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Mailing List Builder FAQ & Info


  • AXP runs a week-long genre-specific giveaway event for readers, featuring authors who have signed up to be in the event.
  • The authors promote the event to their readers - those readers sign up to win (plus AuthorsXP markets as well.) This means all the entrants will be readers who love this particular genre! (consider it a "cool" way for authors to share their lists with each other and work together to grow their audience)
  • At the end, participating authors get a copy of the full email list of entrants to add to their own email lists.
  • Example of a live event:
  • Total book cost to author: 3 eBOOKS. Authors send ONE eBOOK (not paperback) to each grand prize winner (2) and ONE (1) to the winner of their individual book. 
  • Your book does NOT have to be free or discounted at the time of the event. Better it isn't! Who wants to win something already free? :)
  • If you DO have a free or discounted book, you can add it to the AXP BOOK FAIR FOR FREE (with MLB participation) to sell books during the event.
  • Readers sign up to win books! NOT MONEY. This means entries are from readers, not people who just want prizes.
  • Authors do not "donate" their mailing list  - they only promote the giveaway to their list - it's up to the readers to enter or not!

More Articles of Interest 


Why Build My Mailing List?

It makes me crazy that some authors don't realize the power of building their mailing list! Here's why I think it is important.

Because Book Promotional Sites Can Be Spotty

Very few promotional sites offer return on investment. It's just a fact. You can spend a few hundred dollars buying a BookBub newsletter slot and watch it double your money, but it isn't easy getting those coveted BookBub slots. Other book promo sites you may pay to play, but in return sell two books. You don't have to be great at math to see that isn't the fast track to riches.


Because With Your Own List, YOU Control Your Marketing

Empowering thought, isn't it? :)

After the Giveaway - Using Your List

So you participated in an AXP Mailing List Builder Giveaway Event! Yay! 

Hm. Now what?

Here's some ideas and best practices!

  1. Add these emails to your current email list - or, if you have the ability - add them to a second list so you can mail these new potential fans special offers and/or maybe mail them less frequently for a bit while you ease them into the fold.
  2. BE OF VALUE. Do you like boring/salesy spam? Probably not. When you send out newsletters, be sure they are of some value to the recipient. Make them funny or interesting. Share OTHER authors freebees and promotions (it's like giving your readers gifts you don't have to pay for!) - make readers look forward to your newsletters - not dread them.
  3. Don't get it into your head that you MUST MAIL. People would rather get infrequent newsletters than one every Wednesday that bores them to tears.
  4. Keep track of results. Watch your stats - if you have an unusual number of unsubscribes after a particular newsletter, maybe don't do that again (Whatever it was!)


  • Offer a free book
  • Let them know about giveaways (yours and others)
  • Let them know about promotions (yours and others)
  • Be funny, entertaining and/or interesting
  • Do run contests and other value added events
  • Check your newsletters for proper links/dead links
  • Make your newsletter attractive - not a jumble of different fonts and colors and blech


  • Spam them with pleas to buy your full-priced books. Save begging for promos. The more ME ME ME BUY BUY BUY your newsletters are, the more BYE BYE BYE your followers will be.
  • Don't send more than once a week unless something crazy great is going on.
  • Don't introduce yourself in every newsletter. People are inundated with stuff - just because they signed up for your newsletter, it doesn't mean they're that interested in YOU. They want to be entertained. Bios that sound pulled from a CV are death. Stories about yourself that are funny/interesting/moving - that's entertainment. Make them love you - don't tell them why they should. Show don't tell!
  • Don't ask readers to re-subscribe. You don't need to and why push them out the door?

The Problem with Mailing List Services Like MailChimp for Building Your Author Fan Base

Providing authors with thousands of potential new fans is sometimes actually a problem - thanks to MailChimp, MadMimi or other third party mailing list systems.

These services are restricting your ability to grow your author fan base in two ways.

1. Sheer numbers

After you have X number of subscribers on MailChimp (etc.), you need to start paying monthly for the service. You're being penalized for doing well!

2. Unsubscribe Issues

If the percentage of unsubscribes or spam reports from a mailing is more than X amount, MailChimp (etc) disapproves. The problem is, there will be unsubscribes. Usually, about 1-2% for me, whenever I add a new list gathered from an AXP giveaway. Mailchimp sometimes flags account for even such ridiculously low unsubscribe rates.

While AuthorsXP Giveaways DO warn people that by entering the giveaway they're agreeing to be added to the authors' lists, not everyone reads that disclaimer or remembers it. We're not doing anything wrong or illegal.


Add a small portion of your new list to your Mailchimp list each time you do a mailing.

This will keep your unsubscribes down for each mailing, and keep you under Mailchimp's radar. It's just going to take longer.

What if youre on a system that no longer lets you import ANY lists?


Be in charge of your own mailing lists.

There are fantastic alternatives to Mailchimp that allow you to own and work your own lists, which is what I do.

How to Be Your Own Mailing List Provider

Is your site on self-hosted WordPress CMS (content management system)?

MailPoet is a great solution for WordPress. You do NOT pay for each mailing. It's $99 per YEAR to have unlimited addresses. 

ACYMailing is my favorite mailing program of all time. The whole web site runs on it (on Joomla CMS). You do NOT pay for each mailing. Its $34 per YEAR to have unlimited addresses. Available for WordPress now too!

Is your site just an old fashioned HTML site your cousin did for you that isn't even phone friendly?

Come on. Cut that out. Do you want to get serious about your marketing or what? I've owned a web development firm for over twenty years (which is why I was able to create this website) I can install MailPoet or ACYMailing for you and walk you through how to use them. If you don't have WordPress or Joomla, I can try and find another solution for you or create a new site for you. Just drop me a note! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Or if you know anyone who is even vaguely techy, both the programs I mentioned are very easy to setup and use. They can probably help you too.

Bottom line - if you're serious about growing your fan base - don't let MailChimp or other systems hold you back or cost you a fortune! Take control of your future.


 Private Label Mailing List Builder Events

There are two ways to participate in PRIVATE MAILING LIST BUILDERS:

If you have a group of writers and would like to have a private Mailing List Builder Giveaway event, where all the books featured are books from your member authors, please just send me an email and well see what can be done! 

These events work like any other event, except instead of the theme being a genre, the theme is your group. This is a great way to create brand awareness for your group or to create an event that focuses on an unusual genre or topic.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Want to build your personal mailing list but don't like the group mailing list builders or promoting giveaways to your newsletter followers?

You can use the AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT (newsletter dedicated to you),  DAILY DEAL newsletter and the weekly BOOK FAIR to build your newsletter list, any time you like!

How to Create Your Own, Private Mailing List Building Event on
1. Go sign up for inclusion in the DAILY DEAL Newsletter or a BOOK FAIR event 

2. INSTEAD of using the Amazon link to your FREE book or story, use a BookFunnel, InstaFreebie or your own websites Newsletter Sign up link.

3. Now, when people click to download your book, theyll be taken somewhere where you can capture their email before they download - BOOM! New newsletter sign ups! And you didnt have to push a thing to your readers.

4. PAIR this idea with another DAILY DEAL listing that goes straight to Amazon so you dont miss the people who want your free book, but dont want to be on a list, and youve got all your bases covered for your freebie promo, making it twice as powerful. 


GDPR Concerns

Regarding the collection of emails, has been following good practices since inception.  We take the privacy and security of our readers and authors seriously.

Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions:

  • No one is really GDPR compliant because they haven't REALLY made it clear in black and white what works and what doesn't.
  • GDPR is only for European Union. You can use the USA names (which are generally 90% of the list) same as you always did.
  • DOUBLE OPT IN IS NOT REQUIRED. Even if an address is from the EU and falls under GDPR, you don't have to double opt in. In fact, it is a BAD IDEA to ask people to opt in or CONFIRM they want to be on your list. Honda got freaky about GDPR and asked their list of 300k or so to double-opt in and ended up paying thousands in fines because GDPR saw that as admitting they didn't have permission in the first place.
  • GDPR is mainly to stop LARGE mailers - big companies and spammers. As a rule, the only way someone as small as an author would show up on their radar would be if many people complained all at once, which wouldn't happen unless you really were using a bad list.
  • AXP does have country and permission saved in our databases so we can provide you with that information should it ever come up.
  • Yes, we've consulted a lawyer and we're doing everything we can without just blocking the whole EU!
  • When you provide you from a list from an event, we separate out EU entrants who specifically say "Share me" so you can choose NOT to add them to your list anyway if you're worried, and the EU people who specifically say "don't share" I don't share with you at all.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

GDPR is a EU privacy law approved by the European Commission in 2016, that will be enforced beginning on May 25, 2018.

GDPR expands the rights of individuals in the European Union whose data is used for marketing purposes. Per regulations, consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous.

How Does Comply with GDPR?

We've always followed privacy laws and will continue to in the future.

We only collect information necessary for site to function. (i.e, we don't require physical addresses of authors or readers unless we need to send a specific winner a phsycial copy of a book, for example.) We inform readers that their emails will be shared with the authors participating in giveaways. We remove readers information from our databases upon request. We give readers the opportunity to remove themselves from collected lists before these lists are shared with authors. We maintain electronic records of subscribers consent to join email lists, should an author ever be required to produce it. We also encourage authors to only use GDPR-compliant email marketing systems and otherwise be in compliance themselves. However, please note we cannot give legal advice and do not endorse the use of any particular email program from the perspective of GDPR. 

Right to be forgotten: Upon request, we'll delete any subscribers information from our database. Right to object: Readers may decide not to receive emails from participating authors. Right to rectification: Subscribers can update information upon request via email or most cases, update preferences from inside their accounts. Right of access: Any  subscriber may contact us directly to request access to information we hold about them. Right of portability: Authors may access details of purchase history by visiting the author user menu, and you may obtain any past subscriber lists you've received from us by emailing us.