Book Marketing Question of the Week: Do I Need A Marketing Plan?

In a word, yes! Let me elaborate.
You’ve sweated over the manuscript, found affordable editing and proofreading services, and located a book designer who came up with some really cool cover art and now you have a self‑published book with your name on the cover.  Without marketing how will readers know of your book? Both you and your book deserve the most productive launch possible.
It takes ongoing and systematic marketing & promotion to become commercially successful and that’s where the marketing plan comes in. Start your strategy before your book is actually published. Fortunately, writers are known to be out-of-the-box thinkers which is a good thing because it’s time to get creative again. Use your talents to create interest in your book.
Your first step should be to set up a marketing plan (you’ll need one whether you decide on traditional or web‑based events). Don’t let the words marketing plan put you off. Your plan doesn’t need to be in a certain format or even be formal. Just get your thoughts and line of attack organized.
Example Of Points You Might Want To Include In A Book Marketing Plan (Strategy):
  • Goals – explain why you wrote this book, what are your sales goals
  • Book Description – book synopsis, format, page count, ISBN, etc.
  • Features and Benefits – define what the book covers and how it benefits readers
  • Target Audiences – You’ll want to cultivate a specific market and define the niche markets; describe the interested readers in both the primary and secondary audiences; their characteristics, wants and needs; where to reach them
  • Possible Sales Channels – distributors, wholesalers, retail bookstores, online bookstores, direct sales, bulk sales, other channels
  • Finance – pricing, re-seller discounts (includes affiliates), payment methods, order processing
  • List of one or two word tags you would use to describe your book? Example: mystery, fiction, fantasy, mother’s love, dystopia, New York, mental illness,
  • Calendar (diary, journal) of events and planned promotions
  • Methods you’ll use to reach your targeted readers, for example, press releases, radio interviews, blog tours, reviews

Marketing plans cannot be ‘one size fits all’. Each one should be customized to the individual and the book. Be creative when it comes to your marketing methods and tools; thoughts and ideas pop up all the time. Listen to that niggling little voice in the back of your mind and share with the rest of us.
For Example: Imagine someone logs onto eBay with no particular goal in mind, they’re there to browse and since one of their interests is motorcycles they decide to see what they can find for the cross-country trip they’ve been dreaming about. So there they are scrolling through the motorcycle accessories and they stumble across your book entitled Mexico on a Motorcycle: Riding Out The Recession’. Hey, something they have to have!

I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

The Key to Successful Marketing is Promotion!

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