You and Your List by David Farland

While this article focuses on authors, it's just as relevant to home and small businesses. It's all about the ability to promote your products or service to people/businesses. This article give tips on who those people and businesses might be and where you can find them.

You and Your List

By David Farland

A few years ago, a prominent publicist gave a talk on the difference in philosophy between poor authors and rich authors. He started out by saying, "A poor author thinks that his book is all-important. A rich author knows that his list is far more important."

What's your list? Your list is your contact list-the people that you can reach on email, or on Facebook, on Twitter, and so on. It's your platform.

Most new authors don't think that they know anyone who would be interested in their books. They're wrong.

You can start creating your list right now by thinking about the following:

• Who were your friends in elementary school, middle school, high school and college? Even casual friends may be interested to know that you're a published author.

• Now, who are past neighbors and co-workers that you can get in touch with?

• All of your relatives should be on your list-even great grandparents and that odd niece you've never met.

• What about co-workers?

That's a good start for a personal list. It will grow as you meet new people at your gym, through work, or while standing in lines at grocery stores.

More importantly, you will grow your list as you set up your blog, begin using Twitter, join groups on Goodreads or Facebook, and so on.

Later, you may collect names and email addresses at book signings, while giving speeches at libraries or schools, and so on.

You would think that for a world-renowned author, keeping a list wouldn't be important, and it is true that you may reach a point in your career where your fame is so widespread that you don't need a list. But there are only a few people in the world with that kind of fame. Even #1 New York Times Bestsellers understand that having some way to keep in contact with fans is terribly important. If your publisher falls through on advertising, or if a novel is released at the wrong time of year, or if your cover stinks, or if you've got a novel that starts out with tepid reviews-it is your list that will save you. Having a crowd of people who care about your work will cover a multitude of disasters.

It's not just that these people will buy your books. Many won't. But they may talk about it, or help spread the word, and some of your followers may be very influential in the publishing industry. For this reason, it's never too early to begin "growing your list."

Dlavid Farland is an award-winning, New York Times Bestselling Author with over 50 novels in print.
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