Keeping Your Name in Readers’ Minds

I'm back from the beach and totally relaxed :)

Today I'm thrilled to have M. Pax guest blogging at the Tiki Hut. So I'll just shut up and let Mary take it from here.


Much thanks to Carol for inviting me to the Tiki Hut. It reminds me of a wonderful bar at Herbert’s beach in Nevis. Just a palm tree shack with wonderful rum punch. A great impression on my mind, but we’re hear to talk about keeping an impression in your readers’ minds.

During the lulls between releases, an author should keep their name in their readers’ minds. One of the easiest ways to do this is to establish a mailing list / newsletter.

Some of you are probably thinking, there’s something else I have to do? Don’t we do enough? Think of it this way, people who sign up for your newsletter are those most interested in more from you. You want to be able to communicate with them, your loyal fans, and you want to be able to do so directly.

Mail Chimp, YMLP, and others offer mailing list services for free up until a certain number of subscribers. I use YMLP and don’t have to pay until I hit 1,000 signups. By the way, that’s a lot. It’ll probably take years to reach that many.

I ask readers to sign up for my newsletter at the end of my books with the direct link, and I also mention it in the front matter. I tell them they’ll be the first to hear when a release becomes available and will be offered a discount on all new releases. I’m very careful to keep my word.

You don’t have to email your list every month, but you should make a notation on your calendar to regularly engage your readers.

So what can an author say between book releases?

Give a sneak peek of the next book. In December, I will inform my list that the third book in my Backworlds series has a set deadline, when they can expect its release, and I’ll give them the first few chapters to read as a holiday gift.

Offer free ARCs to your list in exchange for reviews prior to the next launch.

Send photos or artwork. I’ve sent photos I’ve taken at the observatory where I docent every summer.

Ask for fan input on a story you’re working on. Hold a contest or giveaway for your mailing list only and create a character for the winner. Send a flash fiction. Send an essay.

Anything to make them think of you and to let them know you appreciate them.

What ideas do you have for keeping readers entertained between releases?


The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear is my latest release, the first book in a New Adult Urban Fantasy.

Graduation from community college isn’t the magic elixir Hetty Locklear counts on for becoming an adult. Her parents, who work the Renaissance fair circuit, insist she spend part of the summer with them. Hetty doubts pretending to live in the Middle Ages will help her find her way.

 To make it worse, an entity haunts her at her dead-end job, warning her of a dangerous man she doesn’t know. The ghost leads her to a lover who has a lot of secrets. He pulls her farther into peril and into a strange, hidden world of genetic experimentation.

Author Bio:
Inspiring the words she writes, M. Pax spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with her Husband Unit and two very spoiled cats. She writes science fiction mostly, wears a Browncoat, and has a slight obsession with Jane Austen.


But what if you start a newsletter and no one signs up?
In between releases I blog and try to amuse.
Linda G. said…
I try to keep an entertaining blog, and engage on Twitter as much as I can.

Laura Eno said…
I have a newsletter...which I rarely use. I need to get in the habit of doing that. You have some excellent suggestions, Mary, on what to put in it!

Glad to see you're back and refreshed, Carol. :)
This is a great post, Mary. Thanks for the advice. I'll admit, I don't often sign up for newsletters because I'm afraid I'll get bombarded with them. I only want to know when the author has a new release coming out. I don't want to receive anything more than a few times a year. So far, no one has violated that rule. :D
beach? Ah, it's under 10*C here in Europe :)
Gwen Gardner said…
You have great ideas, Mary. I especially like the character creation for the winner. I don't have a mailing list or newsletter, but I have been hearing that I should. Maybe a quarterly newletter wouldn't be too bad. Thanks for the tips:)
Carol Kilgore said…
I'm back and relaxed :)
Thanks to everyone who commented on Monday's post!

Alex - Same for me, except I Facebook, too. And tweet here and there.

Linda G - You're much better tweeting than I am. Mine are spotty at best.

Laura - I'm still on beach time :)

Stina - I don't like getting bombarded either.

Dez - It's cooler here now, too. It was about 90F on Sunday, 75F on Monday. Yesterday when we left, it was 50F, which is about your 10C, I think. I think autumn has arrived.

Gwen - Thanks for dropping by. I don't have a newsletter either. And I agree Mary's tips are awesome :)

Julie said…
Thanks for sharing your tips, Mary. I think you are a master at keeping your name out there so I will definitely keep your advice in mind.

Thanks for hosting Mary, Carol! I hope you had a wonderful time at the beach! :)
M Pax said…
Thanks for having me on today, Carol. I'm dreaming of a beach looking at the hard frost on the ground this morning.

Not all readers will sign up, Alex. Only the most interested. But that's OK. You have to repeat yourself a lot, but folks do sign up. Your blog is mega entertaining.

Those are great things to do, Linda.

It's sort of like doing an extra blog post a month, Laura, but much more targeted.

You definitely don't want to over do it, Stina.

That's a great idea, Gwen.

Great that you're back, Carol.
M Pax said…
I'm still learning, Julie, but am happy to pass on any pearls I encounter along the way.
Thanks for all of the great tips Mary! It's amazing how much you've been able to accomplish! Best of luck with "Hetty!"
Thanks Carol! Julie
Johanna Garth said…
I've questioned how effective a newsletter you think people read it or just delete? I'm not sure???
Shelley Munro said…
Excellent tips, Mary. I blog between releases and do the odd contest. I think the best advertising is to write more books :)
Christine Rains said…
Those are really great suggestions. I've only signed up for a few newsletters and I read them. Thankfully the authors keep them short. Writers can also offer a teaser than readers won't get anywhere else.
Blogging and Facebook keep me busy. A little Twitter here and there. Thanks for the advice.
Anonymous said…
I've thought about a newsletter, but am flaking out. Don't want to be like, yeah, nothing's happening, LOL!

I like your idea of putting excerpts in the newsletter.
M Pax said…
Onward, onward and never give up is my motto, Julie.

If nothing else, they think about me once a month, Johanna. And they don't sign up unless they're interested. Some of my fans are pretty... um, rabid. I get messages, are you done yet? So, I'm pretty sure they read it.

I think so, too, Shelley. Just keep writing.

I think they have a place, Christine. It's important to not be too windy.

Those keep me busy, too, Peaches.

As I said, Laura, you don't have to write one every month. Maybe every 6 weeks or 8 or 4 x a year. Something to say to you fans, hey, remember me, I'm still here.
C.M.Brown said…
Thanks for the great tips Mary! The jousting tournament is a lot of fun! Good luck with the launch of Hetty!

The Knight of Aidensdein! Huzzah!
Great tips for newsletters! I've been slow in building up a list, but I am signed up for Mail Chimp. I'll have to mention my newsletter in more places. Thanks!
LR said…
Cool tips. :)

I automatically got on an author's newsletter after we had an email exchange. The newsletter doesn't bother me though. It only comes when she has a new novel out and I'm glad to hear about it.
Sean McLachlan said…
Oh, so THAT'S what you look like! Nice post, Mary. Personally I don't have the time to start a newsletter right now. I've considered it, but finding the time is the tricky thing.
J.L. Campbell said…
So true that we need to keep readers engaged. Useful tips, Mary, which reminds me...
M Pax said…
Thank you, Carolyn, and for being the awesome Knight Aidensdein.

I make it easy for fans to find, Elizabeth. It's on my sidebar and it has a separate page.

We should not sign people up. That's a breach of etiquette. Don't ever do that LR.

I had trouble finding time, too, Sean, at first. But I want to see my business grow. I just consider it an extra blog post. Actually, it takes less time than a blog post.

I'm sure you have one or will, Joy. You're savvy that way.
Thanks for sharing all these advice, Mary!

Hi Carol!

Anonymous said…
I've thought about a mail list and newsletter. These are things I definitely can explore.
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks to everyone for stopping by and commenting.

And thanks to Mary for blogging here at Under the Tiki Hut. Come back any time!