Your Book Marketing Plan

Your book marketing plan is essential to solid sales. It's your marketing road map. Without a well-crafted plan, your marketing is apt to be hit or miss with little or no focus or rationale. No matter how wonderful your book may be, unless you have a good plan and execute it well, few people will know about your book and your sales will almost certainly be disappointing.

Preparing Your Plan

Here is what you need to do to write your book marketing plan:

Describe the audience for your book.

Identify books similar to yours that are already on the market and note how your book is different and/or better than those other books. Your analysis may reveal aspects of your book that your marketing ought to emphasize.

Establish realistic goals for your book. For example, your goals may be to: Sell X copies in the first year of its publication and use your book to help you develop a higher profile as a writer in your community or nationally.

If you've written a nonfiction book that is related to some aspect of your business, your goals may be for your book to enhance your professional reputation so that you can help grow your business.

Every aspect of your marketing should be planned and implemented to achieve the goals you set for your book.

Every aspect of your marketing should be planned and implemented to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Define your objectives. Objectives are more specific than goals. They are the particular steps you will take to achieve each of your goals. Whenever possible your objectives should be measurable. Examples of measurable objectives include: Do at least XXX print interviews, at least XXX local TV and radio interviews and XXX national radio interviews during the first 6 months after publication; during that same time frame, arrange X book signings and get at least 10 book bloggers to interview you about your book review your book, or promote your book in some other way.

Identify the specific actions you will take to achieve each of your objectives. This is where you get into the nitty gritty details of your plan. Spell out step-by-step exactly what you will do to accomplish each of your objectives.

Define the resources you’ll need to achieve each of your objectives. For example, you may need help figuring out which media to contact and the best way to contact them; you may want to hire someone to develop your website; and you may want a blog tour company to contact book bloggers for you. If you need outside help, get multiple bids so you get the best help for your dollars.

Establish a realistic timetable for taking each of the actions in your plan.

Create a book marketing budget to accomplish everything in your plan. Once you’ve done so, you may realize that you cannot afford to spend that much and so you will need to scale back your plan. However, you can pursue whatever you’ve eliminated as sales allow.

By the way, it’s a good idea to begin preparing your marketing plan before your book has been published. Here’s why:

• Creating your plan will take time and will probably go through a couple drafts

• Once your book has been published, you will want to start marketing it as soon as possible, so you should have a completed plan by then.

Review Your Plan and Revise It As Necessary

Once you've completed your marketing plan, don’t file it away and never look at it again! Review it regularly to remind yourself of what you should be doing so you stay on track and to assess whether you are on making sufficient progress to achieve your goals and objectives. If you are not, figure out what you should do differently, and revise your plan accordingly.

I hope your marketing plan helps you sell lots and lots of books!!

Return to top of page: Your Book Marketing Plan