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SPQ 077: What is the Minimalist Marketing Plan for Selling Books?

Written by Steve Scott on May 1, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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The Question

Lawrence (from Alaska) asks via email: I am a retired guy who has a number of books published by traditional companies and self-published on Kindle and other platforms. I would like to write two to four books a year and bring in a modest $1,000 to $2,000 a month while not working full-time. While I realize this is at the other end of the spectrum from your business accomplishments, what would a minimalist marketing plan look like for a guy with my modest goals?

Biggest Takeaway

Steve’s Answer

This is a great goal, and it’s totally doable. A lot of authors start out and hit that goal within their first few months. When it comes to self-publishing, people tend to get bogged down in everything they have to do. You really only need to worry about a few core tasks.

If you have a modest income goal, Steve recommends following a one-hour-per-day book marketing plan. This plan is based on the adage, “If you only had one hour per day to work on your business, what task would you choose?” Steve considers these tasks to be the core tasks you need to do to succeed with self-publishing.

You should spend at least 30 minutes per day writing. The best way to market your books is to come out with another book. Then spend 30 minutes on your marketing activities.

Steve recommends four phases for building a minimalist book-based business.

Focus on One Niche

Lay the Marketing Foundation for Your Books

Keep Sales Consistent

Scale Your Business

Steve truly believes you can do all of this in about 30 minutes per day. If you’re just getting started, focus on writing. As you build your catalog, focus on marketing your books.

Resources and Links

SPQ 004: Learn how to choose a niche for your book-based business

SPQ 003: Find out how to determine the profit potential of a niche

SPQ 008: Steve discusses the importance of having a project pipeline

SPQ 007: Learn why email marketing is so important for your business

SPQ 006: Steve discusses the permafree book strategy

SPQ 044: Find out what kind of content you should send your email subscribers

SPQ 072: Steve talks about free and paid book launches

SPQ 057: Learn how to repurpose content effectively

SPQ 039: Steve explains how to build a platform for promoting your books

SPQ 056: Find out why it is so important to hold regular sales events

SPQ 060: Learn how to generate more revenue with foreign translations

SPQ 043: Find out how audiobooks can make your business more profitable

SPQ 069: Steve talks about scaling your business by building a team

  • So much gold here Steve! I appreciate the marketing your book by writing another book approach. People find you through the books that you publish. If you give away your books for free for a few days or not people will see your name all over Amazon or all over social networks, as your books hit the feed, and naturally, they’ll need to download one or 2, to whet their appetite. If they dig it, they’ll buy more. One readers noted how they have 7 of my eBooks downloaded, they read ’em, and they enjoyed each one so they’ll continue to buy what I put out there, eBook wise.

    You start with a small army of awesome folks who love what you’re offering and then, you create free, helpful content, and then, you publish the eBooks.

    My lead magnet is my free, small eBook sized, 6,000 word post I publish weekly. Doing the pillar post bit gives folks a taste of what my eBooks are about; almost like giving away a free eBook weekly, then I publish my more in-depth eBook on every Monday at my blog. Thanks Steve, more supreme value dude 😉


    • Nice little system you have there. Have you tried repurposing your content for different platforms?

      • A bit Steve; I’m moving into podcasting, to flesh out some topics, but may delve into other platforms like SlideShare, etc, to spread the word.

        • That’s awesome… sounds like a pretty massive web of content.

  • I think Scott overestimates what you can do in an hour a day. Probably, because he is an insane productivity machine.
    I spend about 3 hours a day on my Kindle businessand I am barely able to produce a book within 2 months. Writing is not a big issue I can cope with that pace. But all the additional activities – editing, marketing, outsourcing, email marketing and so on – consume a lot of time.
    Having said that, I vote for his advice. I do almost exactly the same and I see promising results.

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s “ideal” to only work an hour a day. Honestly,
      I spend about 4 a day on it and I’m barely able to produce a book every
      two months. But it is doable to do a book every 2 months with one hour
      a day. I guess it’s a matter of being hyper-focused on the specific
      activities that you have to do.

      By the way, I just answered one of your questions. Should come out on Monday!