What you are about to read is controversial.


These ideas challenge industry conventions and common practices.



⭐️ ⭐️  ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ You have to read this book!

I'm so glad I converted Geez, how could I not!!! 🎊  This author's Facebook image was spot on (clearly he has his audiences dialed in, and his copy was tight. So tight that by the time I went through this terrific sales funnel, I just couldn't wait for the call to action, and oh, what a good CTA it was I could have clicked all night long.


I thought the ad copy was good, but man, the sales page copy was on point. I couldn't resist. I can't wait until this author markets another book.


And I liked the story in the book I bought.


With the focus and time authors put into marketing, would it surprise you to see a review like that?


What happened to get authors so wrapped around the axle of marketing and advertising?


Now that I'm in the industry, I see the pain marketing books causes an author;

  • The stress,
  • the vicious cycles of trying the next gambit,
  • and the erosion of profits from increased advertising costs.


What broke?



The disruption to traditional publishing wasn't just about removing gatekeepers.


With the advent of digital publishing, e-readers, and direct publishing, the entire way to market was disrupted.


The headlines have been about how this disruption has left traditional publishing on its back foot, how they fought the changes and lost.


The media rarely talks about how this disruption to publishing created a significant market surplus by allowing more authors into the market to meet readers' insatiable demand.


The disruption also left all authors wondering how best to go to market.


Authors that had trad pub deals never had to worry about marketing and indie authors had no frame of reference for how to market.

Grasping for solutions, early indie authors adopted the practices of digital marketers.

Direct marketing is effective. Combined with digital tools and interest-based advertising, it was an obvious choice.


Early adopters were printing money using direct digital marketing strategies.


Now it was time to scale up!


To do that in direct marketing, you fill the funnel.


Facebook, Amazon, and Google profit from selling other's attention. They leveled the playing field by providing a way for any budget to reach an audience.


The results of buying attention was astounding. For a low cost, you could buy the right person's attention and convert them into a sale.


Digital marketers also provided tools to help warm up and qualify prospects.

Tools like;

  • email,
  • the sales funnel,
  • and the lead magnet

 The go-to tools for authors to close deals.


The recipe was simple. Just pour more traffic into the funnel's top, and a corresponding ratio of sales would flow from the bottom.


Digital marketing tools deliver results until they don't.


Need better results.

  • Pour more traffic into the funnel.
  • Pay more.
  • Seek more sources of traffic.

Not catching enough fish? The obvious solution is to broaden the waters where you fish.


Funnels are sorting systems to find those ready to convert. The way to get better results is to push more through the funnel, or is it?


Digital marketers eat themselves alive by pushing harder and harder to generate more traffic. More ads on more platforms, more often with higher retargeting is resulting in higher resistance in an audience to all digital marketing.


That's where we are today.


When you find yourself competing for ad space with sixteen-year-old YouTubers selling courses, it's not that they are outspending you (maybe they are), it's that the audience refuses to give you or anyone else their attention.


We are all building herd immunity to calls to action. Just look at yourself as an example. How often do you ignore ads on social media?


You create a vicious marketing cycle that works until it doesn't.


Slowly you begin to pay more in time and money to get the same or worse results. You assume that it's working for everyone. But you.


It’s not working for most, but digital marketers don’t have a new solution other than getting more traffic and optimize your funnel.


In my research for Advantage, I discovered little to no correlation in ad spend to sales in top-performing authors.


It’s not your application of advertising that is the cause of failed ads its advertising as a marketing strategy that is failing.


To make matters worse, most authors are on the same crowded path, resulting in long-term damage to their brand and business prospects.


The short-term solution to do more discounts and ads to get higher rank visibility is flawed.


Your secret wish that suddenly at some time in the future, a higher paying devoted audience will find you because of visibility is a fantasy.

You feel it in your bones. I'm just saying it out loud, direct digital marketing is failing for most authors.


A vicious marketing cycle that focuses on traffic and conversion attracts the wrong audience.


Over time you begin to feel like your readers just see you as a transaction.


They do because you treat them like one.


Like most businesses, you focus on the customers you don't have.


You want all the customers!


This isn't sustainable.


Have you thought about what you need to make six figures a year?


I won’t bore you with the math, but an author that writes four books a year and sells them at an average price of for $3.99 with 30% of your revenue coming from sales and 70% from kindle unlimited needs roughly 9,135 people to read all of your books each year to earn $100,000 in sales.


Imminently doable given the population of readers in the world. That doesn’t include casual readers or reading books in your backlist.


The real deal is you need to win readers one at a time.


Who is your favorite author?


Did you fall in love with them because they did the hard sell?


More likely is that you connected with the story and the characters. You found a piece of yourself in those books. Even to this day, a part of YOUR identity is tied to those books.


Satisfying one reader at a time is the secret to building a scalable author business.

"Instead of trying to reach everyone, we should seek to reach the smallest viable audience and delight them so thoughtfully and fully that they tell others." — Seth Godin

If you want the right audience. The kind of audience that can organically scale up, then you have to build a virtuous marketing cycle.


A virtuous marketing cycle (VMC) is customer-centric and purpose-driven.


The VMC perpetuates cumulative advantage, the powerful force that picks the winners in the publishing market.


The VMC uses your brand promise to get word of mouth advertising working for you.


As an author, you’re in a unique position to form a tribe around your brand.


When a brand delivers on its brand promise, people adopt that brand. They identify with those that have adopted the brand, and when done right, the users see the brand as part of their own identity.


Who is better at finding your ideal reader and converting a new reader than an existing reader?


Who is a prospective reader going to trust more, an ad in their newsfeed or a friend who they share like tastes in entertainment?


We are genetically predisposed to find people like ourselves and form up in groups. You can use this same drive for survival to propel your brand.


This may seem daunting.


It is far less work to building a virtuous marketing cycle than it will keep up with what the latest digital marketing tactics are working.


Let’s summarize


  • Authors looking for marketing options after the great disruption of traditional publishing adopted direct digital marketing techniques.
  • Overuse of those digital marketing strategies has created a herd immunity to digital marketing practices.
  • Digital marketing practices have become a vicious marketing cycle.
  • It takes less than 10,000 devoted fans to make six figures in sales.
  • Authors that build virtuous marketing cycles can scale up a business over time by winning one reader at a time.
  • A virtuous marketing cycle uses brand and community to drive audience growth through a tribal instinct.



The best place to start is to read my book, Advantage.


The book explains in detail how cumulative advantage drives the publishing market and how you can use it to your Advantage.


It is available at all major book retailers.​

"Advantage by Joe Solari isn’t just another in the long list of those books telling writers how to sell their stories. It goes beyond the others to teach authors what they need to build a profitable, lifelong writing career with rabid fans who buy book after book."


Jamie Davis, author of Fun Fantasy Reads


The other way is to participate in my mastermind groups on creating a virtuous marketing cycle.​


Currently the sessions are in beta and only open to members of my Treat Your Writing Like a Business Community. If you would like to get an email when the groups open join below.