Part 2

The “Shadow Side” of Online Sales

(and why selling books on the internet feels like an uphill battle)

Written by Carissa Magras

Published: June 10, 2019 | Last Updated: June 17, 2019

As consumers, when we’re deciding whether to buy a course, hire a consultant, or buy a new blender, we are looking for very different things than when we’re book browsing.

“What kind of support do I have access to?” “What are the included features and bonuses?” “Is there a money-back guarantee?” “Just how smooth does the green smoothie button really get my blueberries and kale?”

The business owner’s job is all about handling objections, persuading the customer, and convincing them to pull out their credit card – using all the fancy marketing tricks and pushy sales tactics that car salesmen, QVC, and direct response letters have used forever.

In other words, entrepreneurs took “old school”, proven, pre-internet strategies, and have converted them successfully into the digital world of online marketing and buying. 


Buying a book is not the same though because we buy books for very different reasons than courses, coaches, or household items.


Reading is about connection, adventure, inspiration, fun, meaning, and quiet moments alone. It’s about transformation and overcoming the odds. Books are personal, deep, and powerful.


Yet digital marketers are trying to force readers through the same hoops that we go through for other purchases – and it just doesn’t translate.


Sure, these “hype” tactics worked for a bit, at the dawn of online sales, but the market has caught up… and become far noisier AND far more sophisticated.


Let’s take blogging for example. Of course blogging worked for people in the beginning – because there weren’t 500 million of them vying to be seen!


In 2006 there were 36 million blogs, which still sounds like a lot, but compare this with 173 million in 2011, and over 500 million now in 2019. Yet, famous online marketers – most of who built their success through blogging over 10 years ago – still recommend authors start blogs every single day as a viable way to be found and build their following (and note: these same people make money by selling their courses teaching you how).


The same can be said for podcasting (the audible version of blogging), giveaways, contests, book promo/freebie sites, newsletter swaps, social media posts, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, none of these things are bad – they’ve just been designed around marketing very different things than books.


The truth is unless you already have an established audience, loads of funding, and a professional team to help do all the work, these tactics aren’t going to do a thing to grow a 10,000-100,000 genuine fanbase in a decent amount of time.


This is why you can do ALL the right marketing things and only sell a dozen books a month.


If you’ve struggled to get results you’re proud of, it isn’t because you’re implementing the marketing plan badly*. 

*On the contrary, when authors do marketing the right way they are far better and more effective than non-writers because of their ability to empathize, be vulnerable, and tell engaging stories.

The problem is that the marketing is WRONG for what you’re doing.


Let me say this again..


You aren’t doing “marketing” wrong, you’re doing the wrong type of marketing.


You’d think this whole-sale failure would change our industry. But here’s the sad reality: the marketing gurus don’t need you to be successful. They just need to keep selling the dream (and recycling testimonials from a tiny handful of students who already had the celebrity profile to be successful).


This has created an EPIDEMIC of authors who are buying all the right courses, doing all the right things, yet seeing zero results.


And it’s all because of one big misunderstanding…

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