Author Marketing Hell: 3 Ways to Avoid Burning Out

author marketing hell

There’s the “old” way and the “new” way.

One leads to ‘author marketing hell’ and the other to ‘author marketing heaven’.

You see, I’m suggesting an uncommon approach to finding your perfect reader, pulling them towards you and your books, and converting them into lifelong fans.

Author Marketing Hell is REAL. It’s the obsession with ”random tactics” that have no real direction or strategy – but there is another way. And that’s what I want to show you – it’ll change everything.

After writing 6 novels, several non-fiction books, releasing multiple online courses, and starting a software company – I’ve learned (the hard way) what it takes to build a readership that will actually BUY from you.

It’s tempting to follow the same tired approach that everybody else is using (NB: nobody tells you the *real* numbers after all their expenses and time are deducted) but in reality the “old” approach is dead.

Let me explain a little about what I mean:


The phrase “Author Marketing Hell” is one I use a LOT. Essentially, it describes the “tactical nightmare” that so many authors go through when trying to figure out how to run effective marketing campaigns.


Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, fiddling with your website, designing opt-in forms, trying to arrange book signings, responding to reader emails, organising joint promotions, running KDP free days, countdown deals…

Tweaking your cover, analysing your blurb, trying to get reviews, dealing with trolls, putting together giveaways, trying to get your book permafree…

Testing out your links, measuring your click-through rates, designing Facebook ads, AMS ads, Bookbub ads, monitoring performance of your ads, playing with keywords, categories, titles, wondering whether Snapchat is worth a go….

And then your brain collapses under its own gravitational pull.

And you’re all burnt out.


“Author Marketing Hell” is what happens when you don’t have an overall strategy. Often, it’s a BRUTE-FORCE approach. It’s a “push” instead of a “pull”.

(We’ll cover those shortly).

You see, each one of those “tactics” listed out above can be very valuable in their own right. But if you’re randomly jumping from one to the next without any thought towards WHERE you trying to go, it all falls apart quickly.

So let’s not do that, okay?

Instead, I want to propose an unconventional approach to author marketing. One that doesn’t involve the “scattergun approach”, or a brute-force attack, or the all-time-worse-advice-for-authors-ever, which is “just write more books and success will happen”.


Now, the devil is in the details. And before I show you the full process, I want you to understand the strategy (remember that the strategy is what helps you understand what “tactics” you need to focus on to move the needle).

Strategy is everything.




None of this makes the blindest bit of difference if nobody knows you exist. Your goal is to get your work in front of as many people as possible. Then, when you have steps (2) and (3) set up, you’ll convert those “random browsers” into fans and paying readers. The goal here is all out publicity – worry about the “sales” later.


All the exposure in the world won’t mean anything if you can’t DO something with all that traffic. So your goal is to encourage “micro-commitments” from your best readers to filter out the poor leads and focus on the readers most likely to buy. This is where we narrow down the pool…


You’ve nailed exposure and commitment – and your audience is growing. Congrats! This is where most authors fall down. Now, you’ll need to build trust and engagement with your audience and “lead them down the path” towards the sale, without being pushy or spammy.


Once you’ve installed this system, you can automate it. Meaning, you can scale your results indefinitely and properly track and measure your marketing budget to get the best ROI. No more “hoping for the best” – I want you focused 100% on the metrics that will move the needle for you.

Understanding your strategy and using it to inform your marketing and growth efforts will instantly set you apart from 99.99% of the pack.

Where other authors are blindly throwing money at Facebook ads and complaining “Facebook ads don’t work any more”, you’ll know better.

When you read the “latest secret Kindle hack” that will somehow guarantee you overnight success (and probably get your account banned), you’ll smile and walk on by.

When other authors are dashing around trying to get 5,654,567 random tasks completed without understanding WHY they’re doing any of them, you’ll have a clear roadmap to hit your sales goals and you’ll be working calmly and steadily towards meeting them.

That’s what having a strategy gives you. But the problem is, most authors don’t have one. For most, trying to grow a writing and publishing business has become an obsession with “make as many sales as humanly possible RIGHT NOW”.

Which, obviously, isn’t very helpful.

So I want to give you an unconventional approach. One that won’t have you rushing around with a chronic case of exploding-head syndrome.

It all comes down to understanding those three pillars of the strategy I outlined above (and the extra “fourth pillar” once you’ve got all the others in place).


Fact: there is no shortage of traffic on the internet. To get more traffic, you either go to “the Traffic Store” and buy some, or you put in the hours to grow it organically. Preferably, you’ll do both.

But exposure and traffic in itself isn’t the solution. There’s more to the puzzle (remember the 4 pillars above?).

When 85% – 95% of the people who land on your book page from an ad don’t buy, you’re leaving a lot of potential on the table.

What if you could convert those 95% from “vaguely curious” into “loyal fans”?

We’ll get to that. But first, everything you’re going to be doing is dependent on your exposure. In simple terms, the number of people who are aware you exist, who click your links, who land on your book pages…

In short, the total number of eyeballs on you and your work.

Getting exposure isn’t terribly difficult. There isn’t a traffic shortage on the internet. It’s what you DO with the traffic that matters (trying to get cold audiences to BUY BUY BUY is a shortcut to financial burnout and a chronic case of exploding-head syndrome).

And what you DO with the traffic is coming up in the following parts. But for now, let’s look at some simple ways to get exposure.


Essentially, what I’m talking about is a “push” versus “pull” approach.

The old way of doing things has you “pushing” people towards something YOU want (eg – a sale).

The new way focuses on “pulling” people towards you by providing something THEY want.

This means providing something of value that draws readers to YOU. Then, making sure as many people as possible know about it.

This is where tactics like permafree books, KDP free promotions, Reader Magnets, giveaways, joint promotions, multi-author events, and, yes, your Facebook ads, AMS ads, and Bookbub ads come in.

These are all fantastic ways of getting you in front of people. But the goal is not the sale. Not yet. The goal is exposing the VALUE you provide to the RIGHT people.


Give up the idea of the “instant sale” and work towards building something sustainable and meaningful. This means tweaking your objectives.

There is no exposure problem. Or, at least, it’s easily fixable (eg, those examples above). The biggest challenge is “what to do with all that exposure”.

And that’s where most people fall down. Hard.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly excited about the prospect of working my butt off to get eyeballs on my work, only to lose up to 95% (or more) of those people forever.

So, I want to show you “what to do next” to avoid this, build a loyal audience, and nurture them into buyers.

In short, to make this work, we need to:

Generate more of the RIGHT traffic – the right readers for your books
Convert more of the RIGHT people into subscribers (on your email list)
Nurture, Excite and DELIGHT your subscribers – and sell to them (when the time is right)
Automate and Scale: put your “system” on autopilot so all the heavy lifting is taken care of – meaning you can focus on other things (like getting that next book written).

Figuring this out changed everything for me – and I believe it can change everything for you too.

I’d like to show you how to make all this work.

If you’re ready to “try something new” come join me and Mary for an exclusive online workshop on Tuesday 31st July – I’ll take you deep behind the scenes and show you how to build this system and start seeing results in as little as 7 days.

If you’re ready, just click the link below to register – I’ll look forward to seeing you at the live show!

Click here to register for Mary and Nick’s online workshop: Find Your First 10,000 Readers.

About the author

Nick Stephenson

Nick Stephenson is a bestselling fiction and non-fiction author who also teaches other authors and online entrepreneurs how to find their first 10,000 readers. If you want to find your first 10,000 readers and convert them into raving fans then register here for Nick's free online workshop.