Posted on February 21, 2022 at 9:00 AM by Guest Author

If you’re struggling with flat book sales, it may be time to implement a new strategy. Discover how creating a book marketing funnel can help boost sales. 

Table of Contents 

What Is a Marketing Funnel? 

A marketing funnel is a representation of how businesses bring in leads and turn them into customers. Each section of the funnel serves a purpose that corresponds with where potential customers are in their journey.

This allows businesses to organize their marketing efforts and determine where they could make improvements. 

Although there are a lot of versions out there with different stages, the marketing funnel typically starts with awareness (where the goal is to attract attention and make people aware) and ends with action (where people are converted into customers by taking the desired action).   

Why is a funnel used to describe this concept?

It’s because a funnel is a more realistic demonstration. Even though the goal is to turn every lead into a loyal customer, there’s bound to be some drop-off. That’s why a funnel, which is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, is a better visual.

How Marketing Funnels Apply to Authors

Though marketing funnels may be considered a tool for businesses, the truth is anyone can use this model, including authors like you. After all, you may have chosen to turn your passion into a career, but you’re still selling a product. So, the marketing funnel concept applies just as well.

Like any author, your goal is to turn potential readers into raving fans who buy your books. But as you’ve discovered by now, writing a great story and releasing it to the public isn’t enough.

To generate book sales, especially as a self-published author, you need to market your work effectively. And developing a book marketing funnel can help you do just that. 


It makes it easier to take a more strategic approach to your marketing efforts. With such a framework, you can map out the reader’s journey from awareness to action, using various assets to nurture them along the way.

Moreover, you can pinpoint gaps, weak points, or areas to focus on in your overall strategy.

What Benefits a Book Marketing Funnel Offers 

As mentioned in the previous section, a book marketing funnel can help you take a more strategic approach to market your book.

That said, creating a funnel requires a fair amount of time and effort, especially at the start. So, you probably want to be sure it’s truly worth it. 

In case you’re not quite convinced, here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:  

You can bring in more potential readers. 

When you have a book marketing funnel, you can start by focusing on all the places your target audience could learn about your work. And by offering valuable content, such as a free book, you can attract more potential readers.

As a result, you have a greater pool of readers with the potential to become fans. 

You can spend less time marketing and more time writing.

Chances are, you don’t love the marketing side of being an author and would rather spend your time writing. The good news is that creating a funnel can simplify things.

Once you have your funnel mapped out and all the assets in place, you’re set. All you have to do is make adjustments over time to keep your funnel working as effectively as possible.

You can work on building your author brand.

Another benefit of having a book marketing funnel is that it helps with building your author brand. With a funnel in place, you can see the reader’s journey in its entirety.

That way, you can control every interaction, ensure your message is consistent, and encourage brand loyalty.  

You can get reader reviews more easily.

As you know, getting book reviews can be a challenge. But having a funnel can make the process much easier.

That’s because you’re focused on optimizing every stage of the reader journey by offering value and nurturing the relationship.

As a result, those who’ve entered your funnel will be more likely to leave reviews on your work.  

You can increase your conversion rate. 

Finally, having a funnel can also help you increase your conversion rate (the percentage of people who take the desired action). After all, a funnel is naturally designed to guide people through the journey and nurture them every step of the way.

By focusing on those most likely to read your work and forging a relationship with them, the chances of them becoming readers who buy your books will be much higher. 

What Assets You Need for Your Funnel 

To create your book marketing funnel, you must have certain assets. These can vary depending on the way you set up your funnel.

The more complex you make it, the more assets you’ll need. But to start, it’s worth keeping things simple. 

Here are the basic assets you need...

Lead (Reader) Magnet 

To make people aware of your work, bring them into your funnel, and encourage them to sign up for your email list, you need to give them something of value. And that’s where a lead magnet (or reader magnet, for the purposes of book marketing) comes in.

The idea is that people are more willing to provide their information in exchange for a freebie.


Giving people free content introduces them to you and your work. But to bring them further into your funnel and turn them into committed readers who purchase your books, it’s worth having a tripwire.

This is an inexpensive offer that removes any hesitation readers may have about buying your books at full price.   

Opt-in Page/Form 

Having an opt-in page or form is crucial. That way, you can encourage readers to sign up for email communications before or after consuming your content, depending on how you go about it.

Although there are many ways to communicate with readers, having your own email list is invaluable.

Email Campaign

To ensure your book marketing funnel works for you long term, you should also have an email campaign. Sending emails regularly allows you to build trust and shows readers why opting in was a wise choice.

Email marketing is a big part of nurturing the relationship between you and your readers so you can eventually turn them into fans. 

How to Create a Book Marketing Funnel 

Now that you know what assets you need for a book marketing funnel, creating a basic one is easy. It’s simply a matter of gathering all your assets, putting them into place, and spreading the word.

Of course, your funnel may become more complex as time goes on. However, if you’re just looking to get started, follow the steps below. 

1) Create Your Lead (Reader) Magnet.

The first thing you need to do is create your reader magnet. Remember — this should be valuable content that your target audience will want to take advantage of. So, spend some time thinking about what they would enjoy.  

Some examples of reader magnets include the following:

  • Short story

  • Supplemental guide

  • Preview of an upcoming title

If you have multiple books, you could also offer one as a giveaway to introduce readers to your work. This works especially well when you have a series. Plus, you don’t have to put work into creating a new piece of content to share, saving you time when building your funnel.

2) Decide on Your Tripwire Offer.

Once you’ve settled on your reader magnet, you can move on to your tripwire. As mentioned before, this should be a low-dollar offer that convinces readers to buy something from you. Ideally, you want to make it such a great offer that readers can’t resist taking advantage of it. 

A simple tripwire that doesn’t require much effort on your part is a discounted book. If the book is already written, all you have to do is reduce the price for a limited time or for those who’ve just entered your funnel.

Pricing an ebook at a discount has been proven to be an effective way of eliminating any objections readers may have regarding the expense.

3) Build an Opt-in Page/Form. 

The next step in creating your book marketing funnel is to build an opt-in page or form. This doesn’t need to be particularly flashy, as all you’re doing is encouraging people to sign up to receive email communications.

So, all you need is a brief explanation of why they should sign up and what they can expect, along with a form where they can input their information. 

That said, you can approach this in a couple of different ways:

  • Require people to opt in to receive your reader magnet

  • Include a link to your opt-in page in your reader magnet

Just be sure to adjust the opt-in page accordingly. For instance, if people need to sign up to get the reader magnet, the page should reflect that and include details about the content. 

4) Set Up Your Email Campaign.  

Although having a sizable email list is great, it’s worth nothing if you don’t do anything with it. That’s why you need to develop an email campaign (and more down the road) to nurture the relationship you have with those who’ve signed up.

This is a vital part of your book marketing funnel you can’t afford to overlook. 

How you design your initial email sequence depends on how readers are brought in. For example, if they had to opt in to get your reader magnet, the first email should deliver that freebie.

However, if they signed up for your list after consuming your free content, you should start by welcoming them to your community. 

Here are some of the things you should do in this campaign:

  • Introduce yourself and your author brand

  • Tell subscribers what to expect from you

  • Give readers the opportunity to share their feedback

  • Encourage subscribers to take advantage of your tripwire 

5) Start Bringing in Readers.  

Once you’ve created your basic funnel, you can start bringing in readers. Given that your own website may not get a lot of traffic at first, you should use other channels to your advantage.

Keep in mind that building a community of readers who will buy your books requires research into the places where your target audience hangs out. 

So, take the time to learn what social media platforms your ideal reader uses, what newsletters they’re signed up for, what blogs they read, and so on.

Then, select the appropriate channels to promote your reader magnet and bring readers into your funnel.   


Having a book marketing funnel can go a long way toward improving your marketing efforts. Moreover, it can help increase book sales in the long run.

So, if you’re looking for a better way to bring in more potential readers and turn them into fans, use the information provided to start building your funnel today. 

(Struggling to get started with your funnel? Promote a free ebook as your reader magnet, including a link to your site, and follow up by promoting a bargain ebook as your tripwire!)

Categories: Behind the scenes

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