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How Bestselling Authors Use Email To Interact with Readers

At BookExpo America last week, Copyright Clearance Center business development director Chris Kenneally led a panel discussion called “Self-Publishing: Disruptor or Defender of the Book Business?”

You can watch the CSPAN coverage of the event online. During the session, Carina Press executive director Angela James explained how some bestselling self-published writers succeed by collecting reader emails–but not for sending spammy messages. James explained:

I would [suggest] communicating with your readers.  We have found a lot of self-published authors.  I’ve heard Bella Andre, for instance, speak to this, and also Marie Force, who’s very successful in self-publishing, talk about just the idea of responding to every reader correspondence, being out where the readers are …. I see Colleen Lindsay from Penguin practically shaking her head off – totally agree with me.  Being where your readers are and talking to them and responding to them is actually your best publicity, more than an advertisement, more than just blasting on social media.  It’s actually communicating with your readers and fostering a relationship, because they will become – I don’t like to use this term, but your street team, basically, and they will do your publicity for you.

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