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Professional Development – Author Websites and Mailing Lists

7 November @ 10:00 - 11:30 GMT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Your author website is your ‘shop front’ — often the first impression you make on potential readers. It’s important to share the right content in a way that’s inviting, engaging and welcomes people into the world of your writing. And for many writers, starting and growing a mailing list is the single most important element of your book marketing. This is the way you collect readers and potential readers, cultivating and nurturing relationships with people over the long term.

In the session, we’ll look at what makes a good author website and what to include in yours. We’ll also look at how to put together a great mailing list offer, the sorts of content that will engage your audiences on email, and plenty of practical ideas for making sure your mailing list is working hard for you.



  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping from Francesca HowellHead of Author Communities, SoA (3 mins)
  • Presentation by Anna Caig (60 mins)
  • Comfort break (5 mins)
  • Q&A with audience – moderated by Francesca Howell (20 mins)
  • Summary and closing comments (2 mins)


Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is suitable for pre-publication or debut writers who’d like to set up an effective author website and mailing list, or more established authors with an existing website and email offer who want to give their online marketing a boost.


What will this workshop cover?

We’ll cover:

  • What makes a good author website and what to include in yours
  • Your mailing list – a step-by-step guide to getting set up
  • Beyond the newsletter – engaging email content
  • Creating a community – how to nurture and cultivate long-term relationships with readers
  • Getting sign ups – driving people to your website and mailing list.


Send us your questions in advance

If you would like to send questions in advance, email [email protected] with ‘Author Websites’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


SoA @ Home Fundraising Bookshop

Browse our virtual Bookshop.org store featuring books by authors and speakers taking part in the SoA @ Home Festival. When you make a purchase using our affiliate links, a percentage will go to the Authors’ Contingency Fund, providing hardship grants to authors in financial difficulty.


The Line -up

Anna Caig – Communications Specialist

Anna Caig has worked in communications for 18 years, specialising in media relations, reputation management and strategic marketing campaigns. She began her training business to support writers to build their brand and reach more readers. She now works with traditionally, indie and self-published writers, as well as helping creatives in any discipline find a wider audience. Since setting up Anna Caig Communications, she has worked with over 250 authors to help them spread the word about their work in a way that is authentic to why they write in the first place.

Anna tutors on the MA Journalism course at The University of Sheffield and is the former Head of Communications at Sheffield City Council. She writes crime and historical fiction, and reviews books for the Sheffield Telegraph and on her blog.

Website: www.annacaigcomms.co.uk    | Twitter: @AnnaCaig


You can catch up with the recordings of Anna’s previous #SoAatHome Professional Development events on our Vimeo Channel, Social Media for Authors and Pre-Publication Book Marketing – How to find readers before your book launch


Need to know


  • Attendees will have the option to turn on the live transcript option to watch with subtitles
  • If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please email [email protected]

Before the event

  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk/spam email folder
  • Please add [email protected] to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails

During the event

  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be on screen
  • This event is 90 minutes

After the event

    • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
    • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place by using the registration below.

All #SoAatHome events are free but if you can afford to, please consider donating to our Authors’ Contingency Fund and we suggest a minimum donation of £5. The fund is to help professional authors experiencing financial hardship. DONATE HERE


Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


Accordion Content

20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



We'll send you the Zoom joining details by email.

11 Going


7 November
10:00 - 11:30 GMT
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Francesca Howell