Gathering of the Ghosts – January 22, 2024

How to Create a Funnel That Generates Book Sales on Autopilot

November 18, 2022

You have a great book and you’re looking for ways to drum up more sales.

One of the best ways to do that is by setting up a book funnel.

But how do you create one that actually works?

Because the last thing you want is to spend your precious time writing copy, setting up landing pages, and creating email sequences that generate crickets – not book sales.

And that fear is strong enough to keep you from creating a book funnel.

But I implore you … don’t let it stop you!

After working with countless authors over the years, I’ve made a surprising discovery…

There’s a proven framework for creating a book funnel that generates sales and positions you to sell high-ticket products and services.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to outline for you in this guide.

The Proven Framework
Step 1. Map Out Your Reader Journey

Selling your book through a funnel on your website is no different than any other form of marketing.

You’re still taking your potential readers through the 5 main stages of buyer awareness (developed by Eugene Schwartz):

  1. Unaware – the reader doesn’t know who you are or if they have a problem
  2. Problem Aware – the reader has identified a specific problem they’re experiencing (one that you can solve through your book or other offerings)
  3. Solution Aware – the reader is aware that there are solutions to this problem
  4. Product Aware – the reader is aware of specific offerings that solve their problem (i.e. your book or your competitors’ books)
  5. Most Aware – the reader is seriously considering purchasing your solution to their problem.

Knowing this, the first step is determining what kind of message, content, or small offer would interest your target audience at each stage.

This will be the bones of your book funnel.

Here’s an example of what this can look like.

At Best Seller Publishing, we attract our target readers to our site through advertising and content marketing. These people often haven’t heard of us before, so they are “unaware”.

We help them become aware of their “problem” (i.e. the specific things standing in the way of them becoming a best-selling author and thought leader) through the messaging on our site and content. 

We make it very clear that there’s a framework you can follow to write a great book and make lists like the Wall Street Journal.

And we offer my book, Publish. Promote. Profit., for free if they pay for shipping (which comes out to around $8).

This helps them become aware of the solutions (high ticket coaching and services) we provide and moves them to “most aware” over time.

The specific steps in your funnel and your customer journey will no doubt be different than mine, but the thought process of identifying how to move your potential readers through the stages of awareness is the same across all funnels.

Step 2. Determine Your Ultimate Goal

Are you trying to sell books?

Or are you trying to use your book to grow your business?

Your answer will determine the best layout of your funnel.

For me, I leverage my book to grow my business. I utilize a “free plus shipping” model where I don’t make a ton of revenue for each book sale, but I make up for it with high ticket offers later on.

This has helped me grow Best Seller Publishing into a multi-7-figure business.

But if your main goal is selling more books, “free plus shipping” probably isn’t the best idea.

Instead, you may consider making your books the end point of your funnel and creating free downloads and extra content (i.e. lead magnets) you can use to grow your email list.

Your email list will be one of the biggest drivers of sales in this scenario, so the ultimate goal should be getting as many subscribers as possible.

So, think through what you’re really trying to accomplish with your book funnel before moving further.

Forging ahead without a clear goal here is a mistake–and one of the main things that sabotage well-intentioned authors’ funnels.

Step 3. Create Your Offers

This is where you use your ultimate goal from Step 2 to determine the objectives for each stage of your funnel.

In other words, the offers you’re trying to sell and the order in which you’re trying to sell them (this is called a value ladder).

If you’re leveraging your book to grow your business, your offers could look something like this:

  1. Book (free plus shipping) – $8
  2. Workshop – $47
  3. Course – $297
  4. Coaching Program – $1,997
  5. Done for You Services – $5,000+
  6. Mastermind – $10,000+

These products and prices are arbitrary–the concept is increasing the price and value provided with your products at each step.

You can offer these as upsells, downsells, or one-off promotions to potential customers over time.

If you’re focusing on book sales, you can create a similar sequence of offers on a smaller scale.

You could experiment with offering:

  1. A free chapter that leads to a limited-time discount on the whole book
  2. An upsell to book purchasers that offers a bundle of books for a discounted price
  3. Workshops, companion resources, or study guides that avid readers would buy in a heartbeat

Regardless of your ultimate goal, it’s important to create multiple tiers of value and offerings so you can always have something more for your readers.

Step 4. Continue Nurturing

Once someone has gone through part or all of your book funnel, you need to continue communicating with them on a regular basis.

It’s like dating.

If you “ghost” them after some pitches, they’ll have a bad taste in their mouth about you and your brand.

This is where a newsletter or community comes into play.

You don’t have to talk to them all the time–or even weekly. Simply create a regular cadence for communicating with these potential readers.

You can send them exclusive content, updates about recently posted blog posts or YouTube videos, or anything else they’d find valuable.

The key is providing additional value each time you communicate with them.

You never know if they may become customers, or repeat customers, in the future.

Book Funnels Are Powerful

Whether you’re trying to sell more books or leverage your book to grow your business, book funnels are one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

They can take time and patience to set up and optimize fully, but they’re well worth it.

And if you’re interested in reading a deeper dive into book funnels, I wrote a detailed guide you can read by clicking here.


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