4 Simple Steps for Creating a Book Marketing Plan

4 Simple Steps for Creating a Book Marketing Plan

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 need to do as the author to maximize those promotional efforts.

Creating a book marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow the four steps below.

Here are four simple steps for creating your book marketing plan:

1. Document your starting point

If you already have social media accounts, jot down how many followers you have in each of them (or simply the ones you want to focus on). If you have an email list, document the number of subscribers you have. If you have a podcast, document the number of downloads 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Brainstorm!

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:

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.

Be realistic about what you have time to do. If you overcommit yourself, you’re likely to let things slide because you don’t have time to do it. That will then lead to you getting frustrated, giving up, and believing that “nothing” works.

The most important thing is that you are consistent in your efforts, so focus on where you think you’ll have the most opportunity to reach your potential readers and what you enjoy most. Then commit to yourself to do what you say you’re going to do, and do it!

I’d love to follow you in your book marketing journey! Connect with me on social media and give me a shout out so I can follow you back!

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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