“I am focusing on creating a community, making friends, and introducing people to these fictional worlds that live inside my head".
We had the pleasure of spending some time with Kristina Adams, the author of the bestselling What Happens in… as well as three nonfiction books for writers, Writing Myths, Productivity for Writers, and How to Write Believable Characters.
Kristina uses MailerLite for email marketing, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn about her not-so-conventional approach to marketing her books. In fact, it doesn’t feel like marketing at all.
Her email strategy is to connect with readers on a personal level by building relationships that go deeper than your typical marketing campaigns. Instead of creating perfectly-formatted emails featuring her book covers, she prefers sending simple text emails that express her feelings in an authentic, human way.
Here are some of our favorite insights and quotes from Kristina that can help all authors improve their email marketing approach.
I was using Mailchimp, but then they increased prices and offered less features, so I was looking to switch. Many people in the author community were like “MailerLite, MailerLite, Mailerlite”. So I moved over to MailerLite and never looked back. That was around 2017, 2018.
I quite like the drag & drop editor because I find it easy to use, and once I have those templates in place, they’re easy to customize. It makes a big difference!
In the early days, I was not being consistent enough with my email marketing. I still do some emails on a whim, but I’ve found that when I am much more conscious about planning it out, I get more out of it.
For me, I make it as easy as possible, which means skipping fancy formatting so I can just write what I am feeling in the moment and share it. And I keep each email to one main point. I don’t try to cover everything in one email. This lets me spread out more emails and go more in-depth in each one because you never know which subscribers will engage with any particular content.
As for automations, I don’t have too many because I like to write what I am feeling at the moment, but I do use automated welcome emails which are important for new subscribers.
I also love experimentation and being playful. When it feels like I’m going through the motions, that’s when I get bored and frustrated and don’t get the same marketing results.
Sales is the main one, but something most authors underestimate is building that community and getting those relationships. The most effective newsletters that get the most engagement are more about my personal life rather than my books. For example, I’ve emailed them about my dog Millie when she’s not well, and my readers respond with encouraging messages.
You can’t put a price on that. It’s motivating. Being an author can be quite lonely at times, so having people who care about what you’re doing makes a difference.
Some authors think email is just a marketing thing that they need to do, and lose the fact that it is very human. The ironic thing is that authors are great at being human on social media, even though social media doesn’t have the same personal feel you get with email.
I am part of several communities, including Email Marketing Heroes by Rob and Kennedy, Atomic by Andrew and Pete, and Courageous Content from Janey Murray.
Email Marketing Heros is great. They have useful templates and taught me about the psychology of email marketing. Once I understood the psychology of how email works, it became easier to create effective emails.
Atomic is a small business community with lots of resources. And Courageous Content talks a lot about how to create content that humanizes your brand in a way that will naturally stand out.
It’s all about relationships. It’s not about shouting how great you are, which most authors hate doing anyway. It’s not about flashing a big sign. It’s more like “let’s be friends”. It’s as simple as that. I want to be open with people. Life as an author is hard. Most authors don’t live like Stephen King. We are just humans who happen to live in a fictional world most of the time, and it’s nice to share these behind-the-scenes aspects that make us human.
I share personal things with my audience because I know that quite a lot of my audience have similar struggles. I want them to know that whatever your barriers, they don’t have to stop you. You might have to work a bit harder, but you can do what you want. It’s society that kinda tells you you can’t and you have to show it the middle finger and find your own path.
Kristina also publishes fantasy novels as K.C. Adams, and her newest book, The Mean Girl’s Murder, is ready to order.
"The Mean Girl’s Murder is the fifth book in the mother-daughter paranormal women’s fiction series, Afterlife Calls. If you’re looking for a story that’s seriously sarcastic, slightly spooky, and with a sprinkling of romance, it’s just the series for you".