Guess what your biggest mistake is right now as a budding author?

No, it's not that you need to write more books or have a bigger social media following.

It's got nothing to do with connecting with more influencers or selling more books.

Nope. Nada. Ziltch.

The biggest mistake I see authors making right now is focusing their energy on building their platform on social media ONLY.

Instagram? Oh yeah, I've got over 5,000 followers.

Facebook. Yep, I'm at 3,000 fans.

Twitter… I'm gaining followers by the day. I've got 3,000 peeps already.

But guess what?

All those fans… You can't reach them WHEN YOU WANT TO.


Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc, they OWN your fans, followers, connections.

You don't.

Listen Up Budding Authors!

Here's why this isn't serving you…

You can't send your followers an email when you want to promote your new book.The #1 thing you must know as a budding author! Click through to read more

You can't let them know about a new product or service you're launching next month without having to pay for advertising.

What are you doing!


I've heard so many horror stories of budding authors getting stung with hideous Facebook ads bills because they had no idea what they were doing or how to reach their audience.

What should you do instead?

Build an email list!

I know you've heard this before, but clearly it hasn't sunk in, otherwise, you'd be utilizing it right now and making a ton of cashola.

The great thing about having an email list is that YOU OWN IT.

You get to decide when you reach out to your readers, and you don't have to pay Facebook or Twitter to do it.

Having an email list allows you to share your author journey.

It allows you to inspire and connect with your tribe in a way that social media just can't provide.

Sure, you can do Facebook Lives and Insta-stories, but unless the people who are watching are on your list, the reality is, they probably aren't going to remember to go and buy your book, even though you mention it and link to it a bazillion times…

Did you know that a potential customer/reader needs to see your book/product/service at least seven times before they'll make the decision to buy it?

But if they know, like, and trust you because you've been emailing them regularly, they can buy your new stuff immediately.

I know this might sound like it's all about the money, but it's not.

It's about finding the most effective medium to reach your target audience and serve them in the best way.

Social media is a secondary way of communicating your message.

It should always aim to drive traffic back to your website where you can capture their email address.

[Tweet “It's about finding the most effective medium to reach your target audience and serve them in the best way.”]

Don't have a website? You don't need one… yet.

You can get away without a website for a few months because platforms like ConvertKit and Active Campaign allow you to create opt-in pages and they'll host them for you.

So you can definitely wing it for a while.

You can create the website once you've got book two and three done.

Or you could just outsource it 🙂

But for now, you do you — write.

Leave the technical stuff, like website creation, to someone who's better skilled at to quiz image

How do you build an email list as a budding author?

You keep it simple and follow these steps:

  1. Create a freebie/incentive/reader magnet for your list. Something that is high value can be digitally delivered, and consumed/implemented by your audience is less than two hours.
  2. Create an opt-in page that mentions your freebie/incentive/reader magnet and connect it to your email platform. I use ConvertKit and love it.
  3. Take the URL of your opt-in page and add it to your book. This works best if you create a page at the front of your book (before your table of contents) where you offer to give your freebie/incentive/reader magnet away for free. Provide the full URL. If it looks ugly, use a link shortener like or
  4. Promote your book all the time, making sure that your freebie page is viewable via the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. What this means is that even though someone may not purchase your book, they might join your email list, and they are then yours to delight and impress!
  5. Create a welcome email sequence for your new readers. Show your personality, share your journey. Connect with them.
  6. Rinse and repeat for all successive books.

This is just a brief overview on how to get started, but if you just implement this one strategy, you'll start to see your email list signup rate increase.

On average, I get between 5-7 email signups from my books per day.

Not bad for doing the work once, right?

Once people are on my email list, they go through a welcome email sequence and then they start to hear from me on a regular basis, at least once a week, sometimes 2-3 times a week.

I share what I'm working on, insights about my author journey, as well as teaching things, videos etc.

It's kinda like having your own personal community to chat with!

Budding authors don't have to struggle. All they need is an email list of engaged subscribers, ready to buy everything they produce.

If this is you, if you're ready to take your author business to the next level, then I encourage you to check out the link below.

I have 3 spots available for this round of “I AM An Author” (Starting Nov 2017). Click here to secure your spot and achieve a profitable author business today!

Get inside I AM An Author today


Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    14 replies to "The #1 Thing You Need to Know About Being a Full-Time Author"

    • All blogroll

      Thnak you for sharing your useful tips. Very informative and helpful article. Regards about your work!

    • Annie Cho

      I so agree! Building an email list is key!


    • Holly

      Email lists are so important! I think this is great advice for any niche really, though I can definitely see how it is a big one for authors too! xx

      • Lise Cartwright

        It is definitely great advice for any niche, but for some reason, as authors, we tend to put it to the side…

    • Great tips! I often overlook my email list and focus too much on social media!

      • Lise Cartwright

        I think a lot of us do it Maryanne, I know I did when I started out!

    • Adnan

      Amazing info Lise. Thanks for sharing this content. You truly highlighted the importance of generating email list. Keep up the good work.

    • Debbie Savage

      This is so inspirational! This part of business intimidates me. Thank you for the helpful reminder and building this list is so important!

      • Lise Cartwright

        I know it can be scary Debbie, but once you get started, it becomes a lot easier and you get more confident! You can do it!

    • Ashley @ GrowingSpangs

      I’m guilty of forgetting about growing my email subscribers! They’re harder to come by…but it makes sense, considering their conversion rate compared to social media. Thanks for the inspiration!

      • Lise Cartwright

        Email subscribers are the best! But I understand Ashley, it can be hard, particularly when it feels like social media is easier… but it’s not when it comes to conversion rates, as you mentioned. I’m glad you’re inspired!

    • Angie

      I really wish I could be a full time author… I can’t even get myself to be a part time author, even though writing has always been my dream.

      • Lise Cartwright

        You can be a full-time author Angie! It’s just gotta be something you want to do. And from the looks of your blog, you have plenty of content to work with. This blog post might help get you started: Write a Book Using Your Blog Posts

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