A successful book starts with an effective book marketing plan. In today’s publishing world, a book cannot succeed without defined goals, careful planning, audience identification, and determining target media markets.
If an author just “wings it” and launches a book with no plan, disappointment is a certainty.
Here are five basic tips for developing an effective book marketing strategy.
1. Define Your Goals
By first defining goals, you can reverse engineer and then create your book marketing plan. Since every author and book is different, defining goals will shape a book marketing plan. The marketing plan for someone who sees writing a book as a hobby is very different from someone who plans to use a book and media coverage as marketing tools for their business.
Establish what your goals are:
- To sell books?
- Develop your author brand?
- Use the book as a marketing tool?
- All or some of the above?
Knowing what you want to accomplish by publishing a book impacts how you are going to market it.
2. Know Your Audience
Marketing is really about knowing your audience – readers who should be interested in your book – and determining who they are and what they want and need. Ideally, when writing a book, you should keep these things in mind and shape it accordingly. Although there is always overlap in the audience for every genre, the core target market can be identified.
Like the self-published book marketing plan itself, identifying the audience has several steps and requires serious research. This is why many authors look to support from experts at book marketing services agencies to help them define these steps, create the plan, and execute it.
3. Add Some Marketing Plan Elements
Whether you self-promote or seek professional help, consider the time, money, and energy necessary to promote a book fully. Determine the publishing route (self-publishing, traditional, hybrid) and format (eBook, print, print on demand, or a combination). Whether it is a self publishing marketing plan or a traditional marketing plan, do your research before deciding.
Creating a website is imperative in every book marketing plan. Writing a blog is central to branding and outreach. Not only should you create and keep your blog current, but you should also seek out blogs with similar target audiences and solicit opportunities to guest blog.
Creating platforms on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube can help you communicate with your target audience. You can form relationships that can potentially be turned into book readers and buyers. Remember that you likely don’t want too many social media platforms if you can’t keep them current. Two platforms, based on your book, is typically sufficient.
NOTE: If you can’t keep social media platforms current, it’s better not to have them at all!
Also, podcasts have become very easy to create and distribute. For as little as $50 a month, you can have a quality podcast automatically distributed through outlets such as iTunes and others. Check out www.Spreaker.com as an example of podcast creation platforms.
4. Determine the Best Media Targets
Publicity and book marketing is defined as using the media as a conduit to spread the word about a book to the general public and/or specific target market.
Just like reader audiences, no book is right for every type of media.
Carefully determine the right media targets. When marketing a business book, for example, has clear target outlets – business publications and, more importantly, vertical market outlets that cater to the topic of the book. A book about gardening shouldn’t just be pitched to gardening-related outlets, but also lifestyle, home design, and others.
Determine your media targets, then compile targeted lists.
5. Work Your Plan
Once your book is released, all of these elements should ideally be running on all cylinders.
Creating an effective book marketing plan and then executing it are major commitments, and you’ll need to educate yourself on all of the elements if you go it alone. Working with agencies that provide book marketing services can be highly cost-effective, save time, and prevent the novice from making crucial mistakes. Ultimately, the author must have a high level of commitment as the book’s success will depend on their own level of involvement in each stage of the process.