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Unlocking the mysteries of GDPR

Outlining the basics for new and aspiring authors, building their author platform

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by Cynthia T. Luna in Book marketing

What is GDPR?

GDPR, the new legislation from Europe, is on the tip of everybody’s tongue lately — even the hot shots in Silicon Valley. Why? Because even though GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, is a European law, its ramifications extend as far and wide as the internet. And it goes into effect on 25 May 2018.

What does GDPR mean for aspiring and new authors?

As a new or aspiring author, you have probably begun the process of building an email list of readers. Normally, this process would include posting an email capture form on your website, or your social media page, and asking people to sign up to hear occasional updates from you. Here’s what you need to understand about GDPR:

  • GDPR affects you if you are collecting information from EU-based (likely also including UK-based) readers, regardless of whether you (or your business) are located in the EU.
  • You need explicit or unambiguous consent from your readers (or people who add their name and email address to your list). MailChimp proposes an opt-in checkbox that clearly explains how you will use readers’ data. Visit MailChimp’s blog post about adding GDPR forms to your list.

How can you get GDPR compliant?

Chatting with new and aspiring authors I know and work with, there is a sense of panic. Legislators have a way of making their laws sound scary and threatening (after all, noncompliance comes with hefty fines). Still, looking at the spirit of the law, the idea is to respect the privacy (i.e. personal data) and property (i.e. email address) of the people who have shown interest in what you offer. Who doesn’t want their privacy and property respected?

Here are two things you can do to get compliant with GDPR:

  1. Include an opt-in checkbox on your form that tells your subscribers what they are signing up for. You can explain the nature and frequency of your emails, their ability to unsubscribe at any time, and your commitment to respect their privacy and property. Make sure the language here is plain English.
  2. Connect with the people already on your list already. Then, ask them to explicitly state they wish to be there. (Of course, remind them that they can change their mind at any time.)

My own Legal disclaimer

Those are the steps I am taking. Please know, I am not a lawyer. What works for my purposes may not be sufficient for your own purposes. Please contact someone who has legal knowledge and expertise to advise you on the best course of action for you.

Check out my new course!

Speaking of course… I have spent the better part of a year coming up with a new online course, called “The Aspiring Author’s Guide: Your First Email Sequence using MailChimp”. As a blog post reader, you can get 50% off by using promo code GDPR50 upon purchasing! Let me know what you think!

Download my free WRITERS' TRACK SHEET

What gets measured gets managed. Amp up your writing speed today!

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