When you Google the term ‘marketing strategy for authors,’ you will come across many links on how to use social media to promote your book. However, you should know that social media isn’t the be-all and end-all of your book marketing strategy. To get the word out about your book, you’ll need to consider different avenues and a range of factors.
This is where developing a good book marketing strategy will help you, as it not only gives you a plan to work with but also gives you a roadmap to success. You can also use it to rein in the help of marketing experts and other advisors to launch your book in the market. So, let’s look at what to include in your book marketing strategy and how you can use this plan to get your book on the best-seller lists in the market.
1. Book Overview
Your book overview will be a brief summary of what your book is all about. You could include a bit about yourself and why you’ve chosen to write the book as well. Here, you should focus on including information about what you hope to achieve with the book.
For instance, your book could be all about giving advice and inspiration to readers who might be facing a similar situation as yours and allow them to connect with you on an individual level.
2. Strategy Brief
Sometimes called an executive summary, the strategy brief is surprise, surprise, a brief roundup or summary of the key aspects of your book marketing strategy. It gives an overview of what you plan to do to market your book and help it reach the masses.
It also summarizes your target audience, defines your ideal reader, who and where they are, and why they will be interested in your book. You may find it easier to leave writing the strategy brief for last, once you’ve put your entire book marketing plan together.
3. Audiences/Target Market/Readers
Book marketing strategies and their associated campaigns are not about simply putting the information out there and hoping for the best. You need to tailor your activities to speak directly to the people who are most likely to buy your book, and you need to speak to them where they already are.
Identifying your reader is important and a big deal. You want to determine your reader’s demographic profile, including their age, gender, where they live, level of education, average income, and so on. You also need to look at their interests and why they would want to read your book.
When preparing your nonfiction book marketing strategy, you want to identify recommenders in addition to potential readers. Recommenders are people who may have a vested interest in recommending your book to others.
Let’s say your book is a memoir about overcoming addiction. Your potential readers may include addicts, their family and friends, and people who want an inspiring story to read. Your recommenders may include addiction counselors, medical professionals, psychologists, and educators. These are people who may come into contact with your potential readers. Recommenders will read your book and recommend it to others who may benefit from reading it too.
4. Unique Selling Proposition
In marketing language, the unique selling proposition is often abbreviated to USP. It defines what distinguishes your book from others and what makes it a must-read. When describing your USP in your book marketing strategy, there are two main aspects to focus on:
· The Environment
Here we’re talking about the social climate into which you want to release your book. You could look at news stories and statistics that would indicate that now is a good time for your book to hit the market. In our example of a book about addiction, you would look at statistics about how many people struggle with addiction. You would also look at how society and the media treat addiction-related themes such as the opioid crisis or celebrities who have opened up about their own struggles with addiction.
Your competitors are other, similar books on the market. You need to know what these books are about and how they treat the subject. After all, if you don’t know what you’re up against, how would you know what makes your book stand out? Therefore, it’s important to research your competitors.
5. Pricing Strategy
Pricing is an essential part of getting your book to sell. If it’s too expensive, your target market may not buy it. If it’s priced too low, potential readers may think it is an inferior book. The pricing section of your book marketing strategy should include details about how you’re planning to price your book in different markets.
You should also include plans for promotions, discounts, and giveaways. You will get information to inform your pricing strategy when you look at your competitors, specifically what are they selling for? This will tell you what readers in your genre expect to pay.
If you’re new to considering pricing as a strategy, you might want to review, The Price Is Right: 6 Secrets to Pricing Your Ebook.
6. Distribution Strategy
You will need to answer many questions to get your distribution strategy spot on to promote your book. These questions will determine whether your book marketing strategy will be a winner or not and may include the following:
- How will people get hold of your book?
- Will you sell it only as an eBook, or will you have a print version too?
- Where will you sell your book?
- Will you upload only to KDP for Amazon? Or distribute more broadly?
- Will you print hundreds of copies of your book to keep in the trunk of your car, ready to hand out at that conference, book signing, or friendly conversation in the grocery store lineup?
- What are your plans for getting into other markets and other countries where your readers may reside?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you refine your marketing and promotional activities.
7. Book Marketing Materials
Marketing materials are the extras you will use to promote and market your book. They include brochures, business cards, and a website. Extra content is marketing material too. You may want to write a few pieces, which could be anecdotes from the book, opinion pieces related to your book’s subject, and the like that you could distribute to media outlets or post on your website, social media, and blogs. These materials will enhance your visibility as an author. Think through what materials will work best for your book and your reader.
8. Promotions Strategy
Your promotions strategy describes how you will reach new readers. What kind of advertising will you use? Where will you advertise? How can you use events such as conferences or book fairs as a marketing opportunity? When you plan your promotions strategy, you need to consider your budget and your schedule.
Of course, you should include Best Book Monkey book promotions as part of your strategy!
If you don’t have the money or time to travel to events, you will have to focus on other strategies. You also need to consider your personality. If public speaking is your biggest nightmare, you may want to avoid events where you need to give lectures or act as a guest speaker.
9. Online Engagement Strategy
Your online strategy is about both engagements and marketing. Outline your plans for online advertising and promotion. How you will utilize social media is a significant part of this. If you’re looking for some creative ideas for how to approach social media marketing be sure to review our article, How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Book? However, if you never use social media, you may want to focus on other online strategies.
For example, you may want to use keywords and search engine optimization in the online content you create for your website and blogs.
10. Partnerships and Joint Ventures
There are many opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures with people and organizations that could benefit from your book with nonfiction. List everyone you could reach out to as well as ideas on how to partner with them. For example, for a book about addiction, you could team up with an addiction treatment center by taking part in a fundraising event that includes a book signing.
A successful marketing campaign takes time and money. You need to have a good idea of what everything will cost, from creating promotional materials to traveling to book signings. What you can afford will dictate what you can actually in many ways. If one aspect of your marketing plan will cost more than the potential returns, you will need to focus on other, more effective strategies.
Coming up with a winning book marketing strategy may sound like a lot of work to you as an author, but it is something that you will need to tackle to ensure that your book is a success. The time and effort that you spend on the front end early in the process of writing and planning your book will come back to you in spades. You shouldn’t keep marketing as an afterthought, as it can be the difference between a winning book and one that fails to grab attention.