Hi, Al Bargen here. We already know the possible pitfalls of not having a book marketing plan. The list is enough to instill fear and terror to the unprepared.
A book marketing plan is a list of things to do prior to the launch of a book. Some authors create a plan even before completing the book, which is actually a very wise decision. Why? Because it enables the author (that’s you!) to drum up interest in the book. It’s like having a book trailer that whets the reader’s appetite. That kind of interest.
Now, it’s time to create a book marketing plan. A plan should include the online strategies as well as external marketing efforts.
Here is a checklist of things to include in your next book marketing plan.
- Define your target audience. Determine your core readership. It’s best to be specific when it comes age range, gender, and other related demographics.
- Follow your target audience. Find out their online hangout and connect with them. Subscribe to the same newsletters/emails that they do.
- Establish social media presence. Get more exposure by targeting top social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn)
- Set a schedule for the marketing up to the book launch (e.g. 3, 6, 12 months). Plan the timing of your launch and promos.
- Set up a website / blog. This is your author headquarters; your main point of contact.
- Set a budget. Self-publishing involves cost so set a reasonable amount that can cover operations and advertising costs.
- Start an e-mail list. Build and maintain an email list. The people in the list are your ready audience. Keep them updated.
- Connect with reviewers and book bloggers. These are the people who can give you constructive criticisms or scathing remarks.
- Create book trailer (visual), podcast / online radio interview (audio). These are additional marketing efforts that can expand your target reach because some readers prefer watching videos and listening to podcasts.
- Network with authors in the same field of interest. Join book clubs and similar groups. You’ll have access to a bigger pool of readers.
- Participate in conferences, book expos, speaking engagements, and book signings. These are your offline marketing efforts to complement the online ones.
- Decide where to sell the book (Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes & Noble). Choose the platform(s) that has a wide reach for your particular audience.
- Advertise (if budget permits). There will come a point that you’ll have to spend for advertising. Choose the platform that has the reputation for delivering results.
While the list by no means is exhaustive, these are in my experience the most critical steps. But feel free to can add or remove items on the list as you move to your next self-publishing. Thanks for reading and please leave any comments or experiences you have had with the above.
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