The realities of selling a book are not lost on most authors today, and you understand that it requires careful planning and a lot of preparation. There are no two ways about it; the more work you put in before launching your book, the more chances your book has of succeeding. You could go down the path taken by most authors and simply wait for the launch day, but you don’t want to be left wondering why you didn’t manage to sell the hundreds of copies like you expected.
Writing a good book is the first step in the process because you also need a book that merits the marketing push. If you fail to write a good book and then proceed to market it aggressively, you may find yourself with poor reviews and lackluster sales. Don’t skimp on the details. Find a good group of people who are willing to be beta readers. Hire an editor who has experience in your genre, and find a professional cover designer.
Next, you have to carefully plan the promotions by developing a marketing plan to get the most return against your budget.
A marketing plan creates a good blueprint for launching and promoting your book and gives you greater clarity about your campaign’s direction. The first thing you need to do is ensure you have a good book on your hands, ready to hit the shelves. You don’t want to waste your marketing efforts only to find out that you should have hired a competent editor.
Well before your book is ready for the market, you need to create your book’s marketing plan. It’s an important step in selling your book, one that will benefit you. Many approaches exist to successfully market a book. Below we present a number of critical concepts in building a successful marketing plan.
Define Your Audience
Most authors already have a good idea about who their target audience is and tend to skip this part altogether. However, you shouldn’t make the same mistake. List down your target audience even if you think you know who would want to buy your book because the rest of your marketing plan depends on reaching out to these people and then convincing them to buy your book.
You may have a good idea of who your readers are if you have already published some books. One of the internet’s many advantages is the ability to research your book’s potential readers; 10 years ago, authors couldn’t even have dreamt doing something like this on their own and instantly. Today, you can easily browse Amazon, Facebook, and Goodreads and look at everyone reading your books or books similar to yours in style or genre.
If you aren’t maintaining your own newsletter mailing list, today is the day to start. All successful authors have grown a huge list of readers who are waiting to purchase, review, and discuss their favorite authors’ books. MailChimp, SendInBlue, and MooSend offer free email marketing accounts to help you begin to grow your own email list.
Once you’ve done this, you would have identified a core group of readers who would buy your book. Your book might be written for all audiences, but you still need to identify who would buy them. For instance, if you have written a children’s book, your target audience will be parents and not children.
Knowing your audience will give you two advantages. First, when you write the description of your book on Amazon or any other book site, you’ll be able to reference the specific audience that would be interested in your book. You can include statements like “for fans of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker.” Additionally, as you develop marketing materials, such as ads or images for social media, you’ll be more likely to design collateral appealing to your audience.
Find Out Where Your Audience Spends Time
Identify which blogs your target audience spends the most time on, whether there are any forums they visit frequently and any associations they belong to. Knowing this is key to ensuring you can grab their attention meaningfully. You want to promote your book to them, and the best way to do that is by finding out where your audience spends most of their time on the internet.
Check out the most read blogs in your network, and see if they accept contributors for guest posts. See if they have multiple authors who link back to their websites at the end of the posts.
How Much Money Do You Have to Spend?
It’s no secret that money makes the world go round, and you will need a sizeable budget to promote your book the right way. You will have to spend money to sell your book to readers, and the amount of money you have on hand will determine what you can and can’t do. You should note your budget down in your book marketing plan.
If you’ve got a decent budget, you can even think about running banner ads on websites and search ads that appear with search engine results to give your book launch the boost it needs.
List Topics for Guest Blog Posts
Try coming up with different ideas for guest blog posts that are both relevant to your book and will also attract your target audience’s attention. You want to make these as interesting and valuable as possible since the goal is to promote your book. If you’re writing a fiction book, you can write a short story related to your book’s main theme and introduce some of your characters.
You could come up with ‘how-to’ articles if you’re writing a non-fiction book, which will have the biggest impact on your audience. Some helpful questions you should ask yourself here are:
- What do my book’s readers require?
- How will my book affect their lives?
- How can I help solve their problem?
You will also need to research the blog post’s length and writing style you plan on writing. Don’t lose track of what you’re trying to sell, i.e., your book. Focus your attention on making it your best work.
Draw Up a List of Everyone You Know
You want everyone around you to give you a decent idea of how well your book will do, so don’t leave anyone out. Your goal should be to get your friends and family involved in the process as soon as you can so that you can build momentum. Start compiling a list of everyone you can ask, and think of different ways you can ask them to promote your book.
Emails and private messages on social media make this task a relatively straightforward one for you. Give your messages a personal touch, and don’t send out a mass email to everyone. One thing you can do is send out free eBook copies of your book to them to get the ball rolling.
Plan to Get Reviews and Testimonials
Once again, you will want to list down all the people who will be willing to give you a review, a testimonial, or a quote about your book. You can transform your entire book marketing plan with just one good quote from a person who’s considered an authority in your industry. It will give your marketing campaign a major boost and ensure people take your book seriously.
So, write down the names of all the people who can influence your book’s sales and develop a plan on how best to get your book out to them.
You can also search the internet for book bloggers who might be willing to read your book and write a review for their website. Many of these bloggers will also post their review on Goodreads, Bookbub, Amazon, and other book sites. If you are planning to do a cover reveal, then many of these bloggers may be willing to post your cover on their website and social media.
Interviews Can Make a Huge Difference
Compile a list of media appearances that you can arrange, along with the names of hosts or interviewers that you can approach. You can also list people who do relevant podcasts in your network to attract as much attention as possible from people. Newspapers and local news radio are also good platforms for promoting your book.
Reaching out to these people a little in advance would be best for your book’s marketing efforts. So, in your plan, identify these opportunities and work on how you will convince them to give you their platform for your book’s promotion.
You need to give yourself realistic goals for marketing your book, which means setting a timeline you can work within easily. You don’t want to add anything unrealistic in your book’s marketing plan as that will only give you headaches further down the line. So, that’s all the basics you need to know about when it comes to writing your book’s marketing plan.
Follow all these tips to the letter, and you will be promoting your book in next to no time in the best possible way. A good book marketing plan creates a clear road map for a successful book launch, which is why you should take the time to make one.