Whether you’ve self-published your book or you’re working with a traditional publisher, you’re going to need to think about how to market your book. Even if a traditional publisher is marketing your book for you, there’s still a lot you can do as the author to maximize those promotional efforts.
Here are four simple steps for creating your book marketing plan:
- Document your starting point
If you already have social media accounts, jot down how many followers you have in each of them. If you have an email list, document the number of subscribers you have. Also, list the number of book reviews you’ve received so far. You can refer back to these numbers at any time to view the results of your efforts and see how your online community has grown.
- Define your audience
This may seem really obvious but authors often get so caught up in just getting their message out there that they forget to focus in on the people they really should be considering (the ones who would want to read the book!). Defining your audience and keeping that audience in mind with everything you do will help you maximize your time and get the most return on your efforts. For example, if you only have an hour a day to focus on the marketing of your book, don’t spread that time out among five different social media platforms. If your audience is mostly on one or two platforms, you should be spending more of your time on those specific platforms.
- Clarify your goals
If your goal is to sell a million copies of your book, that’s great, but let’s start where you’re at. What are the things you want to accomplish for your book in the next month, six months, year, etc.? What are those really practical small steps you can take to get you closer to your overall sales goal? For example, if your only book reviews so far are from your friends or family members, you may want to set a goal of getting at least 25 book reviews. Book reviews are important because they help potential readers decide whether or not to buy your book.
This is my favorite part. Every book is different and every author has different goals/interests. Whenever I create a new marketing plan, I like to review a number of different lists to get fresh new ideas for the current book I’m working with. I create a custom list of all of the ideas that I can come up with that are appropriate for the book, good for the target audience, and will help the author accomplish their specific goals. The more ideas at this point, the better. You can always come back and adjust the list as you determine what’s working well for your book and what isn’t.
Here are a few book marketing idea lists to get you started:
- 50 Free Book Marketing Ideas for Writers & Authors by @thinkwritten
- 35 Creative Book Marketing Ideas from Publishing Pros by @fitsmallbiz
- 50 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Promote Your Book by Author Unlimited
- 119 Book Marketing Ideas by @BookBub
- 89+ Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life by @AuthorMedia
That’s it! Once you have your marketing plan drafted, it’s time to dive in. Add items to your calendar or your to-do list, delegate what you can to a virtual assistant, or hire a book marketing specialist to help you implement the ideas you’ve come up with.