Our Mission is to bring readers and authors together by helping authors grow their audience.
We are living in an era where, for the first time in history, it is possible for every reader to instantly reach out and provide feedback and interact with their favorite authors. We are in the midst of the one of the greatest revolutions of literacy in human history. Never has there been as many books available to so many people. Of course, it’s the internet that made this possible, but more specifically, the indie author movement.
Yes, we call it a movement. From Amazon, to Wattpad, to Quotev, to Smashwords, the people of the world have spoken – they love the voice of the independent creator. Gone are the days when a select few gatekeepers barred 99% of writers from publication. Now, every author throws their hat into the ring, and let readers decide who is worthy.
This movement is still in its infancy, and we want to take part in helping it grow. We believe that the essential components in that growth formula are the strength and charity of the indie author community enabled by social media, and the author-reader relationship established by newsletters. These are the cornerstones of the indie author community.
Without the guidance of traditional big publishers, indie authors have banded together on social media. Groups like 20Booksto50k have memberships in the tens of thousands where best selling six-figure authors freely dispense advice to fledgling writers. A culture of openness and sharing has developed and certain universal rules have taken form, all serving to keep the groups focused on relatively selfless assistance of their fellow writer. There has never been this kind of unity on this scale in the world of literature – ever.
We want to become a part of what shapes this community and to exemplify the values that have made it so successful. Every service we introduce will be free, and transparent. We believe that if we help authors grow their audience, they will in turn help us to grow. Information, advice, help, and service will always be a two-way street with us, because that is what builds lasting relationships. That is what builds trust, and gives authors a sense of ownership – and community.
Of course, in order to be able to continue to offer free services, we will also have premium level or featured components. However, the goal is for every author, regardless of income, influence, or experience level to have the ability to take advantage of our services and prosper using them. Elitism will never be promoted or tolerated by Art of the Arcane. If a service cannot be made available to everyone, then it is not in the best interests of the community.
As of now, we offer 2 services: Newsletter Swap Digest, and Group Promotions.
The most important thing the aspiring author has to do, (besides writing an awesome book) is get the word out. Word of mouth is still the most effective marketing strategy, and that truth only drops about 16% when that word of mouth is online.
84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness. [Nielsen]
- 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy/Google/TNS]
- 68% trust online opinions from other consumers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information. [Nielsen]
- 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. [BrightLocal]
It’s no wonder that Newsletters are one of the most effective forms of book marketing out there for indies. With an average open rate of 21% and about 6% click rate, according to Mailchimp, a list of just 1000 subscribers can net (on average) about 200 opens, and 60 clicks. Nothing else online gives you that kind of return on investment; especially when the cost is zero.
So, what is Newsletter Swap Digest, and why is it important to the author community? As of right now, the standards for newsletter swaps are still developing. The push by many Facebook newsletter swap groups is to have authors streamline their swaps and organize them using Google Forms. This stops post threads from filling up with clutter, making the search for a decent swap tedious at best, and downright impossible at worst.
Still, there are dozens of facebook groups from different genres out there all offering the same service – a meeting place for people to come and trade spots in their newsletters. To find a decent swap or two an author can spend hours every week searching feeds, posting, and checking back. Those are hours they could spend writing.
Newsletter Swap Digest brings the swaps to the author. We search facebook groups and recruit authors to join our mailing list. They fill out a Google Form with their swap information, and we add their book, and a link to their Swap Signup Google Form. Then, once a week they receive a list of available swaps in their genre via email. Each swap looks something like this:
Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Sign Up For This Swap
Regular Price: 2.99
First Available Newsletter Date:
I also have an instafreebie preview of the second book in the series available for swaps on my google form.
If the author sees a swap they want to apply for they simply click on “Sign Up For This Swap” and fill out that author’s form. It’s a weekly catalog of swaps in your inbox – a digest. It is completely free, with an added premium feature for helping authors manage their swaps. You can sign up for NLSD here.
Giveaways and author cross-promotions allow a group of authors to pool their subscriber lists to reach hundreds of thousands of readers that they normally couldnt with just their own newsletter. The concept is simple; everyone shares the giveaway or sale promotion in their newsletters during the promo/giveaway’s active dates. Readers click on the link in the newsletter and come to Art of the Arcane do get free and discounted books.
Giveaways serve the author in one of two ways: If they provide a direct download link to amazon, it will help push their rank. We have seen many authors hit the top 20 of their categories during a giveaway. If they provide a link to a free subscriber “hook,” such as a free copy or preview of their book, through instafreebie, bookfunnel, or a private landing page (as can be created through Mailchimp or Mailerlite) it helps build their subscriber lists.
Our giveaways are free to everyone, but we do offer featured spots at the top of the giveaway page and in our bi-weekly newsletter. Top of Page features average 2x the number of clicks of non-featured spots. You can find the signups for the latest giveaways here.