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How to Create a Book Marketing Plan

Writing a good book today isn’t enough to get your exposure as an author. You also need to know how to create a book marketing plan. Books just don’t sell by themselves. You must promote them.

Here is the information you’ll want to put into your marketing plan so that you can be effective with your outreach efforts.

#1. Start with a defined audience.

You need to know who will be interested in your book. “Everyone” doesn’t count. There must be a specifically defined demographic that your book targets. “Men under the age of 45 who work part-time as writers” is a specific demographic. By identifying who these people are, you’ll be able to bring your book to them.

#2. Locate your prospective readers.

Different people hang out in different places in the real world and online. It is up to you to find which blogs are attracting your target audience. What bookstores, coffee shops, or other community locations are interesting to your prospective readers. Then that’s where you need to be.

Join forums that are associated with your defined audience. Comment on blogs. Hang posters of your book at the local coffee shop.

#3. Find your cash.

Your marketing budget must also be considered as part of your overall plan. What you can do with $10,000 is a lot different than what you can do with $1,000. Remember to verify that your defined audience will be able to see your paid marketing efforts so that you’re not wasting your cash.

#4. Write some good guest blog posts.

Many blogs offer the opportunity to write a guest post in exchange for a link. You can use this opportunity to send the readers of your guest post toward your book site. Make sure the blog is within your book topic and follow the blog’s expectations for content to get the best possible results. Remember: the goal of this step is to create relevant content. This will make your book seem relevant.

#5. Get your family and friends involved.

When more people are promoting your book, then you can reach out to a greater audience. Just make sure that the people helping you will be ambassadors instead of detractors. You don’t want someone talking trash about your book behind your back.

#6. Start developing a network for reviews.

As you are reaching out to your defined audience, you’ll notice that there will be 3 general reactions to your book: love it, it’s fine, or it’s terrible. Come back to the folks who loved your book and ask them for a sentence or two about why they do. Then you can use those reviews to further market your book. You’ll want these in case those who think the book was terrible begin to leave public negative reviews.

#7. Create a book trailer.

Thanks to modern video editing software, it has become really easy to produce a book trailer. It’s a lot like a movie trailer, except it covers some of the highlights within your story. The results need to look professional in order for you to get results. If you have a camera which records in HD and aren’t half-bad at video editing, you can do this on a shoe-string budget.

#8. Get interviews.

In the past, authors had to hope for TV, radio, or newspaper interviews to gain some additional marketing exposure for their book. Today they are podcasts, internet-only publications, and other alternative media options that can help you reach out to your defined audience.

It’s also important to make sure you don’t just focus on alternative media. Traditional media still works. A radio or local TV interview can boost local sales rather effectively. Your marketing plan should include the contact details you’ll need to reach out to these media sources so you can attempt to secure some time.

#9. Know your times.

Newspapers might not review your book for up to 10 weeks. You might be asked for 4-6 weeks of lead time for a guest blog post. By making sure you know your times, you’ll be able to meet deadlines and get your defined audience excited about your book when it is ready for sale.

The final step of knowing how to create a book marketing plan is to set realistic goals for yourself. If you are an unknown author who just self-published a book, selling 1 million copies in 3 months is not likely to happen. Now you might sell 10,000. Or maybe 5,000. Unrealistic goals create feelings of failure, which has led many authors to just give up on their book.

Don’t give up. Follow these steps and you’ll have a marketing plan that can reach out to your defined audience quite effectively.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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