Ready, set, go! Every author knows that a website is essential. The page dedicated to selling books is a part of that site. What they don’t know, is that building their email list is the best way to launch their book to bestseller status!

Most authors approach book marketing ass backwards. Yes, I said that! Write, publish, and prosper isn’t enough anymore. Because most self-publishing companies don’t care about the return on investment (ROI) for authors, most models don’t encourage methods that earn income before the book is published.

The most effective tool in your launch arsenal—whether it is a book, product, or service—is your list. List-building begins months, and sometimes years before your book is published.

A couple weeks ago, I witnessed first-hand someone trying to use their list to launch their book. I also noticed that it was a complete flop. The reason?

  1. She added people to her list that never subscribed. (Yes, I was one of them.)
  2. Being added to this list made me aware that this was the first time I heard from her. In other words: Hi… Buy my book!

Authors begin list building early so that they can build rapport with their list through content delivery. Offering content and assessments provide opportunities for relationship-building. Communicating with your list once a week keeps you in their minds without being obnoxious.

Here’s the other plus to producing great content: You can prepare campaigns in advance. When your campaigns for your book launch are well-prepared, it is easier to approach influencers to assist you in building your list in advance of your launch. You are also in a position to run list-building campaigns without selling first. Here’s how this works:

Campaign #1:

  1. Six months before your launch, start a social media group around your book topic.
  2. Create a lead magnet with auto responder 5-7 emails long.
  3. Targeted social media ads.

This campaign should be done without selling anything. At the end of the drip campaign, subscribers go into the general list for weekly email content.

Campaign #2:

  1. Three months out, run a second campaign with a new lead magnet.
  2. During prelaunch when your book becomes available on Amazon Kindle, email your list and offer incentives to purchase.
  3. During prelaunch create a landing page and sales funnel with a drip campaign offering incentives.
  4. Run targeted ads for prelaunch funnel.

When you look at the anatomy of a launch funnel, you can clearly see why you need to begin six months to a year ahead of your book launch.

List-building also offers an opportunity for you to connect and build relationships and an audience that will sustain your long-term business goals.

How well-built are your funnels?