Welcome to the Resources page for Strangers to Superfans. All the links, books, tools, products, services, and other resources mentioned throughout the book are listed below, along with a bunch more stuff I thought you would find useful – roughly following the same structure as the book itself.
However, it is definitely not a substitute for actually reading Strangers to Superfans so if you somehow stumbled upon this private page for book purchasers, please purchase your own copy here.
Your Ideal Reader
The concept of the Ideal Reader comes from Stephen King’s excellent book On Writing – part memoir, part writer’s guide, I highly recommend whether you are a fan of his fiction or not.
There was a throwaway remark in that chapter about the demographic information about my Ideal Reader that generates a lot of messages so let me explain how I know that: Facebook told me.
The Facebook Audience Insights page has some very useful information on it for any Page you manage, and you can compare it to similar pages and dig into that info in all sorts of interesting ways.
Not quite as granular as it used to be, probably due to recent privacy scandals at Facebook, but still worth perusing periodically.
The concept is only discussed briefly in Strangers to Superfans but you can explore more in this blog post on granular targeting.
If you want to get deeper into the marketing theory here, or draw up detailed buyer personas, then HubSpot has a lot of resources and templates. I’m not sure there’s much point in going to the level of detail that HubSpot does here, but you might want to glance over it and pinch some ideas if you want to flesh out the picture of your Ideal Reader a bit more.
If you are interested in exploring the topic of reader analytics in more depth, and the work of Jellybooks in particular, you can find them here.
It’s also worth reading this pair of articles from The Guardian and the New York Times:
I have lots of great resources for you here. This post is a curated list of the very best book promo sites in 2020, broken down by which deal sites are best for freebies, discounts, list-builders, series promos, and has some genre specialists and options for those on tighter budgets too. It’s also kept up to date!
This monster post (it’s almost 5,000 words long) is a truly comprehensive overview of how to sell books in 2020, covering all the ad platforms, content marketing, reader targeting, email, and more and how all that has changed during the global pandemic. Bookmark this one also.
Finally, my new book marketing course Starting From Zero will show you how to take all these pieces and assemble them into a coherent plan for your books and your business. And it’s free!
My latest book is called Amazon Decoded and it breaks down exactly how the Kindle Store works, and shares the secrets behind the algorithms powering millions of book recommendations every day. Not only that, it goes deep on the topic of launch plans and backlist promos, showing how you can work with the algorithms to get sticky in the charts, instead of fighting against them.
You get a free guide to building your own optimized author platform when you sign up to my weekly marketing newsletter. This really covers the technical aspects of setting up your website, which domain provider you should select, what hosting package you need, why you need to focus on email and which company you should use to manage your list, and how you can tap into the giant audience on Facebook with content marketing.
Sign up here to get your own free copy of Following – you can’t get this book anywhere else!
Grab a copy of Newsletter Ninja if you want to raise your email game – it’s amazing.
And then my (free) course Starting from Zero has platform building aspects. One chapter of the course will help you set up your platform, and actually show you some over-the-shoulder videos of the back-end of my email set-up, those reader funnels that take people from the end matter of my books all the way onto my list.
In other words, you will actually see the journey those readers go on. For fiction and non-fiction! The course is free too so definitely check that out.
But if you are not quite on the Email Train yet, this post about the power of email marketing should convince you.
Starting From Zero
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times above but it’s particularly pertinent here so excuse the repeat: my course Starting From Zero has an entire set of modules on preparing your books for a promotion which should be useful here.
(Remember, it’s free, so you can dive in and just view the bits you need.)
Wide vs. Exclusive
This post is from 2017, but I think it still holds up – A Tale of Two Marketing Systems.
It’s based off a talk I gave at a conference a few years ago, and I think the general idea is pretty solid: namely that there are two marketing models for authors emerging, for wide and exclusive authors respectively. It’s useful to know what they are, and to ensure you have adopted the appropriate approach whether you are wide or exclusive.
Drop your questions in the box below and a minion will rouse me from my slumber, offer me a selection of sweetmeats, and then (and only then) bring the matter to my attention.