Reuse, Reduce, Recycle: A Great Marketing Strategy

Reuse, reduce, recycle is not just good for the environment; it’s good for authors too.

In marketing books, reusing, reducing, and recycling saves you time and energy, and allows you to be more efficient in content marketing. Content marketing involves using content—information—to engage and convince a target audience to buy your books.

A Great Marketing Strategy!

Content marketing builds trust with an audience. The people you are trying to reach who read or listen to your content develop trust in what you offer (information or story), and then purchase your books because they want more.

As an author, you have plenty of content. It’s what you have written in your books—and it’s where the practice of reusing, reducing, and recycling comes into play.


You don’t have to constantly write new material. Take the material you have written and reuse it. Your books are full of information that you can take and reuse for marketing purposes.

You can excerpt sections of chapters in your book and reuse them as blog posts, articles, white papers, and content for videos or podcasts.  You can use sections in your books as they appear in the book, or you can restructure the information and even add to it to compose a fresh piece.


Your books are lengthy. They are probably anywhere from 100 to 250 pages. That’s a lot of information. You can take the information in your book and reduce it—condense it—into a list or a step program.

This list or step composition can be used as a giveaway in exchange for an email address. Doing this helps you build your email list so you can drip your message into a select group of people who are interested in hearing what you have to say.


Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. While the information in your books is not “waste”, you can use the same concept of taking that material and turning it into a new object.

Take the information in your book and turn it into articles. Each article can also be recycled by changing it or adding to it and submitted to multiple magazines or blogs.

You can then recycle the information in your articles by turning each piece into an infographic, an informative video, or even a talk for a speaking engagement.

Reusing, reducing, and recycling keeps you from constantly having to reinvent the wheel and come up with new content. Your evergreen content can keep working for you over and over again.

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Effective Content Marketing

“I’m blogging and sharing on social media, but it just does not seem to help me sell books.”

I have heard this complaint from more than one author. These authors are creating content, but not finding it as effective at driving sales of their books as they had hoped.

Content Marketing is Free.

The beauty of creating content to market a book is that doing so is free. All it costs you is your time.

The downside of creating content to market a book is that it takes time and does not always reap the reward (sales) an author hopes.

Content marketing—creating valuable content that speaks to your readers’ needs and offering this information for free—is a long-term strategy for building trust and relationships with customers and potential customers. In fact, one study by Forrester found that, on average, a person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before buying.

This number is an average. This means that some people will consume less, but others will consume more before they decide to buy. Also, this study did not look at people who did not buy. It only looked at people who bought a product.

The study looked at how many pieces of content people consumed before they purchased the product or service. This average was between eleven and twelve pieces of content—written, audio, or video. Remember, you will always have people who will just read or view your free material and never buy your book(s).

If you are creating content and sharing this information via your blog, email newsletter, or social media sites, you want your content to be as effective as possible. So, before you create or share a piece of content, ask yourself whether your information or material answers one of these four questions.

  1. Does this piece of content boost awareness about my book’s subject?
  2. Does this piece of content help build people’s trust in me as an author on my book’s subject?
  3. Does this piece of content help convert visitors to my site to subscribers?
  4. Does this piece of content encourage readers to buy my book?

If your content does not satisfy one of these objectives, then developing that material may be a waste of your time. To be effective, every piece of content that you create should be relevant to your target audience as well as your book’s subject matter.

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Content Marketing Ideas for Authors

Content marketing is all the rage. Content marketing is a long-term strategy for building relationships with customers and potential customers by giving them something valuable for free.

Authors who create content around their books and offer this content free in their email newsletters, on their websites and blogs, and on social media can gain trust with an audience. Trust leads to more sales. Remember, people do business with those they trust.

Creating content can be time consuming. Some authors complain that create content takes away from the time they have to write more books.

Enter content curation. Content curation is the act of collecting, assembling, and presenting content that relates to your books. With content curation, instead of creating all the content they share, authors can share content that others have created that relates to their topic.

There are a number of services online that will help you collect and curate content for free or a small fee. These include:

  • Pocket: Pocket is a great place to capture and store the content that comes your way. You can store images, videos, and articles in Pocket for later reference when creating a curation of content to share with your readers.
  • allows you to research and publish content through its curation tool.
  • Feedly: Feedly allows you to aggregate content by storing the information from your favorite sources all in one place.

An interesting and different idea of content curation for fiction authors recently crossed my path. I found the idea intriguing and creative.

Content curation does not just have to just be articles, memes, or videos. Content curation can also apply to lists. You can share lists with your readers. These lists don’t just have to be a list that the author recommends, they can be a list one of the characters in your book might have.

list of ideas

For example, you can have your characters create some lists. These could include:

  • A list of song that your protagonist would have on his Spotify playlist.
  • A list of books that your protagonist would have on her bookshelf.
  • A list of favorite recipes from one of your main characters.
  • A list of relationship tips from one of your book’s characters.

You can then share these lists with your readers on your website, in your emails, as a Pinterest board, and on your social media sites. Get creative.

Content marketing does not just have to be the material you create. You can share material others create. When sharing curated content, be sure to give credit to the author and include a link to where the author originally posted the material.

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How to Gain More Readers for Your Books

All authors face the one same challenge: Finding readers for their books.

All sorts of gimmicks exist to lure customers to purchase products. Advertising experts even study which words and phrases work best for grabbing people’s attention. Tested Selling Institute and Word Laboratory Inc. looked at words and phrases salespeople could use to get customers to buy. They discovered a few magic words that tend to grab attention include:

  • New
  • Advice
  • At last
  • Truth
  • Love
  • Facts you should know

Advertising legend Robert Collier believed that writing advertising text was like a science. He used the studies done by Tested Selling Institute and Word Laboratory Inc. and applied their findings to printed advertising. Collier’s own research revealed that the word “how” in an advertising headline appeared to be the most useful word in improving the success of an advertising piece.

Each of these words reveals that people are searching for answers. People want practical solutions to their problems. They want to improve their lives.

I frequently say that marketing is simply letting people know that you have the answer to a need in their life. If you publish books, your book meets a need in someone’s life.

We all know that advertising is expensive and often does not have a very high return, especially for books. After all, people need to see and hear about a product multiple times before they decide to make a purchase (with the exception of impulse buys). So, what other marketing techniques can authors use to grab readers’ attention?

Enter content marketing. Content marketing is about sharing information that educates, inspires, and entertains readers. Content marketing allows an author to develop trust with an audience so that these people buy the author’s books.

If you are interested in learning more about content marketing and how you can use this powerful tool to grow the audience for your books, I encourage you to watch my new on-demand seminar Grow Your Audience with Content Marketing. This 40-minute seminar will walk you through six practical steps for sharing content on a regular basis to grow your audience.

As always, these on-demand seminars are free for Members of Christian Small Publishers Association. Other publishers and authors can access this seminar, Grow Your Audience with Content Marketing, for just $15 online at

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What Your Readers Want

Every author wants to attract readers for their books. After all, readers equal sales.

But, what do readers want? How do you attract readers to your books?

Enter content marketing. Content marketing is about providing your potential readers with information that inspires, delights, entertains, or meets a need. Providing readers with regular content via your blog, social media accounts, and email newsletters helps you establish an ongoing relationship with readers. This relationship and useful, quality content nudges these readers toward your books.


Content is everywhere on the Internet. So, how do you as an author get your content to stand out from the crowd to attract readers? Following are four tips to help you develop and curate content that is attractive.

1. Meets a Need
Your content must meet a need. Whether that need is to inspire people into a closer relationship with God, better financial or time management, or learning to understand their inherent self-worth, your information must resonate with your audience.

2. Is Niche Focused
Your content must be niche focused. In other words, instead of inspiring everyone to have a closer relationship with God, focus on inspiring a group of people such as students or mothers or teachers in this regard. The more you focus your content for a specific group of people, the more attractive your message will be.

3. Has a Unique Voice
You must develop your own voice. Don’t mimic others. Be yourself. Be unique. You have a special message for your audience. Use your voice and experience to present your information in a way that only you can.

4. Includes a Clear Point of View
Don’t muddy the waters by trying to be all things to all people. Your point of view should be clear and focused on your niche audience. Stay on topic. Don’t get sidetracked. If your message is about prayer, keep to prayer. If it is about relationships, don’t stray into financial issues.

You can attract more readers through top quality content. However, that content must also meet a need for a niche group and be presented with a unique voice and clear point of view.

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Photo courtesy of Freddie Marriage