On baby blankets and book marketing plans
When you publish your book, you welcome it like the treasure it is. You cradle the new baby, maybe send out announcements about its arrival. You may plan a party to officially launch your marketing campaign.
But what comes next? Do you know? Do you have a plan?
Starting a marketing campaign without a plan is like trying to monogram a baby blanket before you know the child’s name. It doesn’t make sense because it defies logical order.
Never fear if you don’t yet have a plan – many new authors find themselves in this position. But, if you intend to sell books to anyone besides your mom and your best friend, you’re going to need to make a plan – PRONTO!
The challenge is that there’s no one-size-fits-all book marketing plan – and anyone who tells you there is, is more than likely trying to con you … into buying their program, hiring them to help you out, listing with their service, etc. The reason is that pretty much every book is different – so in order to sell yours, you need to know who your readers are and how to get in touch with them.
BUT … there’s one other thing you need to know: YOUR END GOAL. What do you want to achieve with your book? The answer to this question will determine where you start and how you pursue those readers, now that you know who they are. You really can’t develop a book marketing plan until you know why you’re marketing your book.
QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ANSWER
- What’s your genre – beyond just fiction/nonfiction?
- Who is your primary audience? Be as specific as you can.
- What do you want your book to do for your readers? Entertain them, inform them, challenge them?
- What do you want your readers to do after they’ve finished reading your book? The answer to this could run the gamut…
- Write you a review on Goodreads.
- Visit your website to sign up for your coaching program.
- Buy your next book.
- Book you to speak at their company’s annual meeting.
- Recommend your book to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
- Call you to schedule a personal consultation.
- Choose your book for their book club and invite you to attend via Skype.
- Where/how will you connect with your audience?
Once you know what you want your book to do for you – as much as you know what you want it to do for your readers – you can begin crafting your marketing plan. But not a second before that. Why? Well, if your ultimate goal is to create a membership site that brings your readers together in a supportive community, it probably isn’t in your best interest to spend a whole lot of time, energy, and money booking in-person signings. But wait – couldn’t live events help me meet that goal? Sure – but on a much smaller scale than focusing on an effective website that converts visitors into subscribers.
What do you want your book to do for your readers – and what action do you want your readers to take once they are finished reading it?
The answers to these questions will lead you to the natural next step in building your book marketing plan.
Here’s to the research that will lead you to the perfect plan!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.
(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)