StoryOrigin Blog
Your guide to book marketing

100s of reviews and sales from 1 email

How to get the most from every message you write
Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen
June 13, 2022

Bryan Cohen is an author and teacher who's sold 150,000+ books with the power of both ads and email. He's got a new book coming out called Self-Publishing and Email Marketing and you can find out more about email with his Kickstarter pre-launch campaign. Click here to get more info:

After thousands of emails to my readers, I've seen just how powerful this type of book marketing can be.

And while I see many authors struggle to figure out what to write to their readers…

I've been fortunate enough to see some of my emails lead to 100+ reviews and/or 100+ sales on their own.

But these successful messages aren't the result of a million subscribers or gold-star-worthy copywriting.

Often, they're a matter of selectively reusing and recycling my existing emails to allow me to write something once…

And continue to get a benefit out of it over and over again.

Here are three ways you can get the most out of every email you write.

1) Smarter Automation

Group promos, much like the ones run here at StoryOrigin, are fantastic for getting more signups to your email list. But I've heard from some authors that they still struggle at times to get more reviews on their books despite the increase in subscribers. A set-it-and-forget-it solution may be one of the best ways to see those numbers grow with less work.

In 2016, I launched a short-lived fairy tale pen name that waned from a lack of time on my part. But in the year that I wrote a novel, three novellas, and a short story for the pen name, I gathered over 900 members on my street team and well over 100 reviews for what was meant to be a series starter. How did I do this in such a short period of time for a new pen name?

I made sure that before I ran any group promos, I had the "Free Books Forever" email ready and waiting in my automation. As the fifth email in my automated email sequence, I offered for my new readers to join my Advanced Review Copy team in exchange for honest reviews for my book. Yes, even before I had a single subscriber on my list, I was willing to offer signups a copy of all of my future books. This is because in the early stages of your book marketing, a review can sometimes be even more valuable than a sale. And through running multiple group promotions, I was able to build my list to the thousands with some of those signups joining my ARC list as well.

Before long, I had over 100 reviews on that book, and all it took was making sure the "Free Books Forever" email was in place from the start.

2) Copying Myself

Us authors have a tendency to make things harder on ourselves. As a launch or a promotion approaches, we realize the night before that we should probably write an email for it. We scramble around as we pen it from scratch and schedule it about five minutes before the promo goes live. This is a tactic we then rinse and repeat, if we even remember to write the email in the first place.

I used to be a culprit of this last-second email writing as well, until a business coach snapped me out of it. My wonderful mentor Jaime suggested that instead of creating a brand-new email every single time, what if I reused some of my messages from a few months prior. My first reaction was that this idea was impossible as my readers would immediately "call me out for laziness" after I sent out a similar or identical email. Jaime suggested I try it for one promotion and see if I got any negative replies.

I closed my eyes and hit send on the exact same email I'd sent three months prior. And despite my grand fears, nobody seemed to notice. I was absolutely shocked, but the reason it works is that most readers forget the emails they've read within a matter of days. I was skeptical, but the results have spoken for themselves.

Despite using this same email four times over the course of a year, it's helped me to register thousands of author students for one of the challenges I run. I've done the same for other emails I send out, resulting in more book and course sales without requiring any additional work on my part. I even recently received a very high compliment for an email I wrote over two years ago.

Using this tactic for discounts on your series starter or any nonfiction classes you might be running could save you tons of time and produce similar results.

3) Template Time

We rarely give ourselves enough prep time for all of the emails we could send ahead of a launch. But who has time for writing brand-new cover reveals, excerpts, teasers, and other messages to hype up our new books? The good news is that even if you're a part-time author, you can set yourself up for success by creating these emails once and then using them as a template for the future.

Similar to our tip in #2 up above, you can reuse the emails that you've created for your prior launches. The first step is to go back to your previous new release emails and duplicate them. But since it's a different book you're promoting this time around, you'll need to switch out a few details and a couple of links so that readers go to the right place. Substitute in the right subject line for the new title, and you'll have about 80% of these emails written ahead of time (rather than having to reinvent the wheel).

I find this is extremely helpful when I'm doing list swaps with other authors. I'll copy my old swap email, switch out a few details and links, and then voila: I'm ready for the new promo with a whole lot less work.

I find that a lot of authors hesitate to use email to its utmost because it takes a lot of time. But using these above techniques can help you do a lot more of the work up front so you can spend your time doing what you love.

So, go out there and do less so you can sell more books.

Thanks for reading!

You can learn more about email marketing from my new book,Self-Publishing and Email Marketing. Click here to pre-order your copy:

About the author: Bryan Cohen is an author and teacher who's sold 150,000+ books with the power of both ads and email. He's got a new book coming out called Self-Publishing and Email Marketing and you can find out more about email with his Kickstarter pre-launch campaign. Click here to get more info: