoy exploring.

Letter 4

If you're looking for a few creative writing ideas for yourself or your students, take a look here. There are also links on the site to where you can download a handy PDF. Alternatively, of course, you can copy and paste into a Word Document and thereby make a document that you can customize.  

Letter 5 

Are you looking for more reading material for yourselves and your students? Try my Recommended Reads.  Yes, many of these books are aimed at adults but I also include several children's and young adult books. My Recommended Reads includes only those books that take me out of my editor's head. 
I post slightly shortened versions of these reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  You will find extra reviews on those two sights also. I can also recommend Armadillo Magazine and IBBY  that offer slightly more unusual books.
So, three ways of finding something a little bit different.

Letter 6

I maintain a blog about writing. You may find this of general interest. Take a look here.   If your students are reading my books, you may find some of the following materials useful: Questions for Schools. I am gradually adding to these resources and certainly updates on these will feature in notifications I send to this list.  

Letter 7

Would you like to try before you buy?
If you are interested in one of my workshops based on The House on Schellberg Street, creative writing, creative writing in other languages, or on a workshop on any of my titles, I’m offering you a copy of any one of my books. If you go on to book a workshop, or you purchase ten or more of my books, you may keep the book free of charge. Otherwise, you may return the book or if you decide to keep it but not book a workshop or buy any more books, I’ll invoice you for the book.
Just email me to order an inspection copy.  

Letter 8

With this letter, I am offering you a 20% discount on any workshop, quote code AL8CW20%, when you contact me by email.    


Workshops offered:

Creative writing

I work with your students on producing some good quality writing. We invent, write, edit and perform. Suitable for years 5 – 13.

Creative writing in other languages 

Years 5 - 13, any level of French, German or Spanish. Get your students writing in their foreign language, even if they've only been learning for a term. 

Build a Book 

Actually write, design, publish and market a book that can be used to support your favourite charity, your school library or even cover the cost of my visit. Suitable for years 5-13.



The cost is normally £400 (£200 for half day) plus travel expenses. This fee covers all materials but not student stationery.
I also offer to tailor workshops to what you feel you can afford. Please email me about this. 


A free visit

Note, however, I do ask you to cover travel expenses. This will focus on one of my books or perhaps a group of them. It will include an introductory talk, some readings from the book, a Q & A session, one short creative writing session and a book-signing session.
Length: up to two hours. 
I expect to be able to sell books but all that teachers will need to do is distribute the information about them to students and parents. I handle everything else including the money and advance order copies. 


My credentials

I am very used to the secondary school classroom. I taught modern languages for 23 years in various schools and have continued to make school visits, to both primary and secondary schools, as a writer of fiction for children and young adults. I have been a university lecturer in Creative Writing since 2005. 
Remember, you may also like an inspection copy of any of my titles. Request that from gill dot james at btinternet dot com.      



Letter 9

If you are thinking about the Schellberg Cycle Workshop you might consider going it alone and setting up the workshop yourself.
Or you might prefer to run your own workshop. Preview the teacher's notes here.

 You can purchase your kit here for £50.00.
(here I include a PayPal button)

Letter 10

If you are thinking of running a Build a Book Workshop, you may be interested in my guide that tells you how to do this. You can find this here. There is a companion book of photocopiable resources available here.        

What to include in your news letter

My Gill's News newsletter includes:
·         General news about my writing
·         Books
·         Bridge House
·         CafeLit
·         Creative CafĂ© Project
·         Red Telephone
·         Past events
·         Future events
·         School Visits
·         Dreamteam
·         A reading recommendation
·         A giveaway
This is rather a lot and yours probably wouldn't include all of that. However I also work as an editor and a publisher. In addition I send out several other lists, very often recycling the same material. Sign up here if you're interested in seeing this in action:
There is a useful facility on Mailchimp to replicate an email and send it to another list. You can edit it before you send it out again.
You should also send out snippets of what I call "stop-press" news:
·         your book is out
·         your invite to your launch

Motivating people to sign up

Get that sign-up form everywhere you can. It should certainly be on your blog and your website. Can you link it to a giveaway?
You can store your link to your giveaway in Dropbox or Google Docs
 You include a link to the document in your welcome email.

Giveaway ideas

Here are a few ideas for your monthly or sign-up giveaway.
·         A backlist novel (as en e-book)
·         An extract from your work in progress
·         An unpublished or out-of-print short story
·         A creative writing exercise
·         A lesson plan for a creative writing teacher
·         A critique of another writer's work
·         A discount on a school visit