Author Platform Tip: Building Your Email List at Live Events

Author Platform Tip: Building Your Email List at Live Events

The topic of email list building is finding more awareness and attention among the writer and author community. It’s an integral part of any successful author platform today.

Having an email list database allows you to maintain contact and build your important relationship with your super fans. This list includes the names and emails of your most avid fans, those who want to keep up to date on the latest events and book news.

It essentially works by having visitors to your author website, who then subscribe to your email list via a signup form, which I talk more about in the authors guide to email list building.

It’s about building a smarter author platform. Rather than throwing hope to the wind that people will buy your new book, your list becomes a group of people who WANT to buy your next book.

Now, a lot of nonfiction, fiction and children’s book authors have live events. Book signings, expo’s, conferences, business workshops, libraries and more. Some of our clients here at Book Cover Cafe have incredibly successful events selling between $700 – $1500 worth of books in a matter of a few hours. Some authors don’t sell that in their lifetime.

Now that’s some significant figures, it’s also a substantial amount of new readers that are walking away.

An incredible missed opportunity. Super fans and potential future books sales walking out the door.


You get them on your email list, so you can keep them in your author platform circle and have them become super fans who you can notify about your next book with a click of a button.

You’re in luck, because I have an answer and a special gift to help you capitalise on this opportunity of building your list of super fans at your next live event.

It’s really quite simple

Make sure you have a sign up form on the table where you’re selling books. A sheet that has a little info declaring this is for your periodical newsletter or news on upcoming new releases.

The trick here, is about making it convenient and making good use of dead time.

You do this during the one minute window where you’re wrapping, bagging an accepting the purchase for the book. Use this time wisely. While the buyer is standing there get them to jot down their name and email on your subscriber form.

This makes the whole transaction process smoother and not only do you get the sale, but also get the next best thing…

A new subscriber who WANTS to be on your list and hear about your next book.

Over time, this adds up, a lot!

What your subscriber form should include

Make sure your subscriber form has the following.

  • A paragraph at the top clearly stating that they are signing up to your newsletter updates
  • A statement that their information will not be shared with anyone and is kept for the sole purpose of newsletter updates
  • Include large, clear, easy to read spaces for them to write their name and email on
  • State they should write clearly using BLOCK LETTERS. The writing needs to be as legible as possible come time for you to enter them into your database

Following up promptly

This is critical. After the event make sure you enter your new subscriber details into your database right away, within one or two days of the event. When you enter your new subscribers into your email list database (I only recommend AWeber) they’ll need to receive a confirmation email, with a link for them to click on and confirm they did in fact want to be a subscriber. This has to happen by law.

Follow up promptly while you and your event is still fresh in their minds and when they receive your confirmation email, they know exactly what it’s for and who it’s from.

Leave it too late, and your chances of maintaining these new subscribers on your list drops significantly because people will have lost the excitement altogether and won’t be as motivated.

A few years ago at a live event, I made this mistake of not following up soon enough and lost close to 70% of those potential new subscribers.

You must follow up as soon as possible.

Special Gift

To get you started off on the right foot, I created a template that has proven to work well for author events, and as my gift to you, it’s yours free to download, print out and use for your events.

Template features:

  • Clear benefits for those subscribing
  • A statement that lets them know their details will not be shared with anyone, and is only used for the sole purpose of updates and news about upcoming new releases
  • A column to add ticket numbers for a prize draw you might be holding as an additional incentive for those who sign up (I strongly recommended you do this for increased sign ups)
  • Template is a Word.doc file. Completely editable (don’t change too much because this layout works).

This template is free, and I would love it if you would share with others with a TWEET or LIKE below. A way of saying thanks 🙂

Keep up the hustle, and here’s to your event’s success!

Be the captain of your own ship.

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