300 episodes

Author Media presents Novel Marketing the longest-running book marketing podcast in the world. This is the show for writers who want to build their platform, sell more books, and change the world with writing worth talking about.

Whether you self publish or are with a traditional house, this podcast will make book promotion fun and easy. Thomas Umstattd Jr. interviews, publishers, indie authors and bestselling traditional authors about how to get published and sell more books.

Novel Marketing Author Media Podcasts

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 245 Ratings

Author Media presents Novel Marketing the longest-running book marketing podcast in the world. This is the show for writers who want to build their platform, sell more books, and change the world with writing worth talking about.

Whether you self publish or are with a traditional house, this podcast will make book promotion fun and easy. Thomas Umstattd Jr. interviews, publishers, indie authors and bestselling traditional authors about how to get published and sell more books.

    20 Ways to Promote Your Book During the Holiday Season  

    20 Ways to Promote Your Book During the Holiday Season  

    December is the biggest sales month for most authors because books make great gifts! So how can your holiday book promotion help your book become a go-to Christmas gift? 

    But first…

    Don’t Let Publishing Ruin Your Christmas

    Before we talk about tactics, let’s discuss how we can keep holiday book promotion in the right place. I don’t want to add stress to an already stressful time of year. I believe the following strategies will help reduce your stress.

    Take a Break

    You can take a break from marketing to spend time with your family. If your book is good and already has a fan base, then people will still buy your book as a gift even if you do zero marketing. That said, more people will buy it as a gift if you remind them, but it’s ok to take a break if you need to.

    For example, I will be taking a few weeks off podcasting so that I can spend time with my family. 

    Promote Ahead of Time

    Plan your holiday book promotion before the rush of the season. When you start promoting your books early in the Christmas season, you’ll have more time to enjoy your family as the holiday approaches. 

    Put Marketing on Autopilot

    Many marketing tactics can be scheduled in advance. The rest of the Novel Marketing episodes this month are scheduled to release while I’m “on holiday,” as they say in the UK. 

    Create a Template

    Once you’ve promoted your book through one Christmas season, you can use your marketing plan as a template for the next year. Much of your material can be used again. For example, you can reuse your emails and tweak them next year so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

    For more time-saving tips, see my post How to Spend LESS Time Marketing Your Book.

    If you’re ready to make a template you can follow or tweak for years to come, consider implementing the following strategies for your holiday book promotion.

    #1 Make a Plan

    Create a written marketing plan for your holiday book promotion season. I recommend breaking it into three phases: Prep, Promo, and Echo.   

    Prep (Starts October 1)

    In the preparation phase, you get things in order. You’ll draft your blog posts, gather your gift ideas, and write your emails. The goal is to put as much as possible on autopilot so that you can spend your holiday season baking cookies and playing scrabble. 

    Only shoppers wait until the last minute. Sellers plan ahead. If you want to sell your book during the holiday shopping season, start thinking like a seller. 

    Promo (Starts Black Friday)

    The Christmas promo window in the US starts the day after Thanksgiving. Interestingly, countries like the UK and Canada also have Black Friday, even though they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a good starting point for your holiday book promotion in most English-speaking countries.

    Echo (Starts December 26)

    Holiday shopping happens in two waves. In the first wave, shoppers buy paperbacks and hardbacks because they’re easy to wrap and place under the tree. 

    In the second wave, people buy books, ebooks, and audiobooks with the gift cards they received for Christmas.

    • 33 min
    How to Grow your Platform Without Social Media – with Sandy Cooper

    How to Grow your Platform Without Social Media – with Sandy Cooper

    In a scene from The Princess Bride, the six-fingered man takes Wesley into the pit of despair to suck away one year of Wesley’s life with “the machine.”

    A nefarious “machine” could be sucking away years of your life, one hour at a time, and you may not be aware of it. 

    That machine is “social media.”  

    Data shows that social media does not help authors sell more books. But have you ever considered how much time you spend scrolling through Facebook feeds and watching TikTok videos?  

    You might be shocked to find out that social media is sucking away years of your life. 

    The average person in 2022 spends more than two hours per day on social media platforms. Imagine how many books you could write in a year if you got those hours back!  

    But you may be wondering, “How am I supposed to connect with my readers if I leave social media? Don’t publishers and agents expect me to have thousands of followers on all my platforms? What am I supposed to do instead?” 

    Sandy Cooper is an author and podcaster who understands what it’s like to have years of her life sucked away by social media. She has taken steps to break free from social media and has successfully grown and nurtured her audience without it. Sandy has been encouraging women since 2008 at TheScooponBalance.com and through her books and weekly podcast, The Balanced MomCast.

    Why did you stop using social media?

    Thomas: Why did you leave social media?

    Sandy: Social media stopped working for me as a way to grow and nurture my audience. I’m not saying it doesn’t work for others, and I’m not even discounting how it worked for me for a time. But it definitely stopped working.

    I joined social media in 2008, the same year I started my blog.

    I began friending every person I had ever known since I was born and sharing my blog posts with them on social media. At the time, social media was an easy way to share blog content. It yielded a high return on a small time investment. I could share my links, and people would read my posts and share them. It worked well.

    It worked so well that in 2014, one of my blog posts went viral on Facebook and Pinterest. Within a couple of hours, the viral traffic crashed my site. That was when I realized I was no longer just communicating with my long-lost friends and family. I was communicating with strangers, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

    Thomas: It’s been so long since social media was effective that people don’t realize or remember what “going viral” meant. It used to be that if you shared a highly resonant blog post on social media, loads of people would see and share it. The organic reach was incredible. Authors could go from obscurity to notoriety, sometimes within hours.

    People don’t realize social media doesn’t work like that anymore. Social networks don’t want to send people away to...

    • 43 min
    How to Save Money as an Author

    How to Save Money as an Author

    There’s an old saying that the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start with a large fortune. While the early days of publishing favored independently wealthy authors, things have changed.

    Publishing may be cheaper than it once was, but it’s not free. Anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to scam you. As in any business, it takes money to make money. But savvy authors can find ways to save a lot of money. 

    If you want to learn clever ways to save money as an author, keep reading. 

    Money Saving Strategy #1: Invest in Education

    The best way to save money as an author is to spend what money you do have on educating yourself. Investing in your own publishing education helps you in two ways.

    Avoid Costly Mistakes

    Investing in your education helps you avoid costly publishing mistakes. Someone has said, “There’s never enough money to do it right but always enough money to do it twice.”

    In life, there are generally two ways to learn something. The easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to learn from someone else before you try the thing yourself. 

    The hard way is to learn from your own mistakes, which gets expensive quickly. The longest path is often the one filled with the most shortcuts. If you take time to study first,  you will find success faster than if you rush in yelling “Leeeeeerooooooooy Jeeeeenkiiiiiiins.” And yes, I realize that is a reference almost no one will get. If you got that reference, sound off in the comments.  

    Do Things Yourself

    Many facets of publishing sound difficult and expensive if you don’t know how to do them. For example, creating an epub file to publish your ebook sounds complicated if you don’t know what tools are available. A virtual publishing assistant may charge you hundreds of dollars to create an ebook. Hybrid publishers will charge thousands. But with a little training, you can learn to make one yourself for far less money in about five minutes. 

    Hybrid publishers like Westbow, Exlibris, and Xulon can charge thousands of dollars for a minor task because authors who lack education don’t realize how easy “ebook file creation” really is.   

    Value Your Time

    If you want to DIY your publishing tasks, remember that your time is also valuable. You may be better off hiring someone for tasks that will cost you a lot of time. But it’s far better to hire someone because you understand what needs to be done than to hire someone out of ignorance.

    Simply knowing the typical costs of editing, design, and layout will keep you from wasting time and money.

    The cheapest way to get a better publishing education is to listen to past episode of Novel Marketing. I’ve covered nearly every aspect of publishing and marketing, and almost all the episodes are free!

    Books, coaching, and courses abound, but this free podcast is a great place to start. If you find Novel Marketing valuable, consider becoming a patron and getting access to the patrons-only episodes.  

    Money Saving Strategy #2: Invest in the Right Tools

    One way to save time and money is by using the right tool for the job. 

    Buy Time-Saving Software

    Sure, you could write a book using Microsoft Word and its default spell checker,

    • 23 min
    How to Find a Good Editor

    How to Find a Good Editor

    With hundreds of books launching every day, competition for readers is tougher than ever. Your book must stand out on the digital shelf, and the quality of your writing is a key element that will make your book shine. 

    What’s the most critical element of good writing? Good editing. 

    Behind every successful author stands a team of editors who help ensure the book’s success. But in these days of AI spellcheckers and beta readers, do you still need to find a good editor? 

    Yes! Yes, you do.

    You probably already know you need an editor, but knowing you need an editor and finding a good editor are two different things.  

    Tens of thousands of professional editors offer their services online and in person. 

    * Where do you find the good ones? * How do you pick one? * What kind of editor should you even look for?

    In this article, you’ll find a simple three-step process for finding a good editor who will improve your book and help it to stand out.  

    Step 1: Figure Out What Kind of Editor You Need

    To find the right kind of editor for your book, you need to know the four types of editors. Each editor provides a different level of defense against poor writing. 

    AI Editor (Spaceforce)

    An AI editor helps you improve the quality of your writing as you write. 

    AI editors can also give you a big-picture view of whether your manuscript is ready. For example, a tool like Authors.ai (Affiliate Link) will tell you the average number of words you use per sentence throughout your manuscript. That’s a helpful metric because, in general, shorter sentences mean better sales. Authors.ai checks for dozens of similar factors.

    Getting a satellite view of your sentence length is like seeing a picture of an enemy formation. Once you can see the big picture, you’ll know where to invest your time to defeat poor writing. 

    AI copy editors like Grammarly (Affiliate Link) and ProWritingAid (Affiliate Link) help you improve your grammar, usage, and spelling as you write. These tools combine a super spell checker and a grammar tutor. Every author should use an AI copywriter to help improve their writing. 

    Warning: An AI copyeditor does not replace a human editor. Neither do AI copyediting tools excuse you from learning grammar. You need to understand grammar rules and why they exist so that you’ll know when to break them.  

    Developmental Editor (Airforce)

    A developmental edit, sometimes called a content edit, is an edit of the ideas in your book or an edit of your story. To use a military metaphor, the developmental editor is the Airforce that scouts the territory and drops bombs on enemy bunkers. 

    Developmental editors usually insert comments into your document and send you a long email with their general thoughts. Expect hundreds or even thousands of comments and very few typo corrections.

    Good developmental editors are expensive, so many indie authors skip hiring one. Instead, they ask a copywriter to give them developmental fe...

    • 38 min
    How BookFunnel Can Help you Grow Your Email List

    How BookFunnel Can Help you Grow Your Email List

    We recently aired an episode called How to Grow Your Email List Using Delicious Reader Magnets. Reader magnets are an immediate reward that motivates readers to join your mailing list. For novelists, a reader magnet is often a short story or prequel. 

    When readers want to read your short story on their Kindle or in the Kindle App on their phones, they do not want it in a PDF file. They hate to pinch and zoom to read your story. 

    So how can you make it easy for readers to load your story onto their e-readers? 

    How do you get your reader magnet into the hands of your readers? 

    Damon J. Courtney knows how. He’s an epicfantasy author and the creator of BookFunnel.

    What is BookFunnel?

    BookFunnel App

    Thomas Umstattd, Jr.: What is BookFunnel?

    Damon J. Courtney: When we started BookFunnel seven years ago, we only delivered ebooks to readers’ devices. We’ve expanded a lot since then.

    Today, BookFunnel delivers ebooks and audiobooks directly to a reader’s device and handles the tech support readers need when trying to get an ebook on their devices.

    BookFunnel can deliver advanced reader copies (ARCs), a digital thank-you gift for readers, or a copy of an ebook. A couple of years ago, we launched the delivery of audiobooks as well. Everything BookFunnel can do with ebooks, it can also do with audiobooks.

    Authors don’t realize that it’s difficult to get a book onto an e-reading device.

    BookFunnel is platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter to us what device a reader uses. We can help with their Kindle, Kobo, iPhone, or iPad. Believe it or not, we still occasionally have readers on Blackberries and Windows phones. Some people read on Chromebooks and PCs. And every year, we have a handful of readers who want the PDF so they can print it and read it on paper, which is absolutely insane to me.

    Thomas: If I have a non-tech-savvy reader who wants to load my ebook onto their Kindle and they have questions, they can contact you to get that question answered. You walk them through it.

    That’s far better than me walking them through it. The typical author knows very little about all the various devices. I might have a Kindle but not a Kindle Fire. BookFunnel relieves the author of that tech support burden.

    Damon: That is exactly why I built it.

    I published my own fantasy trilogy, and I had written a reader magnet which turned out to be a 25,000-word novella that I wanted to give to readers on my list.

    I wondered how to do that, so I joined the email lists of Joanna Penn, Mark Dawson, Hugh Howie, Nick Stevenson, and Joe Conrad. They were all doing the exact same thing. When you joined their lists, they’d send an email with an attached epub, Mobi, or maybe a PDF. With the file came instructions like, “Plug it into iTunes with a cable, and maybe you can get it to work.”

    I thought, “That’s insane. My mother would never figure that out.” I’m a techy guy, and I didn’t have a problem with it,

    • 39 min
    Obscure No More Course Overview

    Obscure No More Course Overview

    How can someone read your book if they don’t know it exists? And how can they hear about your book if they don’t know about you? 

    A professional writer knows that certain readers would gobble up their new book if only they knew it existed. 

    These readers are your “target audience,” and connecting with that audience is critical to your success. 

    Your mission is to find your target audience. More accurately, your mission is to help your target audience find you. They’re looking for you now, but they may not know it. They only know they have an itch, but you know your book scratches that itch. 

    Your target audience wants to find you, and you want to find them. 

    So, what should you do?

    How can authors connect with future readers?

    Wouldn’t you love to implement the strategies of professional authors who earn big bucks and make a big impact? 

    Wouldn’t you love to do what works and leave the mistakes, frustrations, and misinformation in the trash?

    You can!

    Over the past two years, I’ve created a course to help you connect with your target audience, implement book marketing strategies that work, and avoid common mistakes authors make. It’s my new course Obscure No More.

    Where do you go when you need marketing advice? 


    One option is to ask Google. When you have a specific technical question, Google is a solid source for answers. You can type a question such as, “How do I create a new blog post in WordPress?” and you will find many answers competing to be the best answer on Google. 

    But if you don’t know what questions to ask, Google is useless. 

    You need an outside perspective to help you ask the right questions. Where can you get an outside perspective on questions relating to your book and author career? 

    Other Authors

    Many authors offer courses on various promotion-related topics. 

    Most present their courses with some version of the following story: 

    I was once a struggling author like you. Then I learned techniques that worked for me, and now I am successful. Buy my course, and I will show you those techniques.Typical Promotion Courses

    This approach would be akin to an athlete saying, “I used to struggle to play quarterback. I got injured all the time, but then I learned exercise techniques that have kept me from getting injured, and I’ve improved my game. Buy my course to prevent injuries.”

    That would be great information if you wanted to be a quarterback. But what if you want to play defensive end? What if you want to play tennis? Would you rather get advice from the best quarterback or a team doctor? 

    Doctors are valuable to the team not because they played football but because they went to medical school.

    In the book marketing and publishing world, I am like the team doctor.

    The “Team Doctor” Credentials

    So, let me tell you a little about my “medical school.” In 2007, I started building websites for authors. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a long time, you know a target="_blank" href="https://www.authormedia.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
245 Ratings

245 Ratings

Carter Norman Phillips ,

Great podcast!

I’ve been listening to this podcast for months now and it has entirely changed my views on writing, marketing, and much more. Thomas is a practical genius and this podcast is filled with valuable information for writers of all kinds.

Shana Gorian ,

I always learn something with Thomas

Really enjoy this podcast. Thomas comes at publishing from many angles and finds topics that the other author podcasts aren’t always covering. Highly recommend subscribing, to the new and the more established authorpreneurs.

MT1/SS Bubblehead ,

Top of my list!

I found and began listening to Novel Marketing a few months ago. It was so relevant, informative, and entertaining that I began binging the old episodes and became a patron of Author-Media. Awesome job Thomas Umataddt Jr!

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