Author Archetypes and Marketing Strategies

Table of Contents

Which Book Marketing Strategy is Best for You?

At some point, every aspiring author starts thinking about marketing his/her books. Most often, this happens when the book is written, published, but contrary to all hopes, only friends and relatives have bought copies.

The writer starts looking for the source of this failure and finally comes to the conclusion that she needs to market her book. This calls for a strategy.

Going down an online rabbit hole, the writer gets even more confused because there are so many tips, but it’s unclear which ones to apply.

Many simply start doing whatever they like the best and what seems simplest, or what worked for someone else… They spend a huge amount of time and money and get unimpressive and inconsistent results.

Other writers try to foist the marketing of their books onto professionals and spend even more money. But the results are still inconsistent and can’t be reproduced without those professionals. Moreover, all the profits have to be handed over to the marketers, sometimes ending up with a net loss. So much ado with nothing to show for it.

The third category of writers simply becomes paralyzed and does nothing because it’s not clear what needs to be done. Spending their own money and time haphazardly is a luxury these writers can’t afford.

My method is dedicated to navigating your way out of this situation.

Step 1. Get clear: Is this your hobby or your business?

To begin with, you need to decide for yourself what writing is to you: is it a hobby or a business?

If it’s just a hobby, then you’re not expecting fame and fortune. You want people to praise and appreciate the book you’ve written – and that’s it. If this is the case, you don’t need to concern yourself with marketing. It’s enough to get published on any of the self-publishing platforms and join several author groups.

But if you want to be a professional writer and dream of the day your books bring in a steady income, you need to look at your writing as a business, and at yourself as the CEO of that business.

What kind of author do you see yourself as in five years? How about in ten?

Here lies another trap. The writer thinks, “But how do I know how things will work out? Will readers come or not? Will the publishing house agree to take on my book or not?”

If you’ve caught yourself ruminating on these things, then you are trying to shift the responsibility for your success onto your readers, publishers, etc. With this kind of approach, your success is a lottery where you have little control over the outcome.

There is another approach, one where you consciously take on the full responsibility for your writing career. You set up a system for promoting your books, set specific goals, and do everything you can to achieve consistent results.

With this kind of approach, success becomes inevitable.

Step 2. Think through your business model

To build a business, you need a vision of what exactly you are creating. Imagine that you are building a house without an architectural plan or drawings. You will spend your energy, money, and time, but the building will still topple over and won’t be habitable.

It’s the same with your writing business. If you have a well-thought-out plan, then you will be able not only to predict the results but to budget your energy and investments.

For that, you need to make five decisions which will form the model for your business.

First decision: Who will be paying you? 

Who is your target audience? How can you distinguish your readers and buyers from everybody else?

Second decision: What will they be paying you for?

What exactly are you planning on selling? Books are your merchandise, and before producing it, you need to understand whether there is enough demand for this kind of product.

Exactly what kinds of books is your target audience willing to buy?

What else can you sell to this audience? Are they prepared to pay for merch, lectures, courses, consultations, etc.?

Third decision: Where and how will you be selling your books?

You need to set up a sales platform (your website) or take advantage of an existing service (self-publishing platforms).

The reader/buyer needs to have the opportunity to get to know your products and to pay you for them.

Fourth decision: How will you attract new readers?

Before paying you money, people need to find out about the existence of your books and get to know them a little. Therefore, you need to decide on ways to attract an audience, be it through ads, social media, public appearances, mainstream media, etc.

Attracting an audience requires investments – ones of money, time, or both. Are you willing to do that? To what extent are you prepared to spend your time and money on book marketing?

Fifth decision: How will you retain your audience? 

If you stay in touch with your readers, then you won’t have to pay to attract an audience again when it’s time to sell your next book. You can set up a newsletter, run social media accounts, or combine the two.

I am sure that right now you don’t have answers to most of these questions – and that’s okay. In order to make a mindful choice, you need to:

  1. Know what the options are;
  2. Determine what is right for you.

There is nothing to worry about: I will give you all the tools you need.

Step 3. Determine your author archetype

There is no single recipe for running an author business. Every writer has things that work for them and other things that are completely untenable.

For example, one author likes to socialize with readers, while another doesn’t. Some like spending time on social media and creating content for them, while others have no idea what to even post about.

Every writer has his/her own set of skills and talents that can be used for growing a business.

I’ve identified five archetypes for authors who write books for adults:

  • The Hermit: A writer who prefers to remain out of the public eye.
  • The Entertainer: A writer who constantly involves his/her readers in the world of his/her books via social networks, mass mailings, events, etc.
  • The Blogger: A writer who collects an audience around him/herself as a personality and then sells books to that audience.
  • The Educator: A writer who disseminates his/her ideas or beliefs by any available means.
  • The Expert: A professional in a particular field who writes books on his/her topic, thereby growing his/her reputation and attracting new clients.

Take the quiz, answer ten simple questions, and determine your author archetype.

At the end, you will receive a description of a marketing strategy tailored specifically to you.

What's next?

Build your business model

I urge you to familiarize yourself with all the author archetypes and their growth strategies, because it is not uncommon for writers to belong to a mixed type.

That way, you will get an answer to the question, “What kinds of marketing strategies are out there?” and will be able to come back to Step 2 in order to work through the five questions above. As a result, you will have a complete model for your author business.

If any questions arise, email them to tellme@irinachan.com

I will try to answer them in one of my newsletters.


Best of luck in creating and promoting your work!

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