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Strangers To Superfans: A Marketing Guide to the Reader Journey

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  85 reviews
From the author of Let's Get Digital and Amazon Decoded, this book will change how you think about marketing. Strangers to Superfans puts you in the shoes of your Ideal Readers, and forces you to view your marketing from their perspective.

*Learn the five stages in the Readers' Journey.
*Identify where your blockages are and how to fix them.
*Optimize each stage to increa
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published April 25th 2018 by David Gaughran
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John Martin
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author comes across as an affable and knowledgeable marketer. He deals in commonsense
Krista D.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-books
I begged and whined and bellyached for an early copy (by which I mean I filled out a form and then pestered him on Twitter). Woot early copy.

tl;dr version: Go buy this book if you want to try to make publishing your full time career, or if it already is (or close enough) and you're feeling you're losing your grasp.

Long review:

I was doing pretty solid for myself in 2015. I was making consistent money, I left my job, and I was feeling very positive about what else was coming my way. Then, I got si
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Revisited for 2020. If you only read one book on marketing your indie books, this would have to be it.


Indispensable. David Gaughran's books and articles are consistently among the best indie-author business help available today. Gaughran walks us through the journey that readers take in discovering, purchasing, and enjoying books - and provides a sensible blueprint for keeping those readers happy and engaged.
Patrick Sherriff
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-writing
If you're any kind of an indie writer, the New Year, post-Christmas-slowdown is the best time to read this kind of book, and while I was waiting for the latest Steven Pressfield to arrive in the post, I realized I still had Dave's book unfinished on my Kindle from buying it in the summer. Three hours later, and Id finished it. The problem with marketing guides is 1. specific information goes out of date really quickly and 2) if everybody did the tricks recommended they'd stop working. Fortunatel ...more
Julie Schooler
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book - I thought it was written for me - an author with a few books out who wants more readers. Overall it did provide some new tips and a few useful tools. However I felt that it was quite theoretical without a lot of specifics or case studies where the principles could be applied. Even though I am not new to the marketing game, some of the concepts seemed quite hard to get my head around without a few re-reads, something I don't have time for. And the case study at ...more
Wayne Marinovich
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just the kick in the pants I needed. Long been a fan, and subscriber to David’s blog, and this one came along at the perfect time for me. Looking to fire up some flagging novels and this book helped in many ways. Highly recommended
Rinelle Grey
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book for review, which was great, as I was really excited to read it. I've loved all of David Gaughran's writing books, and this one was no exception. I read it in 2 days!

Not all of the information in this book was new to me, but the way it tied all the different aspects of marketing a book together, and made me look at where this might be falling apart, was eye opening. I’ve come away with a list of changes I want to make, some new tools to check out
Yesenia Vargas
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: being-a-writer
Quick but super-packed with value! This book provided many great insights on how to improve my marketing and turn my potential readers into superfans. Dave does a great job of breaking down the how and why of the reader journey. I first heard him talk about this concept at Smarter Artist Summit 2017, and when he said he was writing a book about the subject, I knew I had to read it. He does not disappoint. Highly recommend this book for helping authors breathe some life into their backlist sales/ ...more
Andre Gonzalez
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any indie author looking to take their career to the next level!
Jaka Tomc
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading Amazon Decoded and Let's Get Digital, I was eager to get my hands on David's newest book. I was expecting to learn new ways of presenting my books to the right readers. And I did.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced writer, Strangers to Superfans will open some new doors for you. And you never know what lies behind them. David gets you prepared for the journey of your life, if you choose to take it.
Sarra Cannon
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Must-Read For Serious Indie Authors!!!

This book was incredible! Now that I've finished, I plan to immediately go back through the bits I've highlighted and start making my plan for implementing these good ideas. There's no doubt this is a tough and constantly-shifting market, and it's a relief to get such a clear (and often humorous) explanation of the reader's journey. Thank you, David, for giving us such great information!
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Useful for what it was, but it felt as if the author glossed over a lot of the nitty gritty in favor of advice to "fix" this or that, without giving a lot of specifics. Examples at each stage in the solution section would've been far more helpful than the two grossly over-simplified "case studies" at the end of the book.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is unlike any writing resource I've read before in the simple fact its focus isn't on the writing process, but rather the reader experience. Just the wake up call I needed to remember why I wanted to write in the first place. To tell the kind of stories I would want to read. Includes fantastic info and tips for marketing and not being a self-centered artist.
Kate M. Colby
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An interesting and useful look at book marketing from the reader's perspective. Definitely a book I will reference again as I prepare to launch a new series.
Tammie Painter
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoy what David Gaughran has to say in interviews and in his newsletters, and Let's Get Digital was so full of useful information that I was REALLY looking forward to reading this. However, this book never delivered any concrete information, only general ideas that I'd already heard before from David (not that those ideas aren't great, and if you've never heard or read anything of his, this book will give you wonderful mindset tips).

In one section, the section I was most eager to delve into,
Nazri Noor
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't think it's surprising to state that Gaughran is an exceptional writer. The book succeeds at being educational while still maintaining his sense of humor throughout. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times, which I really wasn't expecting from a marketing book, of all things.

What holds this back from being a better read for me was the lack of actionable content. Gaughran's advice essentially boils down to "look at what you're doing and fix what's wrong with it," with not much in
Travis Heermann
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of useful stuff here for the indie author trying to build their brand.
I'd have given this five stars, but there were some sections that were heavy on big pronouncements and light on specifics. The theories and approach, however, are sound.
Heather Myers
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This is a great book about how to find your superstars and how to troubleshoot when you aren't. It's an excellent resource for writers!
Jo-Ann Carson
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You've heard of "the hero's journey," a term coined by Joseph Campbell, describing the epic tale of the heroes in stories. Gaughran uses the journey metaphor to describe  "the reader's journey," from the moment she discovers your book until she becomes a superfan. He details a six-stage process (i.e., discovery, visibility, consideration, purchase, and advocacy). While most writers, particularly new ones, focus on the first stage--getting noticed--he advises paying attention to each stage so tha ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Should be essential reading for anyone selling books on Amazon.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I read everything David Gaughran writes. He's brilliant and entertaining, and he gets down and dirty with statistics/data before he offers advice.

Unfortunately, Strangers to Superfans falls short of his previous excellent books, and even his blog. The advice is rather general and sadly lacks specific steps to take. The case studies at the end of the book also lack detail and seem to exist as filler. Hopefully, a second edition is written with more detailed advice included.
Stan James
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a good book. It's a short book. You should read it.

The End.

Okay, I should probably elaborate a bit. If you've read David Gaughran's two other books on self-publishing, Let's Get Digital and Amazon Decoded, then Strangers to Superfans will nicely complete the trilogy, and unlike some trilogies, the Shire doesn't get burned to the ground in the process.

Superfans is less nuts and bolts than the other books, discussing some of the intangibles of self-publishing, focusing on the potential pit
Thom Reece
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
David Gaughran writes both superbly researched and documented self help books in the self-publishing genre, along with fiction novels which I am have not read.

I have read a number of his non-fiction self help books, however... and his latest "Strangers To Superfans" is a 'must' read by anyone hoping to make a success out of self publishing and book marketing. He breaks lots of new ground and sets out a formula for success and a totally new way of looking at the book marketing model for self-pub
Vicki Lesage
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A real eye-opener! I've been reading David Gaughran's blog and books for years and always learn something new. I'm a self-published author and also run an indie press, so I'm constantly looking for fresh tips on improving the reader experience as well as book sales. I often feel like I already know the concepts in the tips I come across so it's really hard to find a reliable source for new, useful information.

Well, David Gaughran accomplishes two things with regards to that:
- He offers well-rese
Trish Heinrich
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The new gold standard

For the most part I loved this book. There was some tough love wrapped in the great advice that every author should implement. Focusing on the reader is the must do strategy for all authors, there's so much noise in the world these days that genuine focus and care given toward our readers will set us apart. I appreciated Mr. Gaughran being honest and telling wide authors that it takes time and many "small streams" to get to success. What i didn't like, and what made me a lit
Kristina Svensson
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
David Gaughran’s latest book is a must read for all authors working in English-e-book-reading-Amazon-territory. For print-oriented-countries like Sweden, where we have barely left the permafrost and Mammoth-age, and indies are selling books at physical markets because there is neither Amazon nor BookBub, it is perhaps not as necessary. But the book is still funny and therefore I recommend it to those of my fellow Swedish writers that are interested in the business side of writing.
I am not sure
Tom Sadira
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having become a superfan of Dave's since hearing his interview on Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula podcast (he had me at the beard), I've read both Let's Get Digital and Amazon Decoded. I've always been fascinated with the superfan phenomenon that I've witnessed in others and in myself. Dave lays out all the puzzle pieces and helps us put them together one by one.

Strangers to Superfans was a great third installment in his Holy Trinity of Self-Pubber's Handbooks (and I think it was intended
Tikiri Herath
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. Excellent book from a highly knowledgeable and experienced old dog (I mean this in the most respectful and positive manner possible) of the self publishing world. This book is a MUST read by all writers, regardless of whether you're self published or not. It is chock full of super helpful insights presented in an easy-to-follow manner. It was also funny and engaging with several laugh-out-loud moments that helped me remember the information presented. (Through my reading, I a ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
My usual practice with business books like this is to take the advice that makes sense and leave the rest. Just so all of you know.

Anyway, this is an interesting marketing guide that looks at failure points beyond just the discovery stage of marketing books. That's a fascinating point in and of itself, because a lot of authors (sometimes including yours truly) get bogged down in that phase.

Some of the most useful advice came in the sections on how to better use and grow your mailing list, so I'l
James Jackson
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What you get: a conceptual framework for looking at capturing and keeping readers.
What you don't get: a lot of specific examples and how tos.

For a short book, it's a bit pricey, until I think of the ROI. For the investment of $4.99 plus a couple hours of reading time, I will certainly save many times that in the hours I won't bang my head against the wall because I am worrying about the wrong thing. I'll also save a bunch of promotional dollars I would surely have misspent.

I like those returns a
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David Gaughran was born in Ireland but now lives in a quaint little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn't increased the amount of time he spends outside the house. He writes historical fiction and science fiction under another name, has helped thousands of authors publish their work through his workshops, blog, and writers' books - Let's Get Digital, Strangers to Superfans, BookBub Ads ...more

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