#MKTG 18 – Building an Email List

Hello SE’ers. It’s Jan again with another book marketing tip I hope you’ll find helpful.

We’ve often said marketing is the hardest part of what we, as authors, have to do. And I believe that statement is true. Most of us would be more than satisfied to write our stories and let someone else push them. Unfortunately, unless you make a lot of money, that simply isn’t an option.

Throughout this series, we’ve taken a look at a lot of marketing avenues.

Courtesy Pixabay – geralt

Yet, one of the most highly recommended and useful marketing tools is a newsletter sent directly to your subscribers.

But how do we build a subscriber list?

Most of us have a newsletter signup form on our blogs or website. And many offer something free in exchange for an email address. That’s really great. But realistically, how many new subscribers do you get each month? If you are like me, the answer is ‘not many.’

So, what I’m going to share with you today is a low-budget yet, effective way to increase your email subscriber list. And let me just say I have no vested interest in this company at all. I’ve used it, and it worked for me. Therefore, I’m sharing.

Created in Canva using the BookSweeps Logo

BookSweeps has been around for a long time. It’s not a new fly-by-night company. It is completely FREE to join. You pay per promotion, and you agree to give away two eBooks.

I paid $34 for my last promotion.

You have two choices of promotions through BookSweeps; build your email list or gain new BookBub followers. The promotions are divided into book genre categories, and they fill up really fast! I have found it imperative to put your book in the right category, but there are lots to choose from. You can see some of the current campaigns HERE. You can also see how fast they sell out.


The first promotion I did was specifically to build my email list, as I had decided to dive into putting out a semi-regular newsletter. So, I joined a paranormal romance sweep. I got 469 new subscribers from that campaign. About 10% of those unsubscribed once the campaign ended and prizes had been awarded. Still, it was a huge boost to my email list. BookSweeps sends you an excel spreadsheet with names and email addresses that can be exported directly to your newsletter mailer source. Easy peasy!

I was sold! Since then, I’ve participated in three more campaigns to gain new BookBub followers and each has been successful. None have brought the same astounding results as the first one, but still well worth my money.

BookSweeps provides you with promo materials, Tweet language, and FB posts to share via your blog, newsletter, and social media. The more you share, the more visibility and participation you get. But isn’t that true with anything?

That’s it. Simple. If you are looking for a way to expand your newsletter mailing list, I highly recommend BookSweeps. What about you? Have you tried something that brought success in building your email list?

Let’s talk! Good luck, and thanks for visiting today!

If you’ve missed any of the other Book Marketing posts, here’s a list.










#MKTG Part 10 – More AMAZON ADS


#MKTG Part 12 – LinkedIn

#MKTG Part 13 – BOOKBub Ads

#MKTG Part 14 – Book Blog Tours

#MKTG Part 15 – Paid Book Blog Tours

#MKTG Part 16 – Rafflecopter

#MKTG Part 17 – TikTok

76 thoughts on “#MKTG 18 – Building an Email List

  1. Interesting post, Jan. I used to have an active mail list, though mostly local folks who signed up at my talks. I used MailChimp for several years. Then I had trouble finding time to send out fun/interesting monthly newsletters and it fell by the wayside. When I went back recently to see what I could do in MailChimp now, I found a whole different set up, which I haven’t figured out how to use yet. I’ve been trying to decide what to do, but so far, haven’t come up with a good plan. Perhaps BookSweeps would help me get things jumpstarted again, so I’ll definitely take a look at it.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything changes so rapidly in the world of technology, Marcia, so I’m not surprised by your comment on how much MailChimp has changed. It’s exhausting trying to keep up. And it seems everything moves faster than ever before. If you decide to start your newsletter back up, I think BookSweeps would be a good resource for new followers. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, congrats on having such great results on Booksweeps. I really appreciate this post.
    I have yet to be able to crack how Booksweeps works. I joined a while back, and get emails about the new promotions but every time I go to the site (immediately), the promos are either 1). already filled or 2). months in the future and not open yet. I’ve followed the site for almost a year but always with the same results. As of now, I’ve given up, because I am clearly doing something wrong.
    I’ve known authors who have excellent results, and I have no problem spending $$$, but I just can’t get to that point to even try. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand the frustration, Mae. If you purchase a premium membership for $50, you get early notification about campaigns and have a chance to get in on them before they fill up. This is one reason they do fill up so quickly. Sue Coletta mentioned the same thing. I went ahead with the premium membership for that reason. And I believe the $50 is a one-time fee, or at least I’ve only paid it once. Hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Judi Lynn and commented:

    Jan Sikes has shared her experiences with marketing her books on Story Empire. I haven’t seen a more thorough list before. She’s been extremely generous to help the rest of us, struggling to promote our work. Today, she talks about BookSweeps.


  4. Jan, thanks so much! I’ve never heard of BookSweeps before, and it sounds like something I’d like to try. This has been a great series of posts. You’ve been super generous with what you’ve learned. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like Diana’s, my newsletter is on life support. I’ve never had a good open rate and eventually let it slide. BookSweeps is one I haven’t heard about, and it sounds well worth a try. Thanks for sharing this great information, Jan 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried BookFunnel before to build my list, but it wasn’t as comprehensive as BookSweeps seems to be. I’m going to have to give it a try. So glad you’ve found success with it! Thanks for a great post and series,, Jan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BookFunnel is a mystery to me, Staci. I have an account there, but honestly, I don’t know how to use it. I guess it’s time I learned. 🙂 I’m glad you are enjoying the marketing series. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That does sound easy peasy, Jan. Since my newsletter is on life support, I might give this a try with Bookbub. Thanks for this whole series. It’s been wonderful. One day I’m going to read through it again and put together a marketing plan of what I think I can handle and implement. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is the first I’ve heard of Booksweeps, Jan. Bravo to you for having explored all the marketing resources and then shared the results with readers on Story Empire. I’m much impressed and grateful. 🌞

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s been a journey for sure, Gwen. And I’ve enjoyed learning and exploring new avenues of marketing for our books. The best part is sharing what I find. Thank you for your comment! Hugs!


  9. Great post, Jan. I did build a subscriber list to about 1600. I sent a once-a-month newsletter and offered free books now and then. My open rate was in the 70s which is very high. This was back in 2017. Over time the open rate continued to decline to the 20s. Hurricane Harvey hit which put a bullet in the program. You have inspired me to think about picking it up again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m truly amazed that everyone has a blog or a newsletter. I seem to be spinning in ever-decreasing circles as it is without adding anything else to my cluttered life! It is all I can do to keep up with the blogs I’m subscribed to, and I do feel that my poor book sales are a natural and inevitable consequence of my not engaging better with the community. Realistically, I can’t change that. Family and health issues eat into my life and they have to come first. Now, what I need is one of those Elizabethan sponsors with lots of money and clout who’ll do all the promotion for me! This series has been eye-opener for me, Jan. Many thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • We can only do what we can do, Trish. Yes, a sponsor with deep pockets would certainly be most helpful. 🙂 Marketing is hard. That’s the bottom line. And you are so right in that family and health must come first. Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series so far.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. This is very helpful. Like you, I have a small budget. It’s so easy to think the more money you spend the more sales you will get. This isn’t true. It’s all about marketing your produce to the right people which is the key to success. The tough part is how to find your readers, and which mode of promotion to use with your limited budget.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve not heard of Booksweeps, but I’d like to give it a try. Once I get back to writing a “regular” newsletter, I’d like to build the list. I had a larger one, but I pared it down last year because I hadn’t sent anything in ages and most of those subscribers were never active. Thanks for another great marketing tip.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is a good idea to go through and tweak the list now and then, Joan. That’s a great suggestion. The mail provider can show which ones open your email and the ones that don’t. It’s better to have a smaller list and more participation, than a large list with no opens. Thanks for your comment!!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Great post, Jan! I scanned the list and did not see one on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Besides the other marketing tips, SEO is an “evergreen” process, that once adopted, keeps giving over and over.

    Free and low-cost options from the Yoast plugin not only gives you the tools but also the education and per-post prompts. In the last year, my focus on SEO has multiplied my traffic and subscribers — the gateway to future sales. I highly recommend adopting SEO best practices AND your brilliant marketing tips.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I understand and felt the same way. Then I discovered how Yoast guides you through the process. Writers using WordPress with plugin capability can start for free and enjoy the generous free education.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As mentioned to Judi Lynn, let me know if you have a question and I’ll search my writer’s database for an answer. I’ve curated dozens of techniques on SEO, and from my experience, it was time and effort well spent.


      • As mentioned to Jan, reading about SEO makes it seem mysterious and overwhelming. The Yoast plugin for WordPress prompts you to enter the needed information. In no time, you develop a sense of what helps draw visitors from the search engines. And SEO operates globally, bringing you unexpected yet desired visitors.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t consider myself an SEO expert, but I have picked up a few techniques that have increased traffic. If you have a question, let me know through the contact form on my site and I’ll search in my writer’s database for an answer.


  14. I could have written this post, Jan! I’ve been participating in Booksweeps promotions for a couple of years. In fact, I’m signed up for one that begins on Monday. 🙂 True, many will give up their email address for the prize and then unsubscribe, but if your content is engaging they’ll continue to subscribe. I’ve met some great people through these promotions and have gained hundreds of new subscribers. Fantastic post!

    Liked by 4 people

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