Since I wrote my new book, The Newbies Guide to Sell More Books With Less Marketing, I get a lot of questions about the term newbie author. So I decided to put together a short Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto to help answer those questions. What is a newbie author anyway? How does that affect what kind of marketing you should be doing?
For our purposes, the term newbie refers to platform and not necessarily how many books you’ve written. When I look at marketing strategies for authors I work with, the first thing I do is define their platform level. You can’t apply blanket marketing strategies to every author business–platform dictates strategy.
Platforms have a number of different characteristics besides how many books you’ve published. Here are a number of criteria I use:
- Number of books currently published
- Rank of currently published books
- Monthly book sales
- Annual book production
- Number of email subscribers
- Number of unique social media and blog followers
Your platform level is the combination of all these markers.
The Marketing Strategies
There are three basic marketing strategies that every author needs to move readers through their sales funnel. Every marketing task you undertake should fit in one of these three and you need a mix to keep new readers coming into your sales funnel and moving them through to the loyalty stage:
- Discovery: How are new readers discovering your books? The bulk of your marketing should be concentrated here.
- Sales: Yes, you have to sell. But this piece should not dominate your marketing strategies. Remember, we’re trying to move people to a place where they will want to buy whatever you publish. Don’t think of sales as one book at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Loyalty: This is the ultimate destination for your readers. When they get to this stage, they are on autopilot and they also become advocates for your books to their friends.
Every author needs to have three tools to carry out these strategies. You can have more if you have time, but for 90% of authors, these three are the basics you need to market your books. Don’t complicate the process until you are at the place where your income and skill level give you the time to branch out.
- A website: Every author needs one with a domain (URL) that matches their writing name. This is mandatory. Websites are a huge aid to discovery and a hub where all your books are available and emails are collected.
- An email list: You need a direct pipeline to your readers. Add an automation sequence (welcome sequence) to warm them up and you can use your email to not only sell your books, but deepen your engagement with your readers as well.
- A Facebook business page. Authors need to learn how to engage and sell in the same spot. If content is done properly, you can win the right to sell to your fans. Facebook has a number of different commerce tools that authors can use: email gathering, Shop tab to set up a bookstore, an ads platform, and more.
This is the Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto. You don’t need anything more—certainly not until you have time and budget. Remember, the best marketing is writing your next book. But you have to market the books you have published. Marketing doesn’t have to dominate your time. Always customize your marketing plan to fit you time, resources, budget, and platform level. Less is more.
You can learn more about how to sell more books with less marketing by grabbing a copy of my new book, The Newbies Guide To Sell More Books With Less Marketing. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.