#IWSG, Mailing Lists, Giveaways, and Answer to the Mystery Photo


Today is the first Wednesday of October and I’m honored to be one of the co-hosts for IWSG along with the amazing Tamara NarayanEva E. SolarShannon Lawrence, and Stephanie Faris. Don’t be shy, stop by and say hello to the co-hosts and participants.

IWSG is a group for writers to meet once a month and share their insecurities. It’s amazing how one kind word from a fellow blogger and author can help me see the positives and to focus on them and not dwell too much on the negatives.

Today my niggling insecurity concerns my mailing list. I started my list early, which is good, but I didn’t do enough to encourage people to sign up. I’ve been taking baby steps to change that. The biggest adjustment I’ve made is offering a free copy of my novel, A Woman Lost, to all new subscribers. This has helped grow my list substantially. But I need to keep finding more ways to find new subscribers and readers.

AWomanLost_FBAd (2)

While prepping this post, I realized I never officially announced on my blog that if you sign up you’ll receive a FREE copy of A Woman Lost. Ooops. Here’s the signup link. And if you would like to find out more about A Woman Lost, just click here.

TBMs giveaway 2

TBM’s Monthly E-Book Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter this month’s e-book giveaway. One winner will receive copies of five wonderful books by super cool authors.

Oct Covers

Here’s the Rafflecopter link and here’s the giveaway announcement post.

Calling all YA author’s!

Derek Murphy is offering an awesome giveaway and opportunity. Here’s the deal:

He’s forming a private group of YA authors who can help each other succeed. He’ll let you leverage his platforms and traffic, and suggest lots of ways the group can work together to share readership and sell more books.

The giveaway includes $7500 worth of book design and marketing help. There are five days till the deadline.

So if you want to be involved and get some unique opportunities to market your YA fiction, sign up on the giveaway page.

One more thing before I’m off to visit other IWSGers. Last week I included a mystery photo and asked who owned a particular house in the Garden District in New Orleans.

Here’s the photo:


Several of you guessed Anne Rice and ding ding ding—you are correct. Rice not only lived in the house, she also included it in her novel, The Witching Hour, one of my favorite books by her.

Thanks for stopping by today!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Announcements, IWSG and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

197 Responses to #IWSG, Mailing Lists, Giveaways, and Answer to the Mystery Photo

  1. Oh my – mailing lists… yes, that’s one that I keep shuffling back under the carpet as too terrifying to deal with! Well done for being so brave and pro-active about it!

    • TBM says:

      I only wish I was more proactive from the beginning. And I totally understand why you keep shuffling it under the carpet–it’s a bit intimidating really.

  2. Rhonda Albom says:

    At least you got started on your mail list. Just keep promoting it, maybe a pop up on the blog (although lots of people hate these). Love that photo of Anne Rice’s house.

    • TBM says:

      The pop ups don’t bother me much, but not sure I want to do it on my own blog since I know it grates on so many nerves. But I’ll think about it. Thanks so much for the idea!

  3. Yayyy, I guessed the mystery photo :). I really need to go there – we’ve never been.

  4. jenlanebooks says:

    Hey TB, ooh I love mysteries. That is a gorgeous house. You’re ahead of me with the newsletter signups–I am just getting started with that and I like your idea of offering a free book. Do you use mail chimp?

  5. I keep meaning to spruce up my newsletter and offer a giveaway, or something interesting so I’m not boring my readers to sleep! I’ll get on that. It’s something I really struggle with, so I’m glad you brought the topic up! 😀

  6. Thanks for co-hosting today!
    At least you started a mailing list. I never have and I think it’s too late to do one now.
    Cool house. Fits her.

    • TBM says:

      I love her house! Actually, the entire neighborhood is wonderful to wander through.

      It’s never too late to start a list. Of course you have such a wonderful support group and loads of contacts.

  7. nancygideon says:

    Oh, man! I hear you about the mailing lists. I MEAN to address the issue but it always gets pushed to the back burner. Thanks for co-hosting us today!!

  8. Thank you for co-hosting today!!! I heard a newsletter is the way to go, but I just can’t seem to find the time. Good Luck with your list! Since I’m a YA author on off to check out Derek…Have a good day.

  9. Shah Wharton says:

    My list was neglected for years, and now it seems stagnant. I need to do something drastic. Derek also emailed me about the offer. Must get back to him about that! 🙂

    Love the house, too. I’d never have guessed.


  10. J.Q. Rose says:

    Mail Chimp and I are not friends. I need to sit down and actually study that chimp, feed him some bananas, and maybe we can work out a program. Time-consuming. What do you plan to do with the list? Newsletter? Coupons? I haven’t pursued a mailing list because I don’t want to write and send newsletters. Thaks for co hosting and stopping by my blog.

    • TBM says:

      I use the list to promote new releases, sales, garner reviews, and to hold giveaways. I’ve spent many hours with the chimp and trust me, I’m no expert. But I keep learning.

  11. chemistken says:

    Ooh! I love old houses. Especailly the ones that look like they have lots of history behind them.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG!

  12. Pat Hatt says:

    The mailing list just seems like another thing for the cat and I to do, so we’ve avoided doing one so far haha hey, the cat needs his nap.

  13. I need to set up a newsletter, but every author I know who has one says the same thing. They gather the names, then stall when it comes to actually sending it out! I’ve written about Mail Chimp for my clients, but I’ve never heard from anyone who actually used it. Sounds like it must be complicated and difficult to learn?


  14. The newsletter thing is a big challenge. I haven’t had the nerve to try and start one but it’s known to be a great promotion device. Thanks for co-hosting today.
    Susan Says

  15. Free book? Yes, I will check that out. I loved Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour as well. I just got Prince Lestat, but I’m having trouble getting into it. Maybe I just need to be in the right mood.

    Thanks for cohosting!

    • TBM says:

      I’ve only read Interview in that series, but read all three in the Mayfair one. One day I hope to offer more than one free book to subscribers. Hope you enjoy A Woman Lost.

  16. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG! 😀
    At least you started a mailing list. I don’t have one o_O lol
    I love the house, it certainly fits Anne Rice!

  17. Lidy says:

    Thanks for co-hosting today. You know, I’very meant to setup a mailing list and do the whole newsletter thing. Even have an account with MailChimp but that’s it. I’ll have to get back on that but what should I put in one?

    • TBM says:

      I use mine to announce new releases, sales, to request help launching a book and for giveaways to fans that only they can sign up for. But other authors are much more clever. I’m studying them a bit to expand.

  18. spunkonastick says:

    I used to have a mailing list for my YA/NA series. It was a great way to keep fans informed.

  19. Diane Burton says:

    Thanks for hosting today. (Forgot to say that when you visited my blog. Sorry.) Every bit of promo from social media (like FB or Twitter) to newsletters starts with baby steps. Ignore numbers. Just do your best to let people know about your newsletter. BTW, I signed up. 🙂

    Best wishes,
    IWSG #94

    • TBM says:

      Thanks for signing up. I hope you enjoy A Woman Lost. And yes, baby steps. I’m becoming a pro at baby steps. Thanks for the visit!

  20. Love the Anne Rice house!
    We’re facing difficulties with mailing lists in Canada. There’s a new law that says you must have permission you can produce, to put anyone on a mailing list. Which means you have to save paper and emails as proof of their permission. Of course, with lists that were started five years ago, you can imagine. No one has kept this proof. So it’s back to square one, collecting permission from people already on the list.

    • TBM says:

      I hadn’t heard of that issue. Does that mean if someone from Canada signs up for my mailing list, I’ll have to provide proof, or does it only apply to people who reside there?

  21. I’m another one who doesn’t have a mailing list. I have a cat. I have 2 cats. Do you suppose they’re passing along anything worthy? Newsflash: Author hits it big after cats share news of her novels with the world!

  22. meradethhouston says:

    My mailing list has been lagging, too! Good idea on the free book–I’ll have to try that out!

  23. Yeah, that mailing list. It’s something I need to spend more time on. Someday …

  24. Yikes…mailing lists! I had some momentum to start one (and with a giveaway potential lined up) but never got it going. Word is they do work. I find them intimidating.

  25. Ah–yes, this is similar to my ‘newsletter’ quandary. Every expert out there says get your mailing list in order, that it is the most effective form of marketing. For that reason, I would never do away with it. Its value could surface at any moment, but I have trouble (without drilling into the knotty statistics) making the connection.

    • TBM says:

      I’ve been studying authors who have been successful in this department. The connection is key and I’ve found it’s best just to be me in the newsletter. Let them get to know me some.

  26. Megan Morgan says:

    I want to start a mailing list, but I have the same insecurity–can I even get people to sign up for it?

    • TBM says:

      I’ve learned the best way to get them signed up is to offer something. It doesn’t have to bee a novel. Maybe a sneak peak, a chapter, short story. Or something completely outside of the box. People like free.

  27. Slow and steady is the way to keep from burning out. I applaud you for not taking on more than you can handle at once. Speaking of which…I should get back to sending out a newsletter, eh? (It’s written, I just need to format and send. *sigh* One day at a time.)

    • TBM says:

      I hate the formatting aspect since I’m not good at it. Yes, slow and steady really pays off. And it’s help me focus on the long term and not drive myself crazy worrying about the now.

  28. francoag says:

    I love the thought of entering a YA fiction contest, but I’m only in the outlining stages. My last book was adult fantasy so now that it’s done, I’m trying my hand at YA. Wish there was something out there to help those of us who are in the throws of writing our novels, LOL. HOpe you host another contest in a year or two so I can enter my book. BTW, great blog. I’m not a follower.

    • TBM says:

      Hopefully Derek will keep doing the YA contest. He’s a wonderful guy and so supportive. As for my e-book giveaways, I hope to keep them going. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  29. I am not a writer other than on the blog so I don’t have a mailing list… 🙂

    Thank you for dropping by my blog and commenting, I thought I might have a leg cramp after walking over 607 miles in 3 months but I still feel pretty good… I am still walking xox

    • TBM says:

      That’s wonderful. Keep on walking. My dog and I just returned from a pleasant stroll. He’s 13 now, so we don’t go far. Still it gets me out of the house.

  30. lexacain says:

    I’m in the same boat as you with the mailing list. I set one up, but as I have no new books coming out, I haven’t really plugged it. But at least I know how to do the giveaway/funnel thing when I do. I’ve copied all the info about your Oct giveaway & will plug it on Fri. That YA thing is a sweet deal! Too bad I don’t write YA anymore…

    • lexacain says:

      HOLY COW! My comment posted on a WordPress blog! It’s a miracle! 🙂

      • TBM says:

        Yippie! I hope that means your WordPress issues are a thing of the past, for now at least. And thanks so much for plugging the giveaway. Much appreciated!

  31. cleemckenzie says:

    Great hostess! And, of course, that’s a Rice house. I can see L. out on that veranda.

  32. Oh the dreaded mailing list. I’m still not sure how to make that work right. It takes so much time to learn all this “marketing” buzz that I get discouraged… I’d rather be writing…

    • TBM says:

      I totally get it, but call me crazy, I’m starting to like the marketing aspect since I’m seeing an improvement in sales and the number of reviews.

  33. Ah, the dreaded mailing list. 😉 Yes, it’s tough to keep trying to get people to sign up. I always worry I’ll annoy people who are already signed up. I started linking my newsletters to my social media accounts though, so every time one goes out, my social media followers see it. It’s gotten me some bites.

  34. kaistrandauthor says:

    Mailing lists! Ack. So difficult to get people to sign up and then to engage after they’ve signed up. Good luck growing the list. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

  35. Though I’ve never been published, I wonder if I would qualify as a YA author. My target audience for the series I’m writing is either Middle School or High School. I will have to look into the list you have mentioned.

  36. lilicasplace says:

    With everything in a state of flux right now, setting up a mailing list isn’t in the cards for me yet. I’m almost positive I signed up for your mailing list, but don’t recall receiving a copy of A Woman Lost. Then again, it could be one of my notorious brain slips. 🙂 I’ll sign up again and see if it works.

    I wish I would have known you were vacationing in the States sooner, I would’ve loved to meet up with you in the City! I hope there will be a next time. Have a fantastic day and thanks for co-hosting with me. Eva

    • TBM says:

      Let me know if you have any issues, and I’ll email you a copy of A Woman Lost.

      Our last trip to the US (NYC) was so quick we didn’t have time to meet up with anyone unfortunately. But I’m sure there’ll be more trips. Both of us are American.

      • lilicasplace says:

        Aww, I’m sorry it was so quick. 😦 Be sure to let me know when that is! I haven’t hung out in the City in years.

        I’ll definitely let you know if I have any issues. Hugs. Eva

      • TBM says:

        We go each year for the US Open and airfare was so expensive this trip that we cut the amount of days down to save on the hotel. Usually we like to do a few days of tennis and a few days in the City. This time it was just tennis.

      • lilicasplace says:

        I only live about an hour and a half from the City. I may be moving closer soon, but that’s still up in the air. You guys are always welcome to spend a couple of days. I’m sure little Sophie will give her paw of approval, too. 🙂

  37. Good for you for being so proactive about building up a mailing list. Giving away one of your books as an incentive is a great idea.

    Your giveaway books for the month all sound terrific, and I haven’t read any of them! Woo HOO! I’ll definitely sign up.

    Hmmm, that new group for YA writers almost makes me wish I wrote in that genre. 🙂

  38. patgarcia says:

    Congratulations on co-hosting. Now I am going to move along and sign up for your blog.
    I look forward to reading your book.

  39. I give a free story to subscribers, too. My list’s gradually growing and it’s a great way to keep in touch with readers!

  40. karen walker says:

    Oh dear, I don’t have a mailing list. Hello, I’m new to you, but not new to ISWG. Would love to read your book. I’ll go sign up.

    • TBM says:

      Hello! Thanks for signing up. And if you ever feel like starting a list, I can direct you to some authors how have a great system set up. No pressure from me though.

  41. I’m in the process of using my current newsletter to draft a booklet for authors all about book clubs and how to write discussion questions, etc. that will eventually become a freebie for signing up for my editing blog. Mailing lists are great, but take a lot of tending to to effectively grow.

    • TBM says:

      That sounds like a great project and I look forward to it. And yes, they do take time and tending. One of the many things you have to keep track of.

  42. You’re so generous to include a copy of the novel for signing up to your mailing list. I’ve thought about creating a newsletter but it terrifies me. It shouldn’t, I know. But I suppose it’s partly because I used to sign up for everyone’s mailing list. Then my mailbox got overloaded and so I deleted them all. er, most. Do people sign up to get the deal, then never look at ‘you’ again or soon delete you?

    • TBM says:

      Some unsubscribe after getting the book, but at least their getting the book, which is important to me. So far, I haven’t seen too many abandon ship so early. We’ll see as I look for more ways to grow my list.

  43. Patsy says:

    I think it’s quite easy for things to be so important to us that we don’t realise we haven’t really told people about them.

    • TBM says:

      I couldn’t believe I hadn’t announced it on my blog. Talk about feeling silly. But it is easy to get wrapped up in the details and to forget the big picture.

  44. Chrys Fey says:

    I’ve been building my mailing list too. First, I did a giveaway for an Amazon eGift card. Now I’m doing a Halloween giveaway and signing up for my newsletter is the first option with the most points. I will be trying many new things to get subscribers. I can’t offer any books for free because my publisher won’t let me, but I have been thinking about self-publisher a couple short stories to make free. Good luck with your mailing list! I’ve been signed up. 🙂

    Thanks for co-hosting!

    • TBM says:

      Too bad about your publisher, but you’re doing well coming up with different ways. And the short story idea would be a plus. Best of luck!

  45. Ah, I got the novel so please disregard my email (signed up for your newsletter and thought I had missed getting your novel). Much appreciated. My kindle was looking for more great novels.

  46. Cynthia says:

    Sounds like you have some clever ideas about marketing yourself the right way. I wish I had a book to give away…but I’m not published yet.

  47. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG today, and for commenting on my blog post. I like your comments here about keeping an email list and how to increase followers. So much to do in the marketing process of a book! When I switch from writer to entrepreneur, I feel …the constant drag, like wading through a cooled pahoahoa lava flow …

  48. I blush to admit I haven’t set up a mailing list. Shame on me.

  49. I don’t have a mailing list so I am afraid I can’t offer any new insights into this topic but it seems like quite a few other members have been able to offer some thoughts here. Thank you for visiting my blog and for being a co-host this month.

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