You’ve probably been hearing a lot about GDPR compliance for authors, and we’re here to help. First off, please don’t panic! It’s not as if there are thousands of EU attorneys waiting for midnight on May 24th to file lawsuits against tens of thousands of individual authors all over the world. That would be impossible. If they go after anyone, it will be large EU businesses with a history of complaints and willful misconduct, not authors who want to make their sign-up processes the best they can be. In fact, we suspect in six months that no one will even talk about GDPR, except a mention or two in passing.
Now we are not attorneys, but we believe that most of you are already doing what you should be doing with your newsletters. For those who aren’t, a few tweaks will make sure you have nothing to worry about. Overall, we think GDPR compliance for authors is a good thing because who wants to waste money sending emails to people who don’t want to hear from you?
Promoting your retailer deal with Book Cave is 100% GDPR compliant. Your links go to vendors who have a relationship with the reader under strict guidelines, so no matter where you live or who you sell to, you’re covered. You can submit your book for a retailer deal any time.
Reader Magnet Books
Book Cave has always been 100% transparent to readers that downloading a magnet book also means receiving an author’s newsletter, but we have taken additional steps to make sure readers give even more consent. Though only a small percentage of our readership is located in the EU, where GDPR is required, we’ve added checkboxes to each magnet page, so readers take an additional step to make sure they agree to receive your emails. If they don’t agree, they don’t get the free book.
After that, readers are divided into two groups, those who’ve clicked on the emails we’ve sent them (confirmed) and those who haven’t (unconfirmed). You can choose which of these readers emails to download and put into your mailing lists. Because GDPR doesn’t require the double opt-in, you can upload all the email addresses to your email service. Keep in mind that some readers may hold on to the email we send them with your book link for up to a week, and they’ll show up as a confirmed email address once they do verify their email.
Add a reader magnet book for free.
Here are a few examples of author privacy policies that we’ve found:
Basically, be clear about what info you’re asking for, how you’ll use it, and how you’ll protect it.
Magnet Sweepstakes Giveaways
For our optional sweepstakes on the group magnet pages, we’ve added opt-in radio buttons. This means you can offer a gift card or other prize and readers can click to join your newsletter. This assures that you have the additional consent required by GDPR.
Additional Things You Should Include
You should always include an unsubscribe in every email you send to any of your lists.
While double opt-in is not a requirement with GDPR compliance for authors, you can always upload your unconfirmed Book Cave subscribers into a segregated list and ask them if they’re sure they want your newsletter. Keep in mind that the confirmed addresses have already clicked on our links and you shouldn’t need to reconfirm those. But both groups have already clicked a box to verify that they want to sign up for your email address AND clicked the button to get your magnet and join your newsletter. (Please note that automatic uploading to your email service currently includes all addresses, but we will soon implement a way for you to choose to send confirmed or unconfirmed emails or both. In the meantime, you can always manually download only the confirmed addresses from your magnet dashboard.)
You should know that double opt-in or confirming email addresses does take an additional step. Online marketing experts estimate that in general 20-30% of people won’t finish the process. But on their website, Mailchimp says they’ve seen double opt-in rates “slip to 39%. This means 61% of people start but do not finish the double opt-in process.” Many authors feel they’d rather run into a few bogus email addresses than lose so many potential readers.
We hope these changes help you make the transition to these new laws. Again, GDPR is required only if you deal with EU citizens, and it’s unclear how they will enforce that outside of the EU or with individuals, but as we said before, authors want readers to read their emails, so taking a few extra steps will be beneficial in the long run. Let’s keep finding new readers and selling more books!