Thursday teaser: The Complete Mailing List Toolkit


By Barb Drozdowich

Welcome to The Complete Mailing List Toolkit part of an ongoing series of author “how-to” books, which is designed to help you navigate the technical issues of self-publishing. This box set specifically focuses on how to create optimized reader newsletters, how to grow your mailing list, how to ensure your newsletter arrives in inboxes and how to master email marketing services such as MailChimp.

I will use the word “communication” a lot in this box set. I feel to be successfully engaged with your audience, you must communicate with them, not simply bombard them with email and social media posts. Whereas many experts focus on simply gaining subscribers, I argue that this is too narrow of a focus.

Why this book?

Two reasons:

  1. This book is well researched and pulls information from many different schools of thought, and
  2. I take a holistic view of communicating with readers.

Initially, my intention with this box set was to collect information from a wide variety of sources and condense it into a neat and easy-to-understand package for you. However, as I was researching, my opinion changed. I found that much of the information available online and in various webinars seemed to miss the boat in terms of accuracy, while others just seemed fixated on adding people to a mailing list like hoarders would add one more item to a collection. They weren’t looking at their readers as individuals, nor were they treating them as such.

I wanted to create something more “bigpicture-ish” (is that a word?)—that looks at all aspects and all facets,of communicating with readers using newsletters. Hence the box set. For authors who just want to attack one part of this puzzle, the books are available individually, but my wish is that they are all read together.

I come from a background of technical training and while I’m certainly comfortable with technology. I tend to be holistic in my view. I want to break subjects down into manageable sections, and I don’t want to skip topics because they are difficult to explain. I feel that I haven’t done my job unless I can explain complicated things and make them relevant to you. I’m holistic in terms of looking at one subject within a larger context.

In terms of communicating with readers, I don’t focus on only one part of the puzzle in this box set. I want you to understand why I suggest using shorter subject lines for a newsletter. I want you to understand why entertaining readers, is as important as communicating with them. I want you to understand why it is necessary to use an Email Marketing System right from the get go to communicate with readers. I want you to understand how to work within the laws that govern your actions when you communicate with readers. I want to explain why the technical aspects that many overlook are really important to success in your endeavors.

Most importantly, I want you to understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all methods of communication. The way you communicate with a teenager isn’t the way you would communicate with a senior. The material that fans of romance are interested in is not likely to be the same as fans of horror. I want you to learn what your audience wants, not take the advice of an expert without thinking about it and without testing it out. I want you to learn to talk WITH your audience, not AT your audience. I want you to see your readers as more than a wallet.

Seems like I have a huge objective! We are going to break the subject of communicating with readers down into four books. In the first book we are going to address the topic of gathering the names of interested readers. We’re going to view it as something other than hoarding.

Next we’ll learn to use MailChimp really well. There are many Email Marketing Services, but MailChimp is the most popular with folks just starting out. If you have already chosen a different service, note that the lessons in this section are transferable to other services.

In the third book we’re going to talk about making sure that our newsletters actually end up in the inbox of our readers. This book will be fairly technical, but you’ll have a good understanding of why best practices are what they are.

Finally, in the last book, we’re going to talk about how to create really great content that is appropriate for our readers. We’ll bring in some science, some psychology, and some good old-fashioned marketing to help you form a plan for going forward.

I guess it is too soon to say that I’ve really enjoyed writing these books … but I hope that you appreciate my efforts and learn to be better communicators with your readers!

About The Complete Mailing List Toolkit

Is a broken mailing list holding back your author career? Discover how to transform your marketing and attract dedicated readers.

Does emailing your subscribers feel like shouting into the void? Are you struggling to come up with newsletter ideas that resonate with readers? Author consultant Barb Drozdowich has spent decades teaching writers how to navigate the technological pitfalls of publishing. Now, she’s here to help you master your mailing list.

The Complete Mailing List Toolkit provides a holistic approach to reader engagement through the power of direct communication. This bundle of four essential books provides strategies for list building and step-by-step guidelines for creating content that turns readers into lifelong fans. Through a series of easy-to-follow explanations, you’ll finally discover how to optimize your use of MailChimp and revolutionize your author platform.

In The Complete Mailing List Toolkit, you’ll discover:

  • How to create attractive newsletters your readers will eagerly anticipate
  • How to troubleshoot deliverability issues so you can reach more readers
  • How to understand and measure open and click rates to gauge your success
  • How to tailor your message to meet the needs of your unique audience
  • Why quality engagement matters more than subscriber quantity, and much, much more!

The Complete Mailing List Toolkit is your how-to guide for mastering email outreach and connecting with more fans. If you like practical solutions, down-to-earth explanations, and empowering guidance from an industry expert, then you’ll love Barb Drozdowich’s career-changing box set.

Find it on Amazon.

About the author

Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance novels.

She is the author of 15 books, over 45 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

She can be found on her


Year-end Teasers: The 2016 spotlight


Your favorite bestselling authors have been very busy over the past 12 months. Altogether, BestSelling Reads member authors have published 46 titles. Here’s a quick look back at all the great reading available for your enjoyment this year.

Claude Bouchard

Scott Bury

Barb Drozdowich

Julie C. Gilbert

DelSheree Gladden

Emily Kimelman

Emily’s Sydney Rye Kindle World also launched in May 2016.

Seb Kirby


Toby Neal

Renée Pawlish

Kathleen Valentine

Even though Kathleen passed away at the end of October, she published two books in 2016:


Teaser Tuesday: Top Advice for Authors Promoting Their Book by Barb Drozdowich


Don’t you just wish you could ask Book Bloggers for some pointers on marketing books?

I did!

And I got 502 responses….


Do you need help with your book marketing?

Take the advice of 500+ book bloggers!

In a survey of 500+ book bloggers, the question was asked: “If you could give an author one piece of advice about promoting their book, what would it be?”

The answers are fascinating! They show authors what is important to book bloggers and what they need to promote your books.

With book bloggers and other online sites being more and more involved in the marketing of books, authors need all the hints they can get. Let these answer guide you through the world of online promotions.

Top Advice for Authors Promoting their book can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo 

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 7 books and over 25 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Barb  can be found on her blog, FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, YouTube and Amazon




Be real and create a rapport with the blogger before even thinking of asking them. Also, grammar and spelling matter!

In addition to book cover, blurb, and buy link, give out a little personal information (not too private), so that readers can see you as a real person.

Don’t spam. My pet peeve (and it’s nothing to do with blogs at all) is when an author is constantly posting, once or twice a day on a particular Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter page. Those people do not want to read your advert. Again.

Don’t spam! I never accept a review request via Dear Blogger, or from an author I have never interacted with before. And those who send me e-mails, then contact me on Twitter because I haven’t answered their e-mails are authors I will never read.

Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, to get the word out about your book.

Please use the right name of the person you are emailing.

Don’t ask a blogger to change a review.

Think long term.

Treat book bloggers and readers the same way you’ like them to treat you. If you want respect and kindness, show respect and kindness.

Ask before sending copies of their books in an email if asking for a review. If they require help with a blog tour, then contact bloggers individually. It may take more time, but the personal touch is always better.

Start promoting early. Use ALL social media platforms. If someone posts a review, share the review on different Facebook groups, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Everywhere. Create your Media kit, Make sure your book is mentioned as much as possible. Hand out free copies to gain reviews on other platforms, use Netgalley. Make sure you exhaust all your resources.

Write all your market copy before you even begin writing the book. That’s when you’re most enthusiastic about it and that enthusiasm will show in the tone of everything you write.

Get a social media person to run Facebook, Twitter, and Pin-interest. Someone who is young and trendy and knows how people think.

Encourage people first, then promote, and get to the heart of your theme so it’s easy to find keywords.

If you have a blogger review one of your books – please share the review. Comment on the post. Make a big deal out of it. They took their time to read your story. You should take some time to share their thoughts about your hard work.

Write to me as a human. It takes about 10 minutes to do an individual e-mail and about 20 to do a round robin. Unless you do the round robin right, you’ll get more response from the 10 minutes.

To stop by the blogger’s site or post about their books and comment with something as simple as “thank you for featuring/reviewing my book” (if a review – whether it was positive or not)

Look at my blog first and tell me why your book fits my reading tastes.

Don’t request a review if you don’t want honesty

Find someone who loved a book of yours previously or similar to yours and ask them to help, it works with me, and also don’t give up, keep looking, keep tweeting, keep posting, because all books are awesome 🙂


Win-a-Book Wednesday: The Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers



By Barb DrozdowichThe Authors guide to working with book bloggers bigger (2)

Win a free copy of the first volume of the Building Blocks to Author Success Series by answering the following question correctly:

What is the title of the first book on Barb Drozdowich’s Review List on her blog?

Put the answer in the Comments section, and the author will select the winner from the correct answers.

About the book

Do you feel out of your comfort zone when dealing with book bloggers? 

If Book Bloggers are the new gatekeepers to ‘book publishing success’ how can you tap into that source of free promotions? How can you move comfortably into that world, putting your best foot forward? 

The Author’s Guide to Working with Book Bloggers combines the advice of 215 bloggers covering all aspects of communication between authors and Review Blogs. Whether you are a new author, or have many titles under your belt, let us demystify the promotion of your book on a book blog. 

You’ll learn about whom and where book bloggers are, as well as the following:

  • The Query
  • The Review
  • The Giveaway
  • The Guest Post
  • The Book Blurb Excerpt and Cover Reveals and more!

 Start your journey to publishing success today!

About the author

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial media and WordPress consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught at colleges and universities, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world.

Visit her