How to Create a Marketing Plan

You've written and published your book — what's next?
 

Did you know, FastPencil provides every published book with a:

  1. BookBuy Page with unique URL that lists the Book, Pricing, Description and other Metadata, and a Preview of the Book.
  2. BookBuy Widget. This is a Web Graphic (an HTML Coded Web Advertisement) meant to be used on web sites to drive traffic back to your BookBuy Page.

And be sure to flesh out your Author Profile Page. Beef up your bio , link your social media accounts and promote upcoming events.

 
Here are a few ideas to get the word out about your new title:
  • Blast an email out to all of your friends/family/contacts about your book becoming available
  • Start a blog or website and Facebook and Twitter accounts to gain a community following
  • Generate buzz on other blogs/sites and try to get featured on Top Ten Lists or Coming Soon catalogs
  • Create a Sell Sheet and visit your local bookstore and see if they will carry your title (have books in-hand to leave behind!)

You really have to be an educator about your book's availability/release date and toot-your-own-horn on other community pages in order to get coverage. 

Use notable, in-the-news-now events to generate buzz for your topic! 

If you need Twitter or Facebook help, ask your contacts, as you may know someone who can build and manage your community.


Considering how to sell your book in a competitive book market may be more daunting than the actual book writing.* Some authors are overwhelmed by marketing their book and don’t even know where to start. Other authors use every marketing tool available and end up spending too much money because they don’t have a focused plan. This article will help you stay in the middle of those two extremes and give you some marketing basics for your book.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a simple document that records the actions you want to take to achieve your book marketing and sales goals. It will most likely outline who your target audience of readers is, your geographic market for book sales, identify who your competitors are, outline a strategy to attract readers and outline a budget for marketing your book.

No matter when you actually take the time to write down your marketing plan, whether it is before you even start writing or well after your book is published, a marketing plan is a crucial part of your writing career. It is especially important for self-published authors who do not have an agent or publishing house doing any marketing for them. You are solely responsible for the marketing of your self-published book, therefore making a marketing plan that works for you is even more important.

Five Steps to Writing a Marketing Plan

When you start writing your marketing plan there are five specific things you will need to consider:

  1. Identify your target audience. Your target audience is the people who will most likely purchase your book. Some aspects about this group to consider are: age, gender, career, income, geographic location and education level. Knowing these things about your target audience will help you know which of your marketing efforts will be the most effective in reaching them.
  2. Know your competition. The book marketplace is huge and constantly filling up with new books that will compete against yours. In order for you to get your piece of the market you must find out what books are selling the most within your genre, who the experts in your field are, your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, the selling price of other books in your genre and the market demand. 
  3. Reach your target audience. Balboa Press offers many traditional and contemporary options for marketing your book. These options range from a press release to a promotional book video. It is very important you do your research about different marketing options so you spend your marketing dollars where they will have the most impact on your target audience.
  4. Develop a defining statement. If someone asks you what your book is about, what do you say? Do you have a concise statement that sums up what your book is about, but also tells readers how your book is different than others on the market? Work on developing a summary statement you can quickly share with people who ask you about your book.
  5. Set a marketing budget. Consider how much you can realistically spend on marketing in one year, write that number down and then stick to it. Spend time thinking about the type of media you will use, promotional services and other costs associated with marketing. A good rule of thumb when setting a budget is to overestimate costs and underestimate revenue. That way if you actually bring in more revenue than expected it will be a bonus.  

If you are serious about selling your book, do not underestimate the power of a good marketing plan. By developing a plan from the start you will set yourself up for success in the future. 

(*Source article: http://www.balboapress.com/WriterWisdom/BookMarketing/MarketingPlan.aspx) 


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