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The Old Model vs. The New Model of Online Book Marketing

by Kathleen Gage

Book Marketing - Old vs New

Recently I surveyed a group of several hundred authors. “What’s your greatest challenge with marketing and selling your book(s)?” was the only question asked.

The results were as follows:

  • 38% knowledge
  • 33% time
  • 17% money
  • 7% fear
  • 5% other

It’s not surprising knowledge ranked the highest with time a close second. When most authors dream of their book being read by people around the globe, they often forget one small detail; they have to do most of the marketing.

It’s one thing to publish a book and something completely different to market and sell the book. Both require knowledge and time.


As the author, your job is to not only write the book, but figure out as many ways possible to promote it.

This doesn’t mean you have to do all the work, but it does mean you need to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on.

With the onslaught of Kindle the process of getting a book to market, promoting and selling it is much easier than ever before.

Add to that an author’s ability to utilize a variety of free online methods to market, what was once a major roadblock to one’s success is now simply a matter of planning, implementation and follow through.

I’ve been involved in various types of book marketing for well over 15 years.

Everything from back of the room sales, email marketing, social media, webinars, teleseminars and word of mouth have been among the many avenues I have used to generate sales.

In 2004 I was introduced to a revolutionary way to sell lots of books and rank incredibly high on the world’s largest online bookstore; Amazon. The campaigns were appropriately dubbed Bestseller Campaigns.

The process consisted of the author inviting several joint venture (JV) partners to join in on their book launch to promote the author’s book.

Each JV would contribute a bonus gift that could be redeemed upon someone purchasing their book from The buyer would then be taken to a private web page where they would input their order number which gave them the option to opt into each partner’s offer to access any, or all, of the gifts.

This was a win/win/win.

The author won in that lots of people promoted the book. The buyer won in that they got incredible value for the price of the book. The partners won by gaining massive visibility for their bonus offer and increased opt in subscribers.

After participating as a joint venture partner in three campaigns I launched my own book, The Law of Achievement, in 2005.

With a lot of planning, effort and tenacity the book became a bestseller on Amazon.

It was #1 in several categories and #4 overall beating out Freakonomics, The World Is Flat and the The Da Vinci Code over a period of about a week.

In the “early” days the idea was to secure 50 – 100 partners.

Each would offer a bonus gift that the book buyer would receive upon submitting proof of their purchase.

Each partner agreed to promote the book on a specific day in order to spike sales of the book.

Although the concept was great, problems arose when the quality of bonuses were not monitored.

Another problem was when several campaigns were going on at the same time. What was once a highly specialized way of launching a book promotion campaign became an every day occurrence.

Yet another problem was the lack of integrity by some partners. It was extremely frustrating when a handful of partners who had agreed to participate fully would conveniently forget to do a mail out on the day of the launch.

With some partners, regardless of how much they were reminded and given the marketing information, they would not follow through as agreed upon.

This not only hurt the launch, it was unfair to the partners who did all they agreed to do. You see, each partner would gain visibility in front of thousands of potential buyers because their name and bonus was listed on the book sales page.

What was once a highly valuable way of marketing became extremely common and incredibly overused.

These campaigns contributed to information overload.

I refer to the type of campaign I just outlined as the old model. It’s not that the old model doesn’t work anymore, but it’s certainly not as effective as it used to be. In some cases it can actually be counterproductive.

This is not to say these types of campaigns are completely a thing of the past. If done with a market that is not familiar with this type of marketing it can work extremely well.

However, for markets that are oversaturated the new model is much more effective and costs a heck of a lot less in money, time and human resources.

The last full blown campaign I coordinated was in 2010. Although we did achieve our outcome it took much more effort than in the past, opt outs were higher than in the past and the process just didn’t work like it previously had.

I was determined to figure out a simpler way that gave me a great result.

Then it hit me; it’s not that the bonus strategy didn’t work; it is the types of bonuses being offered that would determine the success of a campaign.

I tested my theory with a very simple and low key campaign for the Kindle version of 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door, a book I coauthored with three other entrepreneurs in 2006.

It didn’t take long to realize I had hit the nail on the head.

In a matter of hours the book reached #1 in several Kindle categories. Not only did I sell hundreds of copies, rankings were great, visibility for the book was stellar and the backend opportunities for sales of my other products and services was evident.

I created a simple model that was very streamlined and easy to implement. Not only would it take a lot less effort to implement, it could be done quickly and the back end opportunities were plentiful.

The process was such that I created a very high value bonus that was directly related to the topic of the book. In the case of my book, 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door, I offered a one hour teleseminar to anyone who purchased the book within a specified period of time.

It was amazing how responsive buyers were to one high quality bonus.

Actually, much more so than they had been with a hodgepodge of dozens of bonuses.

After my own success I implemented this process for a client. Her book was published about five years ago. The topic is very evergreen which means it is as timely today as it was when the book was first published.

The bonuses she offered were an MP3 of an interview she did with an industry expert, a one hour bonus teleseminar and a downloadable report she wrote. All were very specific to the book she was selling.

Within a few hours her book hit #1 in every single category it was listed in.

So here’s what you do.

  1. Upload your Kindle book on Amazon
  2. Decide on the bonus or bonuses
  3. Develop the sales page and marketing material
  4. Determine how and when the bonuses will be delivered
  5. Market your Kindle book and resource
  6. Buyer completes an opt in form which includes their order number
  7. The process is automated
  8. The bonus is delivered
  9. Establish backend and ongoing opportunities.

The key to success is to have a responsive subscriber list or tribe you can reach via social networks.

Another aspect of a successful launch is to begin immediately to plan your book launch. The sooner you begin the more likely it will be you will experience amazing results.

About Kathleen Gage:

Kathleen Gage

Kathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist and owner of “Power Up for Profits.” Kathleen helps entrepreneurs make money online. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.

Kathleen’s mission is to help people understand that their business is merely a means to get their message out to the world. She teaches that it’s not just about what you do, but the reasons behind why you do it.

Her newest book, Power Up For Profits; The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing is the perfect resource for any author who wants to reach more of their market in the fastest, most cost effective methods possible. For a very limited time when you order the book through Amazon you receive Kathleen’s full Six Figure List Building Program and Sell Thousands from Any Platform at no cost to you.

Power Up for Profits

Go to…

for full details.

“I’m not even in Kathleen’s target market and yet her new book caught my attention. I’m not finished reading it and yet I am already loving the easy-reading, information-packed, style. Though targeted to women, this is a must read for anyone, man or woman, engaging, or looking to engage, in online business. The new paradigm indicates that both women and spirituality are rising to the top of the online playing field and this book is, I am sure, going to be an important milestone on anyone’s journey of success.”

~ -Steve/wiz. From Website To Wealth.
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About the Author, Judy Cullins

Book and Blog Coach Judy Cullins helps you gain confidence and transform your ideas into life-long money-making content. Author of 14 books for business people and authors include “Write your eBook or Other Short Book–Fast!”Judy offers free, up-to-the minute weekly publications on book and blog writing and online marketing at

*You are welcome to reprint this article provided the above bio is included.

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  • Kathleen Gage

    Thanks for posting this Judy. I appreciate it.

  • geni white

    Some article authors say they’ll share the tips that also come in their book, but then only promote the book. Kathleen actually said what she does. That’s integrity in my mind!
    Geni White, books, books, pits or pearls.

  • Judy Cullins

    Geni, You are absolutely right. I’m with Kathleen. Don’t make it all about sales-become the go to person for quality book education!

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