Editor’s Note: Show Your Readers the Way … to Your Content
In this issue, Jesse McDougall's E-marketing Strategy column talks about the benefits of e-mail newsletters (or e-mail communication of any kind, really) for communicating directly with your audience. In magazine publishing, e-newsletters are a primary source for maintaining direct communications with readers, providing valuable content and for cross-promoting products. I guess I'm surprised that more book publishers don't utilize this means of communication when it offers potentially great value.
One of the best examples I've seen of a publisher taking advantage of readers' interests is HarperCollins' AuthorTracker, which not only serves as a source of e-mail communication, but also as a means for building an audience list and what the audience likes. When HarperCollins first introduced its Author Tracker, I signed up to receive communications about several authors, including Clive Barker, one of my longtime favorite writers. (It's a shame that his imagination and ability to combine beautiful writing with frightfully realistic "horror" stories has not been adequately represented in film.) The other day, I received an e-mail from AuthorTracker with the subject "Now Available from Clive Barker." The e-mail announced Barker's new release "Abarat," available in paperback, e-book and audio. It gave a brief teaser for the book and a link to read more, as well as a link to "Start Reading Now," which takes you to the Browse Inside page for the new book in The New York Times Best-Selling series. A "BookPerk" link takes you to a "Welcome!" page, that suggests readers enter their e-mail addresses to receive exclusive perks and continue to see current offers.
It's brilliant. Fans of specific authors can receive alerts about when the author's next book is out. I would love to have this capability to find out when new content is available for many other authors. I'd love to know when they might be in my area for a book signing (those are still done, right?) … or when one of their books is being made into a film. If I'm lucky, I'll hear about it some other way, but that's leaving an awful lot to chance.