Monday, February 21, 2022

Things Authors Can Learn from Winning Marketing Campaigns

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

In November 2022 three authors won the Christian Author’s Marketing Excellence Awards. Let’s find out what they did that worked.

Motivation to Market

Ginny Brent Dent won the gold medal for her promotion of Unleash You God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer. Although this is the book she never wanted to write, she’s passionate about helping people prevent cancer or go through the journey easier. That motivates her to continually promote the book. Motivation keeps a writer focused and helps them persist, and wanting to help your readers is one of the best reasons to market the book. She built her campaign on her persistence to spread the news about the help her book offers. It’s projected that by 2030 100% of people will get cancer of some form.

Her title cover were key tools to grab attention and get medical validation. She needed support from the medical community to provide authority behind the book. Because Dr. Robert Elliott whose name is on some cancer patents came alongside her to write the forward and commentaries on sections of the book, that opened many doors for interviews and endorsements from others in the medical community. Her book helps people enhance their immune systems for more ammunition to prevent and fight cancer.

A great press release and her follow through led to interviews on 38 podcasts including ones in Australia and India, 8 TV appearances including CBN’s Healthy Living Show/700 Club and the Christian Television Network. She also secured 5 newspaper interviews and wrote articles for twenty magazines and 17 blogs. In total, the reach was 62.5 million people in 105 outlets. The book also won four awards.

Building the Audience

Annette O’Hare took the silver medal for her book Puppy Ciao. Annette who has written women’s fiction, switched to middle grade fiction, and focused on building a new audience. This is a long game for her as Puppy Ciao is the first book of a series. To establish herself in that genre she focused on reaching the parents. Her sites, although still modest, all grew exponentially. Her ROI was 10x the amount spent. She also created and used memes on Facebook and Twitter. The first two ads (one was a video ad) reached 7395 people.

The book won a bronze medal in the international Moonbeam Award helped increase the book’s reach as the contest included entries from 8 foreign countries. The contest sent press releases out to all the countries who participated.

It also helps to place the book into several categories on Amazon. Her second book reached the top 220 fairly soon after publication because she worked at connecting to her audience. Building an audience is always a priority, especially when moving into a new genre or for first time authors.

Drip Campaign and Marketing Audits

Jason Karpf won the bronze medal for his first fiction book Brimstone 1. Jason’s experience includes marketing and PR in the professional world (20 years) and ten years of teaching marketing at Christian Universities.

Currently he’s Donor relations director for Salvation Army, Northern Division). He brings his experience to book marketing, gearing up more as covid restrictions lessen. He concentrates on content and live presentations to small groups and churches. He works on growing his list of meeting planners and thus social media he prefers is linked in. 

He designed a drip campaign of developing a relationship to garner speaking engagements with a goal of at least two speaking engagements monthly. He has been hitting his goal. A drip campaign is a plan to give the right people the information they need at the right time. Hopefully the targeted audience will then spread the word about the book.

One aspect of marketing that he teaches and applies himself is a marketing audit to expose the ineffective and obsolete methods to eliminate and pinpoint the effective methods. He reviews promotions done to see what has been effective and ineffective to eliminate what does not work and build mon what works. That creates smarter marketing and more effective use of time.

His book marketing focus has been content marketing with building information readers find valuable; and building relationships with meeting planners. He customizes talks for the audiences, such as one for a church that is mainly people who moved from Africa to a church where he spoke. His talk, “How long for the journey” explores the concept of space time and Jesus. One challenge in Sci-fi is to overcome space and time and God is the architect of the space time continuum.

Being focused and also doing a marketing audit leads to success over time. It helps an author find their marketing sweet spots. Whether a seasoned author, switching genres, or new, we can always learn from the efforts of other authors.


Karen Whiting (WWW.KARENWHITING.COM) is an international speaker, former television host of Puppets on Parade, certified writing and marketing coach, and award-winning author of twenty-seven books for women, children, and families. Her newest book, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table reflects her passion for bread and growing up helping at her grandparent’s restaurant. Check out her newest book Growing a Mother’s Heart: Devotions of Faith, Hope, and Love from Mothers Past, Present, and Future. It's full of heartwarming and teary-eyed stories of moms.

Karen has a heart to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. She has written more than eight hundred articles for more than sixty publications and loves to let creativity splash over the pages of what she writes. She writes for Crosswalk. Connect with Karen on Twitter @KarenHWhiting Pinterest KarenWhiting FB KarenHWhiting


  1. i think that researching new audience type requires authors much time and patience. Besides that, the genre which the author follows and the quality of the books are suitable and improved day by day. The marketing campaign is also focused on more social network that is used by almost people in all ages.

  2. This is such a helpful message! Thank you, Karen (and Edie).

  3. Research and any marketing campaign takes time, but that's what brings success.