Self-Publishing: How to Build A Buyer’s Journey Road
More commonly known as a “sales funnel”, that’s both inaccurate and pretty crass. Your buying readers are on a journey. You want them to buy more from you regularly, so you build a road for them.
Both non-fiction and fiction have a road to build.
Fiction has a “sales funnel” of their back list.
This isn’t really laid out anywhere, but it’s true. And when you study the non-fiction route, you’ll see that all the actions you take on non-fiction work the same for fiction. You get them to buy more and bigger collections of books from you. Meanwhile, you keep producing more work so that more readers can find and buy your backlist. And your current readers have more to buy.
In this case, your free book (or, that book they bought and opt-ed in from) is the intro service. You then want to get them into your ARC team (a free membership) to get advance reader PDF copies, so they can review them for you and buy other versions from book outlets. This is where your most ardent fans will wind up.
Of course, you test your special offers on them first. If it goes well, then send it out to the rest of your list, starting with the high-click-rate subscribers, and then down to the ones who just joined, but opened your emails.
Non-Fiction Builds Courses As an End
This is covered in my Backwards Book Publishing (free book).
Instead of writing a plot and building a story, you simply write with the course in mind. Each chapter still can use cliffhangers to keep your readers turning pages, but is itself a complete set of data for a particular step of learning your material. While “Big Idea” books might be harder to write this way, the bulk of the simple “How-To” recipe-based books can easily be turned into courses.
You write and edit with the course in mind.
You record each chapter as part of the writing and then turn those recordings into an audio book and also the videos (adding powerpoint presentation slides) so you have what people expect in an online course.
Then in every book, you have ads to recommend your course. The course then has the book required as its text.
In general, you have lead-magnets that are usually low-cost or free books.
Then they buy a more expensive version, which has additional bonus downloads. Usually this also has big affiliate commissions to get other people selling this for you.
The readers then can go into a form of free course, usually called a sideways sales letter that consists of at least three videos which end up with a pitch to buy the big course.
And the big course has affiliate commissions to it as well, so your affiliate sales people are recommending the whole scene. The big course is decently expensive, and has a decent amount of material so that it’s a great value for a price worth paying.
You can also do variations of this, with several smallish courses for free or low-cost. And offer package deals regularly where these are discounted as part of a larger set.
Everytime you come out with a new book, it goes this route. The short version of the book is an introduction to the whole system. The big version of the book lays out the entire scene, but hints that there is more to learn. And the course is the entire painfully drawn out specifics for each step of the process. Something they can go back and just cover the parts they want at any time in the future.
Right now, all you need is Amazon (or any book outlet) to offer the low cost or free book, JVZoo or similar to offer the higher-priced book, and Thinkific or similar to support the courses.
That’s the route you really need to take with every non-fiction book you write. Every book becomes a course. A lot of work, but worth it. Ultimate leverage. Again, the reports I’ve heard, from Tim Grahl and others, is that the course will bring you in about 100 times the income of that book.
I’ve separately said that fiction writers should have a course on offer as well. They should be blogging, and turning that blog into a non-fiction book, that book into a course. With the steps of a non-fiction route laid out above, you have the best of both worlds. See Mark Dawson as probably the cleanest view of this, although Joanna Penn has a regular income from her many different paying content streams.
Audio for fiction books are different. They are a big expense up front. And a risk, as not all that much income comes back from them unless the book itself is a very big hit. And after it all settles down, you’ll get residual income dribbling in. Otherwise, you hear crickets from all that work.
Now You Know
Just thought to let you know about that breakthrough.
Because whatever you write has it’s own life. And that life can be generating a regular passive income for life. If you leverage it right.
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Also published on Medium.