ABOUT RR BOOKS AUTHOR PROMOS
RR Books (formerly known as the The Mega Mailing List Promo/MML) started as a fun way for authors to get additional exposure, cultivate new readers via mailing list sign ups, and stimulate sales/downloads while giving our loyal readers fabulous content each month.
- Since we started in December 2015, we have added over 1300 author members to the group. Author members include NYT Bestsellers, USA Today Bestsellers, Amazon All Star Authors, and Amazon Bestsellers.
- The current RR Books Author Promo mailing list has 90K+ readers with more than 45K+ average page views per month
1. I signed up for the MML Promo. Do you send participating authors a list of all the readers who signed up for the giveaway?
No. The MML Promo is a multi-author mailing list cross-promotion organized and administrated by RR Books. The MML is run in a similar way to other multi-author cross-promotions you may have participated in, however we have a few significant differences. Readers subscribe directly for each author mailing list that they choose to sign up for during the MML giveaway. This is to ensure that every reader who signs up for your mailing list did it willingly and to reduce the number of spam complaints. If you are an author, you want readers who signed up to follow YOU. RR Books Author Promotions does not sell mailing list subscribers, and we do not provide/send out a master list of reader email entries. With the MML Promo, every reader who subscribes to your mailing list did so because they clicked on your author name and choose to directly subscribe to your list. We run it this way specifically to attract new quality subscribers with high engagement/open/click rates who have chosen to opt-in to your list and to fully comply with CAN-SPAM laws.
2. Why don't you just give all authors a list of all the reader emails?
That is not how the MML promotion is run; the MML is a promotion aimed at direct mailing list sign ups via the link you provide. This promo is designed to ensure that every new reader you gain has voluntarily subscribed to your list. When a reader subscribes to your list directly, an electronic trail is generated that proves the person signed up for your list. If you get spam abuse reports and cannot prove that subscribers opted in to your list, you could find yourself in very hot water with your ISP and/or your mailing list service provider. If you are a new author and eager to build your list, we urge you to take some time to review the CAN-SPAM laws for yourself and decide how you want to build your list. In addition, email list management services such as Mail Chimp & Mad Mimi (and many others) charge rates according to how many subscribers are on your list. Keep in mind that a mailing list with thousands of people on it is worthless to you as an author, unless those thousands of people want your books. A small list of dedicated fans hungry for your next book is priceless, so remember that as you grow your list.
3. I still don't understand how the MML Promo works. Can you break it down for me?
Sure. This is a two-part promotion. The first part is the MAILER which is sent out on the promo day (usually the first of the month). The MAILER direct readers to the LANDING PAGE where all the books are found with any deals or sales listed, along with links to multiple retailers if you choose to include them. At the end of the LANDING PAGE is a link to the GIVEAWAY. Readers enter the GIVEAWAY by signing up directly for author mailing lists. All participating authors are REQUIRED to send out the mailer unless you have made previous arrangements with the admin. Both the MAILER & the GIVEAWAY are prepared for you.
4. Do you guarantee a certain amount of sales, freebie downloads, or mailing list sign ups?
No. There is NO guarantee that you will receive a certain number of mailing list subscribers. Authors report a wide range between 25 - 1000+ new subscribers over the duration of the promo, which runs from the 1st of the month to the 29th of the month. Authors who have the most success with this sort of promotion usually have at least 3 things going for them: a great, genre-specific cover, a good blurb, and a good price deal. Freebies are most popular, but authors have reported increased sales as well and back list sales for freebie books in a series. In addition, many authors are reporting a bump in reviews, which is understandable since these are real readers downloading/purchasing your books. You can read what results authors are reporting in the Facebook Group HERE.
Also note that your book remains active on the website for up to 3 months (or more) and that new readers visit the page with every promotion. This means that your book will continue to have some exposure to hungry readers even when you are not participating in the current promo. In addition, when you do participate in the promo, you can expect to see continued newsletter sign ups until the 29th of the month when the giveaway ends.
5. Why should I join the Facebook group?
This promo started out small and the group requirement was to keep some sort of handle on what authors participated. In addition, the mailer documents were only available through the group. Although membership in the Facebook group is no longer required, joining the group is still recommended for several reasons:
- For members to be able to see what other authors/genres they are in a promotion with
- To have discussions with other author members in a private environment
- To communicate & share info with other active authors
- To provide input/feedback in order to adapt & change the various promotions as necessary to serve readers and authors
6. I don't have a huge mailing list. I want to participate in the MML, but I don't want to send the mailer. Is that ok?
If you do not want to send out a mailer, we now offer an option to share via social media. However, the discounted price is only available to those who will send out the mailer. If you are a new author and have a small list, you are still welcome to participate. All authors who participate via the discounted price option in the MML are REQUIRED to send the mailer out to their own mailing list members. Reaching new readers is an important part of this type of organized cross-promotion.
7. Can we talk about best practices for marketing with my mailing list?
Yes, absolutely! In the near future, there will be a section on the RR Books website entirely dedicated to growing, maintaining, and utilizing your mailing list in the most effective way as an author in today's competitive publishing marketplace. In the mean time, there are a few basic things authors should keep in mind:
- Get familiar with the Federal Trace Commission website. As an email marketer (which is what you are when you use your subscriber list to sell books), you need to be educated about and in compliance with anti-spam laws. A good place to start is on the Federal Trade Commission's website HERE. Go to the source when starting out your research. It is important to know where to go and how to find out answers from a legitimate source, and with email marketing, the Federal Trade Commission is the place to start.
- Always get permission. Every subscriber on your list should have opted in to your list and you should be able to verify when and how your subscribers opted in. All ESPs (Email Service Providers) are required to enforce anti-spam laws. If you are using a service provider that doesn't take steps to ensure you are in compliance, you are NOT getting a bargain. Legitimate services will monitor your activity. As long as you collect the appropriate data to ensure your subscribers opted in to your list and don't engage in any shady email harvesting or list-buying schemes, you will be much less likely to have issues involving CAN-SPAM laws.
- Always include an UNSUBSCRIBE link. The FTC requires that an unsubscribe link is included in every email campaign that you send. Don't be afraid to make it prominent at the bottom of your email -- make sure it's visible! You WANT readers to be able to unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive emails. It is truly better to have a reader unsubscribe, rather than report you for SPAM or claim that the reader never signed up for your list. Besides the fact that it is required by law, it is just common courtesy in this age of digital communication. A simple click to an unsubscribe is something a reader may not ever think about again; however, if that reader had to go searching for a way to unsubscribe and it turns into some big convoluted process, the reader will remember it -- and in a very bad way.
- Don't buy subscriber lists. Yes, there are plenty of places to buy lists on the internet, and yes, there are plenty of authors out there offering to send you a long list of subscribers for a small fee. Third-party lists are prohibited under the terms of most legitimate ESPs, such as Mail Chimp and MadMimi. This includes purchased or rented lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources including public websites. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it is provided to you by a third party, like another author or advertising company. Your list is considered a third-party list if subscribers did not directly sign up for your list via your opt-in method. Your list should be collected entirely by you, and you should use a proper opt-in method. If your subscribers did not directly sign up with you (and only you!) then those subscribers are considered unsolicited.