Article Marketing For Nonfiction Books

To say the term, “nonfiction books”, can connote the possibility of a whole wide array of genres in the same way that saying “fiction books” does; they are both like two giant trees, and every branch on either tree represents a different genre or subject, and every leaf represents individual ideas within those subjects and genres. I’ve already written about how to use articles to market fiction books, which involves a certain approach, but marketing nonfiction books involves another.

Every Reader Is An Investor, So Ensure Them A Good Return

When anyone buys a book of any kind with the pure intention of reading it, they’re investing in it three things: time, money, and attention. Depending on the bookstore, they may be able to get their money back if they don’t like the book that they buy, but they’ll never be able to get a refund of their time and attention, priceless pieces of the lives they only live once. If you’re the kind of person who believes that time is money, then you’ll also believe that even though that hypothetical person may have gone to the store and received a refund for their book, there is still money that was lost. I explain this further in The Archer Theory: Internet Marketing Strategy for Writers.

I am a writer—and you, yourself, are investing time and attention in my own writing right now by reading this; the return you’re looking for is the knowledge you need to market your book. And since knowledge is power, it is equally correct to say that you are looking for the power to market your book; ergo, you’re investing time and attention in my work, in order to gain the power you need to market your own.

This means that since you are currently investing in this sample of my work right now by reading this article, if, by the end of it, you don’t learn something new, you would have received a bad return on your investment, and you would have every right to complain on social media, warning other writers not to make the same mistake you did—and that would be my fault. Not yours.

Look Again

Okay, so, now that that’s established—look again, at the section you just read. The heading of that section of this article above this one says: “Every reader is an investor, so ensure them a good return”. So, you see what I did there? You might have to think about it for a second; this article is almost like a long-form Zen koan, a mind trick of enlightenment in itself. In the section right above this one, I just posted a link to The Archer Theory, a nonfictional book that I’m marketing to you (my reader); you see it, correct? And this article is about how to use articles to market nonfiction books, correct?

Therefore, I just showed you how to do it; you just read a live demonstration. This is a live demonstration—right now.

The lesson of this article is to treat your audience exactly how I’m treating you, my audience, right now—with whatever other subject it is that your book is about. That’s the return on your investment for having read this.

What People Are Looking For In Nonfiction

Either of the two categories of books (fiction or nonfiction) can be simultaneously thought of as two different markets. Readers looking to spend money, time, and attention on books in either of those markets can be simultaneously thought of as investors. Therefore, this means that you, as a writer, are actually an entrepreneur of sorts. For a moment, stop thinking like a writer and start thinking like an entrepreneur.

As I’ve written before about how book reviewers verify to their audiences whether or not your book is worthy of the consumers’ investments, before you even set out on writing your nonfictional book, you should first strive to understand what your audience wants.

What’s the determining difference between what psychological variable investors need to decide to buy fictional books, in contrast with what investors need to buy nonfictional books?

…nothing. They both need trust.

Trust is the final factor in whether or not your audience decides to buy from you. They need assurance that they will definitely get their money’s worth, a good return on their investment regarding whatever it is that they’re seeking in your work, regardless of whether or not it’s fictional or nonfictional, regardless of what genre or subject it pertains to.

In fictional books, if the people you pitch your work to don’t trust that if they buy your work that they’ll be in for one hell of a vicarious ride, they won’t buy from you.

In nonfiction, if the people you pitch your work to don’t trust that if they buy your work that they’ll be in for truly credible, beneficial information that will better some aspect of their lives, they won’t buy from you.

So if you’re really here, on this website, right now, reading this article because you’re looking to gain the power you need to market your book as the return on your investment of the time and attention it took to read this article, yet you haven’t downloaded your free chapter of The Archer Theory yet, then that means that I haven’t earned your trust enough for you to say to yourself, “I have no doubt in my mind that if I invest the time and attention it takes to read that nonfictional book that StrataGem Internet Marketing is marketing to me, that I’ll get a good return on my investment, which is the knowledge, and thus the power, I need to start effectively marketing my own book.”

You have to make your audience say the same thing to themselves, subconsciously.

Let’s say, you’re trying to market a nonfictional history book about King Baldwin IV, The Leper King of Jerusalem, with Internet marketing strategy. So, you set up a website and a Facebook page of your name. How would you do it?

For one example (out of countless, actually) you could write a series of academic articles about the crusades, featuring the styles of leadership of the many different kings who were involved at the time. So long as your work is high quality, credible, and perhaps even cited and sourced (because it is nonfiction), you will eventually accrue a following online who like your work.

When those people would willingly follow you by your white hat (honest and legit) marketing tactics, they’re doing so because you’ve gained the first level of trust with them. So what’s the other variable?

…time. That’s it.

Remember, your audience is really just a group of human beings, and what you’re forming is a relationship with them. So the answer to how you form trust in your relationship with them is virtually the same as how you’d establish trust with any other person you may meet in real life. People tend to overcomplicate it. I did, when I first started. So, I know.

Think of ways to keep your target audience coming back to your website, the most challenging but effective way being to keep consistently posting great content that brands you over time as a credible source of information. Then, use the same principles that I’m using within this very article as a demonstration to intelligently interweave the notion of buying your work by linking to it. You can do both that and making direct advertisement trailers and such for it, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that until after you’ve established a warm connection with them.

Why Don’t I See Big Time Writers Doing This?

Well, often you actually do, but in different ways. The first example that comes to mind is Anne Rice; she’s sold millions of copies of her work all over the world. Her work has been turned into movies, and she’s got fans all over the globe, who always remember who she is and are looking forward to her next work.

…she also just so happens to maintain a blog and a social media page on Facebook, whereupon she interacts directly with her audience daily, posting things that she writes, and things that she reads,  music, asking intriguing questions, etc.

Even though she’s primarily a writer of fiction, the same principle applies to social media marketing of pretty much every conceivable industry in the world (not just writing). She’s there with her audience, almost every day, increasing what’s called her mindshare in her audience, which is basically (in the field of marketing), how often her target audience thinks of her.

Keeping your mindshare high, over time, while producing high-quality content, will build you the loyal and active following that you need to buy your work the moment they see a single Facebook post from you advertising it. And understanding another psychological marketing concept called social proof, the herd mentality of consumers in the market will begin to flock to you as they see other people flocking to you, which is another trust indicator and builder. If the average consumer sees that you have 50,000 followers on Facebook and 80,000 on Twitter, and you’re a writer, they’ll also be more likely to buy your work because they’ll say to themselves that, even if they’ve never heard of you before, your work can’t be bad if so many other people like you.

Getting to that point, though, is the hard partand there are many creative ways of solving that problem. This means that it doesn’t actually have to be articles on your blog, more than it has to be any creative way you can think of that increases the mindshare and credibility of your work; you don’t actually need to only write articles alone to do that, but it’s definitely one effective way of doing that. This specific article that you’re reading right now just focuses on that one approach, which is utilizing textual content (written articles) to build your audience from scratch, but there are indeed other ways to do it; like in advanced mathematics, often there are more than one way to solve a given problem.

To learn those other ways as I publish more articles about it, click here to follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

I didn’t understand this, when I first started. I posted a couple of articles, and those articles were great and all, but I didn’t consistently continue to publish content on a regular basis, that would keep people (like you) coming back here over time. This means that despite the credibility and quality of my content: my mindshare was low, which meant that my follower growth rate was virtually stagnant, which prevented me from gaining social proof, which made for lower trust, which made for lower sales. People would come to my website, read once, like what they saw, and even if they chose to opt-in to following me on one of my social media pages, they didn’t come back…because I didn’t give them a reason to. Totally my fault. So, when I’d pitch my Internet marketing strategy services to them, they didn’t trust me enough because (if it were an in-person relationship), they hadn’t spent enough time with me, and I hadn’t provided them with enough of a portfolio (being this blog) demonstrating my knowledge (which was a matter of credibility) as legit, which made them not want to buy from me.

It was only after I kept the hundredth time going back to the drawing board, bashing my head against it, and tried the very approach that I’m telling you to adopt in this very article that I began to see better results in the rate of growth of my following. Consistently posting great content increased my mindshare, which kept giving my readers a reason to return to this website, and as they kept learning something new, as they began to realize that every time they decided to invest in us: they got a great return on their investment, which increased my success. 

Follow My Example For Article Marketing Your Nonfictional Book

If you have a talent as a writer, then use it; write. Like the same principles I advocated when I taught you article marketing for fictional books, take a concept from the nonfictional book that you’re trying to sell, and write a series of high quality posts that pertain to concepts from your book on a blog of your name, refer and link to your book as a reference of source material, and do so consistently over time in order to brand yourself as a credible source of information, which will get your audience to buy from you.

If you think that this article was a good return on your investment of time and attention, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.


Michael Norton
Michael is the bestselling author of Fighting For Redemption, as well as an award-winning essayist, Internet marketing strategist, and mechanical engineer.

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