Episode # 05 – Unconventional Marketing and Pricing with Joe Nobody

In Business, Full time writing, Marketing, Pricing by Simon Whistler15 Comments


In this episode I interview Joe Nobody who shares one of the most unusual (but incredibly effective) marketing strategies I have come across to date. We also talk about why he prices his books higher than most other indie authors.

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Joe’s first book (non-fiction)

Joe’s Amazon profile with links to all his books

Author website

Show notes:

TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE! (Click to view, right click to save)

My apologies for the poor audio quality, we could only reach Joe on the phone.

– Joe wrote a guide which evolved into a book. He had no intention of becoming a writing and didn’t even know what Amazon was.

– Thought no one would want a Kindle version of his first non-fiction book but put it out anyway and next thing he knows he is one of the top 100 books in the US.

– Prices all books at $9.99 as that is how he sees the value of the book, is not concerned with the price of other books.

– Spends a lot on editing, beta readers, proofreaders. Very worthwhile.

Marketing Strategy

– Analyses what is popular at the time, for example, soccer or golf.

– Builds this into the character.

– Contacts blogs in the field and sends them promo copies, asks for reviews, promotione etc.

No prereleases, no lining up reviewers.


1. Have a marketing plan before writing the book

2. Round out the book with interesting things (trending)

3. Invest heavily in your book. See it as a business, make sure you have the capital for editors, proofreader, designer. Estimates you should have $1500 you are willing to invest, you might have some left over.


“People say that I am too much business man and not enough artist”

Tip for new writers:

Invest in your book – it is like a business, be prepared to spend on it.


Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 05 – Unconventional Marketing and Pricing with Joe Nobody
  • Nathan Elliott

    Very useful interview. Thanks, Joe and Simon!

    • Hey there Nathan, so glad you enjoyed the show. Thanks for leaving a comment :).

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  • I have always enjoyed Joe’s posts on Kboards as he is so generous in sharing his knowledge with other writers. I must say that I loved this interview.

    I write in a very narrow niche and have always been lost when it comes to promotion. This interview has helped so much. Thank you Joe, and thank you Simon for always having such interesting interviews!

    • Thanks Jeanne, I’m glad you found it so helpful and interesting :).

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  • Fantastic interview Simon and Joe – I found this really interesting from a marketing perspective and will definitely be checking out Joe’s books and his presence online.
    I think the opinions of people who started in 2008 vs 2011 are quite different – the industry is changing so fast 🙂 But recommendations on editors and proof-readers stay the same! I agree on the budget estimate as well.
    Keep on podcasting 🙂
    Thanks, Joanna

    • Hey Joanna, Thanks so much! It’s really great to see a comment from you, your podcast is one of my inspirations :D.

      Something I hear a lot from the authors we have interviewed is “Well this worked for me last year but…” Things change so quickly.

  • Kit Grant

    Hi Simon,

    Discovered the podcast through Joanna. Very interesting case studies. Loving it.

    I was wondering what Joe meant when he said ‘Marketing plan’ the few times an author mentions this they can be wildly different in level of detail, and I’d love to hear some authors discuss what their marketing plan involves.

    I myself started writing a checklist in Excel of the different things to tick off once the book was ready to go for its first edit through till uploading onto all platforms.

    • SimonRSP

      Hi there Kit,

      Great to have you, glad you are enjoying the podcast :).

      I think when Joe says marketing plan he means something pretty different from most authors. His ‘targeted blogging’ is certainly a different way of doing things that clearly works very well for him. I’d really recommend you check out our interview with Darren Wearmouth (episode 7) – he breaks down his launch strategy on a day by day basis.

      Today’s episode (number 9) also talks a lot about marketing, although it’s more of an over arching strategy rather than specifics. Might also be a good one to check out :).

      I’ll bear in mind what you’ve said and will try and get more down into the specifics of marketing with future interviewees.

      Thanks again for listening.


  • disqus_IEdgLGcTVF

    Thanks for suggesting this Simon. I like his approach in promotion because I hate blogging about writing but have tons of interests and have had an adventurous life. This shows another way.
    I would like to know “we” is. I’m only “me” and have to do it all. Also this raising the bar ad far as having spend $1500 is unrealistic for a lot of creative people who often have to choose between hours working a day job and hours spent for art.
    Alyne de Winter

    • SimonRSP

      Hi Alyne,

      You’re welcome, yep $1500 is a decent chunk of money. Well placed ads have worked for many authors I’ve talked to, and I know Darren in episode 7 pulled off an effective launch with about $1000 less than Joe, but spent a huge amount of time thinking about and planning it!

      • disqus_IEdgLGcTVF

        Hmmm…. Well…. I’ll just have to work harder like Darren. 🙂

  • Damian Silvers

    Loved this discussion and great to see a different view on pricing (one clearly not following the herd) and some great marketing ideas (love the non-book subject matter blog approach! Genius.)

    • SimonRSP

      Hey Damian, seems like ages ago that I did this interview, I always wonder where all those back list downloads come from ;). Yeah, Joe is one to do things on his own terms, and has clearly pulled it off remarkably well!