How can someone read your book if they don’t know it exists? And how can they hear about your book if they don’t know about you?
A professional writer knows that certain readers would gobble up their new book if only they knew it existed.
These readers are your “target audience,” and connecting with that audience is critical to your success.
Your mission is to find your target audience. More accurately, your mission is to help your target audience find you. They’re looking for you now, but they may not know it. They only know they have an itch, but you know your book scratches that itch.
Your target audience wants to find you, and you want to find them.
So, what should you do?
How can authors connect with future readers?
Wouldn’t you love to implement the strategies of professional authors who earn big bucks and make a big impact?
Wouldn’t you love to do what works and leave the mistakes, frustrations, and misinformation in the trash?
Over the past two years, I’ve created a course to help you connect with your target audience, implement book marketing strategies that work, and avoid common mistakes authors make. It’s my new course Obscure No More.
Where do you go when you need marketing advice?
One option is to ask Google. When you have a specific technical question, Google is a solid source for answers. You can type a question such as, “How do I create a new blog post in WordPress?” and you will find many answers competing to be the best answer on Google.
But if you don’t know what questions to ask, Google is useless.
You need an outside perspective to help you ask the right questions. Where can you get an outside perspective on questions relating to your book and author career?
Many authors offer courses on various promotion-related topics.
Most present their courses with some version of the following story:
I was once a struggling author like you. Then I learned techniques that worked for me, and now I am successful. Buy my course, and I will show you those techniques.
Typical Promotion Courses
This approach would be akin to an athlete saying, “I used to struggle to play quarterback. I got injured all the time, but then I learned exercise techniques that have kept me from getting injured, and I’ve improved my game. Buy my course to prevent injuries.”
That would be great information if you wanted to be a quarterback. But what if you want to play defensive end? What if you want to play tennis? Would you rather get advice from the best quarterback or a team doctor?
Doctors are valuable to the team not because they played football but because they went to medical school.
In the book marketing and publishing world, I am like the team doctor.
The “Team Doctor” Credentials
So, let me tell you a little about my “medical school.” In 2007, I started building websites for authors. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a long time, you know my story. I started as a webmaster. When I began hiring staff, my company grew.
Eventually, our authors wanted us to do more than websites. They wanted us to manage their email, marketing, and launches. Suddenly, I was a marketing consultant as much as a webmaster.
That led me to work for a traditional publishing house as their marketing director. While there, I increased sales by 500%. I also served as a literary agent for authors seeking traditional publishers.
I have worked in the traditional publishing world, but I’ve also spent a lot of time working directly with indie authors as a marketing consultant. Since I host the longest-running book marketing podcast in the world, indie authors often seek me out.
At Novel Marketing, we’ve interviewed experts, talked with authors, and helped authors since 2013. In nearly ten years, I’ve recorded more than 500 podcasts between my various shows, Novel Marketing, The Christian Publishing Show, and Thomas Umstattd, Jr. Guestcast.
In many ways, my entire career has prepared me to create a course on platform building. I have been helping authors build platforms for over a decade, and I have finally taken what I know and put it into a super course.
Obscure No More began as a week-long training I presented for a group of established and aspiring authors in Hawaii and Switzerland. I’ve been putting that content online in short, bite-sized videos for the past two years.
Obscure No More is a full publishing pantry and a robust cookbook.
You won’t need everything in this course to build a platform. But everything you need to build your platform is in this course. To return to the cooking metaphor, you may have fennel in the pantry because it adds flavor to savory entrees, but if you don’t like fennel, you don’t have to use it.
Three Components of Obscure No More
Exclusive Community at AuthorMedia.social
You may have joined AuthorMedia.social, but you may not realize there are private spaces only students can access.
Live Office Hours
Each month I host a live call with students of the course to answer questions, review their websites, or give feedback on their reader magnets.
I answer every question and will add additional office hours to the monthly rotation if needed.
The instructional videos are five to ten minutes each, and answer specific questions about building your platform.
Module #1: How to Start Building a Platform
If the word “platform” makes you cringe, this first module will provide some cringe relief. You’ll learn how to start and how to avoid pitfalls that keep authors from developing a platform in the first place.
Module #2: How to Craft Your Platform Strategy
After this session, you will know where you should start. You’ll learn how to play to your strengths. Other marketing courses commonly teach what worked for a particular author, while Obscure No More helps you determine what will work best for you.
A good platform-building strategy plays to your strengths and avoids your weaknesses.
Module #3: How to Develop Your Author Brand
Your brand will help guide the rest of your marketing. Ultimately, your reader will connect to your brand, so craft your brand with your reader—not your agent, publisher, or webmaster—in mind. A strong connection with your reader will result in more book sales.
You’ll learn a simple four-step process for developing an author brand, and author branding will finally be demystified.
Module #4: How to Go from Tech Timid to Tech Savvy
Learn the secret of being a “techy person.” I have delivered this talk all over the world. For many older authors, it is a transformative topic. Yes, you can become a tech-savvy person! It’s easier than you think, and this session will show you the way.
Module #5: How to Make Your Author Website Amazing (Separate Course)
The website module is an entirely separate course, but it’s included in Obscure No More. You will learn how to build your own website if you don’t have one. If you do have a website, you’ll learn how to improve it. This module is helpful for all authors, even those who pay a webmaster to do most of the work.
Module #6: Search Engine Optimization
Every author with a website or blog probably wants to rank on Google. Ranking on Google will help your readers find you and your book. But since so few authors understand SEO, the competition for ranking is fairly limited. If you implement even a few of the principles I teach, you’ll probably see your ranking improve.
Obscure No More beta students have seen almost immediate results after implementing the strategies in this module. Many authors in the course jumped straight to the first page of Google once they implemented the principles presented.
If you were one of those beta students, please share your story in the comments of this episode’s post on AuthorMedia.social.
Module #7: The Complete Guide to Author Email (Separate Course)
The email module is also offered as a separate course but is included with Obscure No More. It’s a work in progress since I’m still adding sessions and modules.
Part 1: Getting Started
If you’ve been sending group emails to readers via Outlook, this module is for you. You’ll learn how to get your first subscribers and what to write in your emails.
- Why is email so effective for selling books?
- How to Get Started with Email Marketing
- How To Pick the Best Email Service for You
- How to Get Your First Subscribers
- How to Craft Emails Readers Want to Read
Part 2: Reader Magnets
If you don’t have a reader magnet, most of the strategies I teach in the remainder of the course won’t work. You’ll learn how to create one and how to deliver it.
- An Introduction to Reader Magnets
- The 21 Kinds of Nonfiction Reader Magnets
- 50 Fiction Reader Magnet Ideas
- How to Create a Reader Magnet
- 4 Ways to Deliver a Reader Magnet
- Where to Add Reader Magnets to Your Website
- Where to Promote Your Reader Magnet
Part 3: Email List Growth
You’ll be surprised how quickly your list can grow from double to triple digits, but only if you have a great reader magnet. If you’ve been stuck in the double digits for a while, this module will inspire and encourage you.
- How to Get a Lot of Email Subscribers Quickly
Part 4: Onboarding (Coming Soon)
You’ll learn why and how to create an onboarding sequence and receive a template for each email.
- How to Setup an Onboarding Drip Sequence
Part 5: Optimization (Coming Soon)
Optimization is an advanced topic, and few authors in the course are ready for it now. However, this module will become relevant and informative as you advance through the course.
- Understanding Email Analytics
- How to Avoid the Spam Folder
- How to Increase Your Open Rate
- List Cleaning
Module #8: How to Craft Excellent Blog Posts (Separate Course)
Module eight is all about blogging. It’s offered as a separate course at AuthorMedia, but it’s included with Obscure No More.
While blogging can be helpful for fiction writers, this module is vital for nonfiction authors. A blog can keep your readers updated on your writing without you having to rely on social media.
Unlike email, blog posts are searchable and permanent. While an email newsletter may be deleted or buried in an inbox, your blog posts have a permanent address on your website.
Module #9: Author Podcast Academy (Separate Course)
This course, which is also included with Obscure No More, will eventually have 12 modules. I will sell it separately, and you will hear more about it after it’s complete. Obscure No More students get immediate access to the currently available modules for no additional cost. You’ll also receive access to the new modules once they are ready.
- Module 1: What Every Author Needs to Know About Podcasts
- Module 2: How to Create a Podcast
- Module 3: How to Record Your Pilot Episode
- Module 4: Launching Your Podcast
- Module 5: How to Make Better Episodes
- Module 6: How to Edit Podcasts So They Sound Amazing
- Module 7: How to Conduct Compelling Interviews
- Module 8: The Secrets of Productive Podcasters
- Module 9: How to Grow Your Podcast Audience
- Module 10: Podcast Monetization
- Module 11: Podcast Gear
- Module 12: How to Produce Amazing Co-Hosted Episodes
I worked with one author who started a podcast to help promote a book. The book was a base hit but didn’t set the world on fire. However, her podcast did. Her podcast reached millions of people and generated more income than the book. She was glad she wrote the book, but upon reflection, she realized the book helped her start the podcast, which is changing the world.
Module #10: Public Speaking (In Development)
This module will cover how to become a better speaker, get speaking gigs, and develop beautiful slides.
Module #11: Advertising (In Development)
This module will go over the fundamentals of advertising on:
- Affiliate Advertising
- And more
Module #12: Copywriting (In Development)
This session will focus on how to write your book pitch, back cover copy, Amazon page, and anything else you write about your book. The goal is to describe your book in a way that makes someone want to whip out their phone and buy a copy on the spot.
Why I Created Obscure No More
Our most popular course is currently the Book Launch Blueprint, which is laser-focused on helping authors have an amazing launch that provides a good chance of hitting a bestseller list. We’ve seen incredible results for students who’ve completed the course.
But some students quickly became overwhelmed.
Planning for a launch without a platform is like trying to cook a recipe without going to the store first. Running to the store at the last minute makes cooking much harder.
There are many ways to build a platform. Some authors build their platforms through podcasting. Others use a blog. Most authors leverage an email newsletter and website, and a few utilize public speaking.
Most authors are forced to pick and choose different lessons from different gurus, many of whom give conflicting advice.
I wanted to create a course that was the entire pantry and the entire cookbook; a one-stop shop for everything related to book marketing.
A comprehensive course on platform building would cover all those topics and more. In developing Obscure No more, I have created whole courses that address specific topics within Obscure No More.
Obscure No More Perks
Currently, I host live office hours once a month. In these calls, I talk with students face-to-face. If I can’t answer every question, I’ll increase the office hours frequency. In addition to answering questions, I review pitches, websites, book covers, and whatever else Obscure No More students need help with.
Besides answering your questions live, I typically also have a prerecorded answer or blog post I can refer you to. If I don’t have a prerecorded or prewritten answer, I go back to my studio and create a podcast or module that thoroughly answers that question.
We have a private community where Obscure No More students can interact with each other. If you thought AuthorMedia.social was cool before, wait until you unlock the private Obscure No More space.
Beta students already have lifetime access to all the current and future content.
I will continue the beta discount through the end of 2022, which means you can buy the whole course for a one-time purchase and get lifetime access to current content and future updates.
But on January 1, 2023, Obscure No More will only be available for $49 per month. You’ll get immediate access to everything. You can cancel at any time. If you don’t want to pay monthly,
It also means you can double down, binge the content, complete the entire course in one month, and cancel your subscription at the end of the month if you want.
Where to Sign Up
You can sign up for Obscure No More at AuthorMedia.com/courses.
Heresy is fatal in late Renaissance Italy, so only a suicidal zealot would so much as whisper the name of Martin Luther. But after Luther’s ideas ignite a young girl’s faith, she must choose–abandon her beliefs or risk her life in the turbulent world of late sixteenth-century Italy.
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