Doorways That Lead To More Readers
For Your Books

Celebrity Doors

There is a doorway to every single fiction reader in the world, and there are MILLIONS of them.

Question is, how do you persuade them to open their doors and buy your book?

Unfortunately, most of my author friends attempt to solve this in precisely the wrong way. They hammer on one door after another like a old style door-to-door salesman, and in the rare instance a door opens, they immediately shout at the owner: “Buy my book!”

Bestseller Labs - social media iconsAnd they do this on Twitter, Facebook, G+, Goodreads , Linked in, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, forums, their own blog, and everywhere else they can think of.

Of course most readers won’t open the door to them, because they don’t know the author, and they don’t know their book.

Furthermore, not only do they dislike people rapping on their doors uninvited, there are thousands of other authors constantly doing it.

The doors never open.

So what does a poor author do?

How To Persuade Readers To Open The Door And Let You In

The secret lies in never knocking on the door. Instead, TAKE TIME to get to know the person behind the door by socialising with them elsewhere in all the places they gather.

Author at the doorOnce you’ve got to know them, and you become a familiar face, then introduce your book.  The door will open.

Yes, I understand that you want instant results.  And frankly, it’s not your fault if you have always chosen to hammer on readers’ doors, because you’ve never been taught the real way to attract attention.

Besides, no-one really wants to hear that it takes a great deal of work to attract sales, which is why hammering on doors seems to be a great idea.  It’s instant, requires no planning, time or work.

Well here’s the harsh truth:  Being an author is a career, not a get rich quick scheme, and marketing your books does take time and effort.

Yes, it’s possible you will strike it lucky.  But honestly, that’s pretty much like hoping you’ll win the lottery, and is not a marketing strategy on which to base a writing career.

Four Steps To Persuading Readers To Open Their Doors And
Buy Your Books

Let me show you a classic marketing formula that’s stood the test of time because it invariably produces results.

The formula is known as AIDA, a series of four steps that gain the interest of a prospect and eventually get them to buy.

Note how ‘Action’ comes last.  Knocking on the door and shouting about your book is asking for action first, which is a recipe for failure.

Here’s How The AIDA Selling Steps Work On Twitter

AIDA on Twitter

Attract Attention With Content Readers Will Love

Ask yourself “What would attract attention and be of interest to my potential readers?”

Then talk about that with your book only mentioned at the end.

By the time they come across your books, they’ll already be in a fascinated frame of mind and ‘sold’ on you and your work.

Having said that, there’s one exception: Do chat about your books on social media with readers who’ve already bought your books.   It will generate curiosity and encourage others to read them.

And let’s not forget the power of variety.  Use a potent mix of curiosity, questions, images and breaking news in Tweets for example.  I’ve fully detailed how to do these, plus 16 other compelling reader engagement tactics in my Twitter for Authors mini-course.

The Bottom Line

Book ReaderThere’s no question that this way of persuading people to read your books is far more effective than randomly ‘knocking on doors’.

One by one they’ll come to know you, buy your books and independently begin to spread the word about them in their own circles of influence.

You’ll also already be aware that most books are sold by Word of Mouth recommendation. This means you don’t have to hand crank every sale.  You simply need to help ignite the word of mouth fire.

The power of the AIDA steps will help you to set it ablaze.

Be honest, how do you approach readers? Do you hammer on their doors?   Or do you use the AIDA approach?  Or maybe quite different methods?  I’m intrigued to know.  Do please leave a comment.

Jonathan Gunson
Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / Book Marketing Coach 


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  • January 30, 2014 at 8:46am

    I work hard to produce the best body of work I can do. I know I cannot fight an avalanche, so I put it online and leave it to fate, chance, luck or God, knowing that I create, promote or allow everything I do. I believe that quality finds the right people.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:51am

      Great writing WILL eventually find its audience. Especially on Amazon, because it’s there forever. No remaindering or pulping after a month in a traditional book store. In fact, here’s a post that could have been written just for you: Why Your Amazon Kindle Book Could Be Far Bigger Than You Imagine
      ~ Jonathan

      • Thomas says:
        February 4, 2014 at 1:27am

        I’m following the advice within my small circle of influence & hope to gather more to it – but, at my age, time is running out.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 4, 2014 at 1:37am

          Its never too late, Thomas, never. (I’m not young either.)
          ~ Jonathan

    • annie says:
      January 31, 2014 at 12:40am

      Makes perfect sense. If I start to add more Erotic post on my blog like my wordpress blog than I have a sneaky suspicion that they just might want to buy my book. Thank you Jonathan..

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        January 31, 2014 at 8:36am

        You’re onto it. More posts. (And more books to talk about in the posts)
        ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:57am

    Great points, Jonathan! I, too, am turned off by desperate pleas in my Twitter feed from authors begging us to “buy my book!” Lately I’ve been experimenting with different ways to engage readers. Here are some new things I”m trying:

    1. I created Twitter profiles for my two main characters (who are teen best friends). Some of my readers have found them and have had fun conversing with them (it’s been a blast for me, too).
    2. My characters are “taking over” a few book review blogs for the day and running giveaways. Hypnos (the god of sleep) is giving away $10 GC to Victoria’s Secret; Hades is giving away Pomegranate sachets; Athena is giving away a locket; etc.
    3. Every once in a while, I “call roll” on my blog, asking subscribers to comment with “here” to be enrolled in a giveaway.
    4. Whenever I do a cover reveal, I pin the cover images to boards on Pinterest with links back to my blog.
    I continually seek out new ways to engage. Instagram is next!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 10:29am

      Clever ideas re using your characters on Twitter and in book reviews Eva. I’m taking notes.

      • January 30, 2014 at 12:54pm

        I’ve got a FB page and Twitter (@DiaryOfSparrow) account for my character, Sparrow. Both are new. We’ll see.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 30, 2014 at 8:31pm

          Intrigued. Watching this space.
          ~ Jonathan

        • February 1, 2014 at 7:46pm

          Very good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • January 30, 2014 at 6:22pm

      Hi there – I love your idea of getting your characters to tweet.

    • January 30, 2014 at 6:53pm

      Clever, clever, GREAT ideas!
      Thank you!!

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        January 31, 2014 at 11:49pm

        Too true!

    • February 1, 2014 at 7:45pm

      Eva, that’s brilliant, r.e. Creating Twitter accounts for your characters and having them do blog posts. Jonathan, thanks again for some common sense advice. Too often, I read blogs that offer all sorts of vague ideas that sound great but don’t offer practical steps to get there. My biggest hurdle right now is I have books (3) I could be promoting, but only one is out, self-published on Amazon. I’m going through the query stage on the other two. I’m unsure whether I should do any promotion of those books when it could be quite a while before they come out IF I find a publisher. And as we all know, that’s a very big if. Advice anyone?

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        February 1, 2014 at 9:49pm

        It pays to get into early discussion with potential readers about upcoming books. i.e. The readers of your current book. (I assume you have been collecting them up? If not, see this post
        ~ Jonathan

        • February 5, 2014 at 6:12pm

          Thanks. I definitely will check that out. But is there such a thing as too early to dangle the carrot of a new book if I do find a publisher and it takes those folks a while to get the book out there?

          • Jonathan Gunson says:
            February 6, 2014 at 9:31pm

            Once you DO have a publisher, yes, start promotion early.
            The day your book launches is way too late to start your marketing program if you want to see a significant level of early sales. See
            Remember also to segue readers to the book the AIDA way. Not shout “BOOK COMING SOON!” but instead make connections with book bloggers long in advance for example. For advice on this, see
            Another example is to make contact with one potential reader at a time, and trust a few with advance Kindle or PDF copies (by arrangement with the publisher) so as to have some early reviews ready to go.
            Quoting my author friend Mary English:

            “…I now have some VERY nice subscribers, who have been ‘with me’ all the way in my series, critiquing, giving quotes, proof reading, celebrating with me, having free PDF’s when my books are published and reader offers… and I treat them like friends, they’re truly lovely people…”


          • February 8, 2014 at 6:30pm

            Thanks, Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:06am

    I love the blog Jonathan, you make me feel like saying”YES” I can do it. But when I leave your site, I come back down to earth. Yes I´m a Author.I write with passion, and for a while I loose myself in the story as it grows and comes to life. But after putting my novel to bed for the night, and giving myself a BIG pat on the back for what my imagination has allowed me to write, I wake up ( still in the mode,I have to say) but after attending to every day obstacles, that I´m committed in doing ( Charity work is one of them) I never get back to doing what I promised myself,and the novel……………..GETTING IT NOTICED.
    Maybe it´s an age thing, I don´t know. I have all the electrical gadgets, but using the tec thats out there, is another world altogether. So I´m giving your advice a go. Here´s to a good year Jonathan. If you feel like commenting on Part 1 of my latest book, it´s just been released on Kindle. From the 1st Feb, for just one week, it´s free to down load. ” The Planet of Dreams” I trust your judgements Jonathan, and any feedback would be appreciated. I self published on Kindle. Kind regards, Sandra Knott

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:24am

      Good quality writing is 90% of the battle, so if your book is up to even a reasonable standard, it will find an audience. Here is why:
      ~ Jonathan

    • January 30, 2014 at 12:11pm

      Sandra, your website is offline. Or a typo??

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        January 31, 2014 at 11:55pm

        I found Sandra’s author page on Amazon
        ~ Jonathan

        • Ava says:
          February 1, 2014 at 2:19pm

          I don’t know, why do writers (!) not add their website address to their author-page. A huge bio with sometimes way too private details to be shared with the public – but then they forget they are on a SALES-platform… Too sad…

          • Jonathan Gunson says:
            February 1, 2014 at 9:46pm

            Yes, an extraordinary oversight.

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:14am

    *sigh* I hammer, I guess! Thanks for showing me there is an AIDAr way to do it!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:20am

      It’s not your fault Reet. How were you supposed to know?
      Thing is, constantly shouting about a book is always a waste of time, because it’s going to be lost in the deafening cacophony of a million other voices all doing the same.
      The only thing that stands out in all the noise is meaningful connection.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 9:23am

    Hello again Jonathan

    Yes, I know you’re right, as usual. A long time ago, in another life, I used the AIDA principles when I was in Field Sales. BUT it’s SO frustrating to have written a book that is receiving 5* reviews but just sits there on Amazon most of the time – and sits there – and sits there – Aarrgh!!

    You just want to tell people and hope they believe you… Never mind Patience is a virtue… All good things come to he who waits… etc etc.

    With Best Wishes, G J
    PS I did a Boast Post once – mistake?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:31am

      Your ‘boast post’ is right on the money, except that OF COURSE you can slap a banner on the book cover saying ‘#1 Best seller’ or ‘Reader Award Winner!’ because unlike on Twitter or Facebook, it is isn’t being said by you, but by the readers and the ‘publisher’.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Cinthia says:
    January 30, 2014 at 9:34am

    Nice post, Jonathan.
    I so hate people who slam their book at me. After a few times, I simply unfollow them. And many of these slammed books are badly edited and filled with typos, gross grammatical errors, etc. My pet peeve is that if people can take the time to hurl their book in everyone’s social media face, they can take the time to carefully edit that very same book. (One dude throwing his book in my Twitter feed kept calling himself a “bestselling auther.” I clicked the Unfollow bottom–goodbye, goodbye, bestselling auther. I wish you all the best but wish you the best on someone else’s feed.)

    Being genuine is the key. Why do so many people not get this?

    Cheers and happy writing.

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    January 30, 2014 at 9:37am

    “Being genuine is the key. Why do so many people not get this?”
    You nailed it. It’s all about making real connections.
    ~ Jonathan
    PS. ‘Bestselling Auther’ made me laugh.

  • January 30, 2014 at 10:20am

    Hi Jonathan:

    I love your open doors heading. Quite an effective visual.
    My debut novel SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART: A MEMOIR (Kindle edition) has now been published. I am voraciously reading about marketing techniques to get my book into the hands of readers. I do agree with your AIDA theory. I started my website: in the hope of educating the general public about living healthy with chronic conditions and to offer hope to single parents raising sons. Along the way I introduce them to my writing and then my book.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 10:26am

      An uplifting story Claudette. All the best of success for your memoir.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 11:27am

    Hi Jonathan

    An interesting article! I came across AIDA many years ago on a training course, but had forgotten all about it. I really dislike tweets saying ‘buy my book’ so I never do. I don’t use the method myself either. In fact I am very reluctant to push my books at all I just hope that readers will stumble across them and hopefully buy them – never going to have a best-seller at this rate am I?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:45pm

      As I said to MHV further on putting out Tweets and FB posts that directly promote a book is OK, provided they’re in the minority. It’s a matter of balance. But more vitally it’s about building connection with supporters and readers who’ll spread the word.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:04pm

    I do use AIDA but mix it up with the occasional tweet or post about my books, I do hope those are not of the ‘buy my book’ kind, but rather of the informative kind.
    On FB I am engaging with people just to socialise and on my blog I promote the books of others or authors I particularly love reading myself. The same goes for my site. Of course there’s also pages dedicated to my work, but I hope people stumble upon those when perusing the pages and not because I hurl them out to readers. I am a reader and know I never go to check out books that are being shoved down my throat by authors that keep twittering and posting just about their books.
    I can only hope that I’m on the right track, and I must say, even without me twittering about my work too often they do move, it might not be in best-selling numbers (yet) but they are moving, so it proves not constantly shouting ‘buy my book’ works in a way.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:50pm

      Appears you have the marketing mix correct. Yes of course need to mention your books and make them visible – so yes Tweet them out. But the key is to stand out in the cacophony of voices all doing the very same thing. The solution is to be more interesting with a variety of messages about closely related subjects – the world around your book.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:07pm

    I follow the 80/20 rule – 80 percent content that will interest my followers and 20 percent about the book. If I’m running a special promotion I might tweet about that a little more aggressively so people don’t miss it. I also tailor my posts to the different audiences I have: Twitter followers are not the same as Facebook page followers or my personal Facebook followers or my LinkedIn followers. I offer something a little different to each group, tone down book and writing news to my personal contacts, minimize promotional news on LinkedIn, etc.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:36pm

      Looking forward to “My Next Adventure: Creating an Audiobook”
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:30pm

    So many facebook groups are dedicated to book promotion. Give it a try, go there and promote your book – what happens? Almost ZERO. Why? 99% aren’t readers but writers (wildly promoting their books). So, why yelling across the place BUY! when everyone is a seller? Makes no sense.

    A few days ago I took the time to go to ALL those book-groups I’m signed to and did the same, to see am I wrong or not. Guess what…. 😉

    I sell 1-3 books a day since it’s online. That’s not much, but okay for the beginning. After the promo-bomb on facebook groups there was NO change in sales. I seriously suggest to all writers, who think those groups make BIG sense, save your time and invest it, just as Jonathan said, in real social conversations.

    Chat, post about tools and tipps for writers, be part of the network. No one will be bad with you, if you tell them from time to time about some of your book. And if they think, they like it and they are willing to give back some love WITHOUT you ask them to do so, they will share your links, they will talk about your book, they will support you. That’s my experience.

    Oh, and be patient. If you don’t write for a big audience, if you write not “mainstream-compatible”, if you write for a small niche, you will not sell millions over night. Never. But the sales will grow, step by step. And subscribe to this blog here, it helped me a lot and delivers great ressources, i.e. if you got stuck regarding what to do next to promote your book. One of the very few websites I follow. :)

    • Catie says:
      January 30, 2014 at 3:12pm

      Oh, god, I thought I was the only one who noticed that. Not on FB exactly, but on Twitter. If you look at the network of all those people that are shouting “buy my book”, if you look who they follow and who follows them, it’s mostly other authors. Who are also shouting “buy my book”. So, in essence, they are all shouting to other authors, other sellers, and then wonder why they don’t sell any books. Can’t they see how absurd that is ? If you’re going to shout it (and I’m not saying they should shout), could you at least shout it at potential buyers???

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        January 30, 2014 at 9:30pm

        Let’s dub this the ‘circle of madness’!
        ~ Jonathan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:53pm

      High value comment. Your insight re ‘selling’ books in Facebook groups is my experience too.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:39pm

    Yet again Jonathan you have come up trumps with your advice. When I first connected on Twitter I was a little embarrassed to shout out “Buy my book!” but then when I saw everyone else doing it I thought ‘What the heck! I have to do it as well.’ Of course you’ve hit the nail on the head. We’re all doing it and it’s not making one jot of a difference to sales. I also have to agree with Ava. Everyone I connected with on Twitter is trying to sell their book and if you could ‘hear’ all the tweets the noise would be deafening…Buy, buy, buy.
    I love Eva’s idea of breathing life into her characters by giving them twitter profiles…BRILLIANT! What reader wouldn’t enjoy conversing with a favourite character? A super way to build a fan base.
    I write in the genre that I enjoy reading, ( I suspect most authors do the same) so I’m going to take your advice and try to connect with like minded authors/readers. I’ll do this by ‘talking’ about my favourite authors on Twitter instead of giving it the hard sell.
    Thanks again for pointing out the obvious.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:56pm

      It’s really hard (REALLY hard) not to talk about your own work. Learning to promote indirectly is the pathway to follow – as in the AIDA chart.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:48pm

    I have found the best way to advertise my books is to stop talking about myself. Advertising my books is strictly on my website in plain view, that way I’m not shoving it down my readers’ throats every time they open a blog post or tweet. All my posts are only posted once via various communities, I no longer syndicate them through Hootsuite or Buffer. But what has really made the difference is regularly posting and tweeting inspirational quotes. That has made the biggest impact on my traffic, engagement and last, sales, above all other tactics. My readers enjoy my quotes, click on my site and look at my books at their leisure. That, in my opinion, is the key.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:59pm

      1. “… stop talking about myself.
      2. “… Advertising my books is strictly on my website in plain view, that way I’m not shoving it down my readers’ throats every time they open a blog post or tweet.”
      3. “…regularly posting and tweeting inspirational quotes… my readers enjoy my quotes, click on my site and look at my books at their leisure…
      Three brilliant marketing realizations.
      ~ Jonathan

    • February 1, 2014 at 7:56pm

      Good advice, Sandy. Thanks

  • Maria says:
    January 30, 2014 at 1:49pm

    I love your analogy comparing book marketing to a door-to-door salesman. You hit the nail on the head! That’s exactly how I felt with other marketing tips. Thanks so much for this article!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:00pm

      More to come Maria
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:52pm

    I believe I am using AIDA in a way, although I opted to let somebody else tweet about my books for me. I opted because I did not know any better, and it still goes on because it rolls on the back of somebody that’s not me. However, that being said, I tried to promote my website. Promotion did not work to get sneaky instead.

    I have an engaging personality, so I am endeavoring to use it to my best advantage. My website is all about ME having fun. On it, is a very small link to my favorite book I would like people to read. In the meantime, I am using my personality to make people laugh. I get more people to go on the website by mentioning it in passing, or ‘word of mouth’, than if I advertise or promote it. (did not work at all) What I am doing now:

    A reference to me coming out as a heterosexual in a conversation, pointing them to my essay on ‘Coming Out’ has gotten people curious. Or, the time I got coerced to wear a thong when I got caught being nosy in ‘The Checkout Line’. Once, I got involved in a conversation, and pointed the people engaged in the conversation to my ‘Medicinal Side Effects. To the lady above that seems to have an aversion to technology, I would point to ‘Cellphone Evolution’. A while back I pointed a twitter follower that said she liked Alpha males–to my story ‘The Alpha Male In An Omega Body’.

    With this, at the very least, I can have a good time knowing that if they make my website, I WILL make them laugh. It has only yielded a few buyers for my book, BUT, reviewers are starting to trickle in, and they are good ones! In the meantime, I am having good fun on As I said in one of my essays; ‘Give Us This Day Or We’ll Be Dead’.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:02pm

      “…I have an engaging personality, so I am endeavoring to use it to my best advantage.”
      A massive advantage in indirectly drawing people across to your books.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Barry Ruhl says:
    January 30, 2014 at 1:56pm

    Hi Jonathan:

    I enjoy the comments from your followers and your feedback. Very helpful. If writing in the non fiction crime genre, do you think it’s a good idea to send complimentary copies to authors writing in the same genre and also media folks specifically interested in that genre?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:03pm

      Yes, but take time to get to know them first. Chat for a couple of months then send your book as an appreciation.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 2:37pm

    For the past three years, I have posted once a week on my blog with content that I think is amusing … but I can’t keep the attention of my family and friends … and they like me. I continue to do it because I enjoy it … which is a good thing, otherwise I’d have no readers at all.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:29pm

      They way to get people to your blog is to put links to each post with an intriguing tease introducing it on Twitter and Facebook. Adding interesting pictures as well to Tweets & FB posts will increase clicks too.

  • January 30, 2014 at 2:45pm

    Hi Jonathan. I bought your Twitter for Authors course in November, and have been slowly implementing the strategies you lay out in it. There’s lots to do–more than I can ever do, I’m sure–but it has given me a clear sense of direction in marketing. I’m developing my own “marketing personality” by doing those things that I feel comfortable with and passing over those things that are not really “me.”

    I had already come up with my own marketing motto: “Market unto others as thou wouldst have others market unto thee!” but I didn’t know exactly how to put that into effect. You showed me how in your course; you also walk the walk with your own marketing efforts.

    Marketing is still not easy or congenial for me, but at least I’m not wasting time doing things that don’t work or that I don’t feel good about. That’s largely due to you. So thank you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:26pm

      “Market unto others as thou wouldst have others market unto thee!” Excellent!
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 2:53pm

    You’re a prince, Jonathan
    Always inspirational with really good advice. Your AIDA method isn’t operatic humbug either, but solid and sound; the kind of advice one can use.
    There are Facebook group pages and blogs, unfortunately, where novice (?) writers saturation bomb one, rather than putting themselves in readers’ shoes. Mea culpa, as a matter of fact, but no longer (crossing my fingers).
    Thanks ever so much and all the best to you and my fellow writers this year.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:07pm

      AIDA was originated long ago by advertising writer Elias St. Elmo Lewis (March 23, 1872–March 18, 1948)
      Still applies 100%
      ~ Jonathan

  • Rik Stone says:
    January 30, 2014 at 3:03pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’m a little lost. For one thing, I do try to chat with my virtual friends and get to know them, fine, but I also put out tweets that might contain a sentence from my book and a link to my site or where the book can be bought. Do the latter Tweets constitute door knocking?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:25pm

      My advice is to keep doing exactly as you’re doing. It’s OK to have links and talk about your book as long as that’s not ALL you do. A good rule of thumb is 10 tweets to 1. (The 1 is about your book) That way you are being interesting to readers so they come to know you and your work. Meaningful connection stands out in all the ‘buy my book’ static
      ~ Jonathan

      • Rik Stone says:
        January 31, 2014 at 5:32pm

        Thanks Jonathon, probably a dumb question, but how are retweets viewed? Do they count as plain tweets because they’re not about you or are they just door knocking for someone else?

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 1, 2014 at 12:01am

          Retweets are valuable because, firstly, they are appreciated by the original Tweeter – who may well reciprocate. Secondly your own followers appreciate it and will remember you because you’re showing them useful or interesting things.

          One other useful thing: I don’t always use the ‘retweet’ button. Instead I hand type ‘RT’ then paste the original by hand into a new Tweet. That way it comes from me on my account, so I’m more visible.
          ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 3:12pm

    Great post, Jonathan. All this ineffectual marketing stuff has been depleting me. Now I can get back to writing!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:10pm

      It still pays to take time to build that support network bit by bit. (Readers and media)
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 3:43pm

    Excellent post, Jonathan, with many pearls of wisdom.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:38pm

      Appreciated Wodke.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 4:17pm

    An outstanding post, Jonathan. Kudos to you on an idea-packed, well-written and beautifully illustrated post to start off 2014. I just love the way you think!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:11pm

      Thanks Karen
      ~ Jonathan

  • Jackie Rod says:
    January 30, 2014 at 4:23pm

    As always, thank you for giving back to the writing industry. I am conducting a workshop for East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers on February 8, and I’m using you as a hero for writers. I will encourage them to purchase “Twitter for Authors” and “Blogging for Authors.” I firmly believe If you build your audience and relationships, you will be more successful.
    You are such an inspiration to writers. The AIDA Method sounds llike a winner. I wish we could clone you! Be blessed–

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:17pm

      All the best with your writers’ workshop.
      AIDA works, because it plays to a basic human psychology: TRUST which cannot be counterfeited, bought, or stolen. But it can be borrowed by persuading other people to promote for you. You see, it’s not about what YOU think of your book, but about what OTHERS think. Getting people to promote you is only achieved over time, and this is one of the main intentions of AIDA – encouraging other to spread word of mouth recommendation of your work.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 5:45pm

    Hi Jonathon,
    I have written many sales tutorials during my consulting career. I always promoted the AIDA method whether I called it that or not. It is the most logical selling technique available. I am building a Twitter following to promote my current book FORMULA FOR DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP. I will definitely follow the AIDA steps.
    Thanks a bunch as always,
    Tom Drummond

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:32pm

      You’re sticking resolutely to your zones of ‘know how’ and genuine interests. Bodes well for the future Sir.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 5:50pm

    Lately, I’ve been thinking offline. For under $45 USD, I picked up three 12″ x 20″ full color magnets; who, where, all devices all formats, or no problem, and I have two doors and a tailgate on my truck. I’ll glue them down, keep them clean, and let them help me get the ball rolling.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:42pm

      You mean you advertise your books on your truck with magnetic signs?
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 6:23pm

    Your posts are always interesting. I really am hoping slow and steady does eventually win the race!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:38pm


      Are writing more books? A series has a massive updraught effect on sales.
      See this valuable information article

      Keep me posted re progress.You’ll get there I’m sure.

      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 6:27pm

    Hi Jonathon,
    I always enjoy your articles, and read again why-your-amazon-kindle-will-be-bigger…, just for inspiration. It initially encouraged me to go hybrid, (even though I do have a NY agent,) and self-publish my SF line. My SF book is well-written (not my opinion, TOR almost took it) but after self-publishing it last month, I feel like I just dropped it down a deep, dark hole. I won’t do shout-outs or “Buy-my-books”, but I do have a social media presence. I’m doing an experiment on my blog – sent an edited book to my agent and self-published a book within a week of each other. I’ll report back every month on the progress of both. Same author, same quality of writing, had the e-book professionally edited, formatted and a professional cover, to make a fair comparison. By the end of the year, I hope to know which route is better, and to see if the theory, “a good book will be found” is true. The blog’s on my website,

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 9:24pm

      “A good book will be found” is not unlike “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Neither are true!
      A book does need attention drawn to it in order for the word of mouth recommendation process to get going. The point I’m making is that getting attention and interest is always far more effective if done in a structured way that builds connection rather than just shouting ‘buy!’.
      ~ Jonathan

      • January 31, 2014 at 5:48am

        Hi Jonathon,
        Thanks for responding to my comment. You’ve done that for every person, I notice. I think that in itself is an example of the very point you’re making in this post – nice to see how well you walk the talk.
        Jane Ann

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 31, 2014 at 8:23am

          Glad to help. What goes around comes around… yes?
          ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:01pm

    Hey Jonathan, I read your blog all the time, and love it. Such sound advice. When marketing my books I always keep in mind one thing. “Whatever I don’t like having done to me, don’t do to others.”

    I don’t care to see tweet after tweet from authors which shout “buy my book, buy my book” on them. I’ve never bought one book which was advertised in this way, so if I find it annoying, it’s a good bet others find it as equally so too.

    Instead, for the past two years I’ve been building up my presence on my blog, allowing people to get to know the real me, and that’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve also heard many writers say it takes having 3-4 books on the market before your readership base begins to grow, and I couldn’t agree more.

    I’ve released five books over the past 14 months, but it’s the fifth and latest which dropped on January 8th which finally saw the ultimate success and soared into the Amazon’s US and UK’s bestseller charts. The only marketing I did with this book, was shared it on my blog with the followers who’ve come to know me. A simple concept, but very effective.

    Many of those wonderful followers bought my book, read it, then spread the word for me. Word of mouth is fantastic, and I’ve found equals great sales.

    Here’s to 2014 being another year where I have a ton of fun on my blog. :)

    Joanne Wadsworth, your fellow Kiwi author.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:21pm

      Congratulations Joanne
      Two red hot points in your comment:
      1. “…The only marketing I did with this book, was shared it on my blog with the followers who’ve come to know me. A simple concept, but very effective.”
      2. “… it takes having 3-4 books on the market before your readership base begins to grow…I’ve released five books over the past 14 months, but it’s the fifth and latest which…soared into the Amazon’s US and UK’s bestseller charts.
      You have this book marketing thing sussed. It’s all about building those meaningful connections – your network is your net worth.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:17pm

    For starters, the doors visual is spot on, Jonathan: it’s creating great expectations and the urge to read on – which I did. The avalanche of “buy me” messages on Twitter is indeed astonishing and it seems to be getting worse. I’ve created lists in Twitter to separate interesting people from the rest, but I must work on these list additionally. Here’s the irony: even in my list called “Readers”, almost everybody is tweeting about books I am supposed to buy! Finding the right audience and interacting with them, there’s the major challenge. I’ve done some “get my book” tweeting occasionally when I did an Amazon free download, I admit, but no more. I’m working through your Twitter For Authors (highly recommended!) for the third time I think, going through all the stuff I’ve highlighted. All in all I think my conclusion for the moment is: for almost all authors it takes TIME. And TIME again. And then MORE TIME. Follow the right course, don’t join in the “buy me” hollering, and hold on to that course. And then more TIME. (Which we don’t have, I know, but still: TIME.)
    [Oh, and I love the comments here. Lots of interesting views. I’ll be going through all of it thoroughly.]

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2014 at 8:35pm

      Good advice re ‘Time’ MHV.
      I might add that putting out Tweets that directly promote a book is OK, provided they’re in the minority. It’s a matter of balance.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2014 at 11:35pm

    Anymore, I’ll tweet about the 50% novel samples folks can read on my blog. Maybe once or twice a week. And I have pics of my magnetic signs on my blog, and where (and how) to go to get them.

    I love sharing marketing info.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 8:22am

      Enterprising Ripley, enterprising indeed. Intrigued Sir. Please report progress – you’re bursting with original ideas.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2014 at 1:24am

    Great post Jonathan. I could not get your guide.
    I write non fiction. My book should go to print soon. I loved writing it! I hate promoting it and haven’t done much about it other than post a bit and mention it to some people. My tech skills? Non existent! So I have nothing planned yet because I dont know how. I will come and read some of your posts and be encouraged and ispired to do what I need to do. Thank you!



  • January 31, 2014 at 4:27am

    Hello Jonathan. Thanks for another thought provoking article. I used to bang on doors quite a bit at first, but your timely articles were helpful in avoiding that. Now I only advertise my work when I’m giving away freebies or for announcements on a new project. I still haven’t found my niche in being ‘interesting’ online, but I’ll be working on blogging more this year, as well as being more conversational on Twitter, which admittedly I still haven’t cracked the code on how to use well. In the meantime, I concentrate on writing. I strongly feel that the more books an author has (especially in a series), the better the chances of discovery and gaining a readership.

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    January 31, 2014 at 8:31am

    Re being interesting. I think one could try too hard. Just take the magic of your noir detective ideas, write mere 2 para blog posts that contain no more than a passing thought that poses a question. (And that thought will be unique and intriguing because you love this genre.) Add a picture from your Pinterest page. Do no more.

    Now pose that question on Twitter with a link to your blog thought. ASK people what they think about your thought in both the Tweet and in the blog post.

    That’s all – and do twice a month. You’ll soon have a dialog running with a dozen people. They will then talk about your books … and the books will begin to take flight. One … by .. one.
    ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2014 at 12:14pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    Great article, as usual. Lots to learn from you! A self publishing endeavor can easily get mired in the ‘circle of madness’ because no one knows the author and the author knows no one (more or less). Marketing your books becomes more like marketing yourself. Understanding this, coupling it with the sci-fi and erotic genres that I think my novellas belong to, I have dared the graphic dare on my blog, on others, reaching as far as Southern Charms.

    Turns out that photos can win a larger audience than written words. Well, I keep offering freebies of the books to subscribers and online friends. Wondering if curiosity will push them to read the story after consuming the pictures. It’s sort of a dilemma here… Wish to make this thing a dash more intellectual — as many did it greatly in the past.

    Anyway, with time I’ve got the impression of writing just for the love of it. By the way, a side question: months after publishing my third book on Amazon, my author page, Doris Dawn, keeps listing only the previous two of them. I pretended to edit it, to save changes, but the listing won’t refresh. Anyone encountered this before?

    Thanks again for your great blogs and tips! :)

  • January 31, 2014 at 2:55pm

    I have really been immensely impressed by your fabulous blog posts. Thanks a lot!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 1, 2014 at 12:03am

      More to come Amrit.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2014 at 2:58pm

    Outstanding graphic. Not only eye-catching and beautiful but your VISUAL enhances your VERBAL message.


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 10:41pm

      It’s all about message clarity.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2014 at 3:00pm

    I find it very difficult to do the online marketing,but am trying my best to learn from your fabulous online guidance. I specifically don’t understand how to decide what keywords to put for my books. I have already published ten books on kindle amazon but these seem to have gone undiscovered.
    Could you plese help me?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 10:40pm

      Best decide first into which category your books fit, (choose 2 categories) then within those pick words that other successful authors are using within the same category.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2014 at 3:41pm

    Jonathan, I keep saying that you are the most generous author around. I can’t get over the fact of how willing you are to share your ways to success. Thank you!! Personally we have a gift fruit shipping business and retail and so I get to talk to customers and I also add a bookmark to every package :-) Most people are surprised to hear that they can find me on Nook and Kindle. I remind them that they are able to read the first few pages and if they are not intrigued they haven’t lost anything but a few minutes of their time. I’ll never get rich, but I do enjoy writing and interacting with people. I also have helped other authors, some are more successful than I have been. I do reviews on-line and several publishers. Like you I don’t mind helping and sharing. Best wishes, Heide

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 10:44pm

      I see from your blog that you first met your husband while on vacation to the Isle of Rhodos, Greece. Went to Rhodos (Rhodes) for the first time 4 years ago. GLORIOUS!

  • Gill says:
    January 31, 2014 at 5:52pm

    You know… it’s all very well saying get involved socially, but I have a very, very small circle of friends, and I have yet to come across ANY social media sites where it is easy to befriend people. It is all very shallow, surface flittering about with no meat to it, no real connections. I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of people I have met and actually become social with via the range of social networking sites. How people build up these networks of friends who are willing to actually be friends, be interested in your life and not just tout their own is beyond me.

    What advice do you have for expanding networks in a genuine way rather than just adding people because it means you have more ‘friends’ (a term which I use very loosely)?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 11:21pm

      This is a great question. Let me say right up front that this is one of the most confusing subjects we can discuss. I also agree with the point you make regarding real friends versus faceless ‘names’.

      So let me attempt to help and explain:

      ‘Friends’ is a term that’s entirely misused these days online, and grossly misused by Facebook, but what can you do? Furthermore, ‘social media’ is probably the most misunderstood term online today.

      The reality is that social media is essentially about successfully interacting online within an area of a specific, deep, common interest. These ‘friends’ are in fact professional relationships. For example, hobbyists gather to discuss their specific fanatical interests. Their ‘socializing’ is purely to do with interacting about that interest and generally does not involve developing the deep, personal and wide ranging relationships as one does with real friends and family. (Although it’s possible that can develop as well sometimes.)

      So it pays to mix it up and ‘be social’ in the same way as the hobbyists. In our case it’s with readers of specific types of genre fiction, and other supporters such as journalists and book bloggers.

      Yes, there is some trust involved, yes there is personal interaction, and sometimes even getting to know people quite well, but for the larger part it’s not a case of developing the same deep personal relationships as with close friends and family where one’s entire emotional life is shared in full detail.

      But neither is it about collecting a mass of completely faceless names either.

      The truth lies somewhere in between.

      Authors are a group of professionals who attract, interact, and form long term meaningful connections with readers and other supporters who take an interest in the world around their work. That’s the ‘social’ to which social media refers. If an author does that well, it will encourage the fans to spread the word about their books, and take part in helping to launch new books.

      For example, here’s a note I received from author Mary English on this very subject:

      “…I now have some VERY nice subscribers, who have been ‘with me’ all the way in my series, critiquing, giving quotes, proof reading, celebrating with me, having free PDF’s when my books are published and reader offers… and I treat them like friends, they’re truly lovely people…”

      ~ Jonathan

      • Gill says:
        February 1, 2014 at 8:42am

        Thank you for the reply.

        Yes, I understand that, but I guess what I want to know is how people find those people to interact with? How do you know which people to add to your contacts and how do you go about finding them? Consider it similar to ‘making contacts for dummies’, if you will. I personally have no idea where to begin and I am sure there are other people out there who are the same.

        I haven’t seen any networking reading groups – perhaps I am looking in the wrong places – and, having read your piece, joining author groups is worth very little as we are all trying to sell, not buy. In the past, my readership was building, mainly due to being a member of a writing group, but it was all people reading each others work and not adding anyone new to that – more of a mutual appreciation society. Those numbers decreased to the point of no-one reading any more and I just about gave up.

        How does one lone voice get heard in the screaming and shouting, especially when that voice has no idea where to shout out?

        Sorry, I know I am going on, but I simply cannot understand how people build a readership when they don’t have a mass of friends to put the word out and don’t know where to find the contacts.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 1, 2014 at 11:02am

          A fair question on the face of it, but what you’re really asking is the biggest question in business by a country mile: How does one find ‘leads’, and start interacting with them until they buy?

          Finding ‘readers’ is quite difficult for book marketers. By contrast, hobbyists or people wanting to learn something or people needing a solution are easy to identify, because they put their hands up for information. Fiction readers may not seem to do this, but in indirect ways they actually do. So here’s some ideas to get you started:

          1. In the following article I list three ways to find readers on Twitter.
          See: (I cover many more in my Twitter for Authors course)

          2. Another solution is to give a book away for free, (it’s how I get subscribers for this blog) but please, not by shouting “FREE BOOK!” on social media. Instead for example, put samples of your writing up on Wattpad. (e.g. Short stories) You can interact with readers there. Plus if the work appeals to them, then by following the links you put with the Wattpad samples, they can also find and read your real books on Amazon, by which time you know them and can connect on social media.

          3. Similar case with ‘Goodreads’ freebies.

          4. Another example is to do Amazon KDP free days for a week, with only HALF the book being given away. You put an offer at the back of your book offering the rest of the book for free as well, if they email you. If that feels too sneaky, then give the whole first book away for free, and offer your next book for free as well using the same process. Once in contact you can arrange to chat on Twitter etc as well. See:

          These are just some ideas Gill to get your thinking going. I could keep on listing example after example, but I think you’ll get the idea. Plus, check out the encouraging comment by Ardyth DeBruyn below

          ~ Jonathan

          • Gill says:
            February 2, 2014 at 10:47am

            Thank you for your replies. I admit to feeling very low and discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been published a few times – you know, in ‘real’ books *wink* – but getting and keeping a readership is proving a nightmare. I will look through everything here and try again. Thank you for helping a lost soul :)

          • Jonathan Gunson says:
            February 2, 2014 at 9:07pm

            Dear Gill
            Do watch Ray Bradbury’s video. He was equally discouraged at the same stage. It’s 3 minutes of uplifting magic.

  • January 31, 2014 at 11:41pm

    You’ve nailed it once again, Jonathan. It’s all about relationship-building, one reader at a time. Even the really good, savvy best-sellers who sell millions of books a year understand the importance of this simple concept. Good writers know how to connect with readers via social media, and many enjoy that personal touch-point. It’s what makes the sometimes lonely job of writing feel more connected to the outside world. :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2014 at 11:46pm

      You’re onto it.
      I hope your latest book is blooming (‘In the Spirit of Love’.) There’s nothing like a paranormal romance with a twist of mystery and intrigue :)
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 1, 2014 at 5:39am

    My biggest challenge is producing interesting content in social media and blogging. It takes me a long time to come up with a topic that interests me… which is sort of ironic when I can write thousands of fictional words without pausing. I don’t feel I should post a topic if I’m not interested in it myself, which makes me struggle to meet my once a week deadline in my blogging attempts. Most of my inspiration seems to be in writing stories, not in social media. It has made me super slow with marketing.

    Then this month something strange happened. I was invited to a women’s bible study by someone at church. Meeting people, they kept asking what I did. I write full time, so I slowly, with some embarrassment, started to answer. Every week I’ve gone I’ve sold books to people now without trying. People simply keep asking me if I can bring them a copy next week to buy. And they aren’t the target audience! My books are for kids and these are mostly grandmothers buying them for presents. I’m a bit stunned to massively outsell my ebooks with paper copies this month. I recognize AIDA as exactly what happened to me accidentally in real life.

    If only I could stumble into social media marketing like that…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 1, 2014 at 11:19am

      To dub yours as a ‘delightful’ comment would be the understatement of the month!
      I’m also thinking that this is definitely a case of “Horses for courses”. i.e. WHICHEVER marketing process works for you, do more of it. This is your own unique way to find readers to interact with directly. Your Bible study group – a perfect discovery. There is no law that says you have to do social media as she is writ. Your experience is revealing and exciting.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 1, 2014 at 6:28am

    Thanks for some great ideas and reminders of how to engage. I have two questions. First, I’m beginning to wonder if my running my husband’s Twitter account, blog, etc.. could hurt his connection with readers. He has his own business and really doesn’t like the technical things as much. I enjoy the marketing and connecting with others while learning so much about this new world we’re in. My main focus is to get the book noticed which has been successful with the two online book tours we’ve done. I also try to blog content that is helpful to other readers and authors. My second question has to do with connecting with readers. The few times I’ve put out a question on Twitter, Facebook or the blog, no one seems to respond. I use blogger and I’m wondering if it’s difficult to comment on their format. I truly enjoy connecting with people but it seems difficult to figure out who the readers are and what engagement they want.

    Thanks for any insight you can give,

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    February 1, 2014 at 11:33am

    1. Apart from the book itself, the cornerstone of book marketing is the author. So while Twitter works well as a series of brief personal conversations, it’s not very effective for non-personal broadcasts. So while I doubt you’re ‘hurting’ your husband’s case, he’s probably not exploiting Twitter to it’s best advantage.
    2. I suggest that questions asked on Twitter need to be about things readers are ferociously interested in. e.g. Rough idea for a question I just tested on Twitter in the Romantic Fiction genre: (There’s a whole slew of responses!)

    ‘Be honest: Who is the most mesmerizingly adorable male character in romantic fiction you wish would come to life? #amreading #amwriting

    Actual Tweet and all the responses:

    Then you can start interactions. (Don’t ask questions about your own books – that is not interesting to readers.) Plus see my response to Gil above re finding readers on Twitter.
    ~ Jonathan

  • February 1, 2014 at 12:53pm

    Too funny – I just responded to your twitter post :) Can I say again, Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander? *sigh* Oh… right… we talking about marketing here…sorry!

    This (and all the replies) was great relief to read, Jonathan! It seems only obvious that just trying to shout above the yells of the crowd, or trying to sell to those who are interested in selling and not in buying, is no kind of marketing strategy.
    Yet, when we go on Twitter, FB groups and all the other social sites that’s what is happening, a sneaky devil on our shoulder is going “Hey, looky there – they’s all doing it, maybe you better do it too.”
    I haven’t even pubbed yet, so no real marketing yet, but from the start my gut has been telling me don’t do it while the shoulder-limpet does his best to make me doubt my own judgement. you have just blown him into the dust. Thanks.

    A while ago I read a post on your promotion strategy for The Merlin Mystery – it was brilliant.

    It also planted the seed of an idea for a promotion when I do finally publish – don’t know yet if it’s possible as I will need to work with partners, but I’ll let you know if it comes together. Wish me luck!

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    February 1, 2014 at 1:04pm

    No, no you must mean ‘Arwen Undómiel’. But wait, you’re right, this is about book promotion. :) Please do model on the Merlin promo idea if it works for you. And keep me posted, I might have some suggestions.
    ~ Jonathan

  • February 1, 2014 at 1:10pm

    Thanks – and I would love to hear any advice youhave, so I’ll definitely run it by you before going ahead.

    Arwen, huh? Good choice :)

  • February 1, 2014 at 8:11pm

    Thanks Jonathan, your approach is intuitively respectful of your prospective readers. I have tried to ask for a group of book lovers in a book club to use my book to review. There are many in library circles who like to review something by an author they know or is local to their community.
    My approach on FB and Twitter has been not very successful but through these social media I have met YOU and read your BLOG which in turn has introduced me to fellow authors and people I would not have normally encountered. Take care and please continue with your advice throughout the literary community. Best Regards, … Martin Bueno … aka ‘the Rainbow Alchemist’

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    February 1, 2014 at 9:52pm

    I’ve looked over your site & bio, and can see that you’ve drawn from real life experiences for your ‘Rainbow’ book. It doesn’t get much better than that. Pure authenticity, a great attribute for any author.
    ~ Jonathan

  • February 2, 2014 at 9:11am

    I’m running for my state’s legislature right now and a lot of what you say reminds me of knocking on voters’ doors. There word of mouth is gold as well.

    Good stuff to think about, thanks!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 2, 2014 at 9:05pm

      The principles of marketing apply irrespective of the arena!
      However, knocking on doors in an electorate is not the political equivalent of shouting a book title on Twitter. Door to door can pay dividends for a community representative, because you’re making a real, meaningful, in person connection with a voter. This simple voter connection for a politician is the equivalent of an author selling a book. The voter will talk about it, generating the very word of mouth you seek. Plus you’re demonstrating your willingness to go out of your way to connect with them at their level.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 3, 2014 at 7:06pm

    The key is to build community. And it’s never too soon to start. Thank you for this helpful article, Jonathan.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 4, 2014 at 4:26am

      Community? Agree entirely. And the cornerstone of that community is the author.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 4, 2014 at 3:32am

    I have a strange approach. Maybe it’s not an approach at all. I almost never talk about my books. I love talking to other people about their books (and lives). Some of them learn I have a book out also. If it’s their type of story, maybe they’ll read it.

    Nice to meet you, Jonathan. Sounds like you’ve got quite a story to tell…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 4, 2014 at 4:24am

      Your approach to book marketing isn’t strange AT ALL. Furthermore, it is exactly the way the AIDA marketing method works – i.e. basic human psychology: Gain the attention of people by talking about what they are interested in, not your book. To quote from my Twitter course:

      “In your Tweets, you don’t mention your books because it’s not of immediate interest to readers, unless of course you’re already famous. Instead, your Tweets focus on the interests of the reader (and even on the books of other authors) in order to capture their attention. Put simply, you never directly ‘push’ your book on Twitter, but instead attract them to your blog posts where they’ll discover your books without being ‘pitched’. The ‘secret’ is that once you have captured a reader’s interest with great content, they’ll be far more receptive to hearing about your books.

      ~ Jonathan

      • February 4, 2014 at 3:17pm

        Thanks for commenting back, Jonathan. I do like the way you think, and perhaps more importantly, the way you probably act. It’s a good recipe for human interaction.

  • February 6, 2014 at 7:56pm

    This tactic is perfect for natural introverts like myself. I have been building friends and an audience for some time, and I sure prefer it this way.

    I am hearing more and more about building the audience first, before you start the selling. That has always been a given for me, but apparently many need a reminder.

    We need to keep in mind that people are people, and will do business with other people they know and like. I’m the same. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 6, 2014 at 9:41pm

      “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” could easily be the mantra of all introverted writers.
      Social media is a surprisingly accommodating arena for the introvert, because rapport can be built slowly, just as you say. No immediate ‘quick and loud’ action is required, and one can also take time to consider how to thoughtfully phrase a response to any questions or comment constructively on people’s views.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 13, 2014 at 4:32pm

    So true! I can’t tell you how many authors I’ve STOPPED following on Twitter because all of their posts are about trumpeting their books or endless, bland links to reviews of other books. It just becomes Twitter noise and doesn’t make me want to read or buy!

  • February 22, 2014 at 5:33pm


    Excellent advice, especially for those of us who have just crossed the threshold into first-time publication. Writing is exhilarating work, the true heaven-on-earth part of the process. Editing requires a lot of honesty and a willingness to allow a trusted editor to point out revisions that must be made. Connecting with an artist who can convert your written synopsis into an outstanding cover design is sheer bliss. The entire experience is an ongoing lesson in patience and interpersonal communications.

    And then there’s marketing, which initially has the feel of being dropped off in a foreign country and told to “go for it!” Thank you for providing maps, compasses, and language dictionaries that help clarify this portion of the journey.

    ~ ACTownsend

  • Pamela Davies says:
    June 26, 2014 at 9:36am

    Just wanted to say all your articles are really interesting. I’ve already published with Amazon and I’m about to publish a second book, I just wanted to say thanks for all your advice I found it all very helpful.

    Pamela Davies.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      June 26, 2014 at 11:28am

      Great to hear that you’re published Pam. All the best with #2!
      ~ Jonathan