How to Begin Your Book Marketing Plan

I know you have a great idea for a book, or possibly you’ve already written the manuscript. Now, you’re wondering whether to do a print book, an ebook, or both. You want to decide whether to go with a traditional publisher or self-publish. And you want someone to give you a simple answer of which steps to take.

Here’s my advice. Begin with your audience. Who exactly are you trying to reach with your material; what ages, income level, professional associations, and interests best describe your target market? The more you can hone in on the your perfect reader the more likely you will answer your own questions. If you want to reach 20 somethings with young children you will make different choices than targeting upscale, business professionals in their 50s. Where do people go to find information? Are they following the latest trends on REDDIT or looking in the NY Times Review of Books? Very different markets with different approaches.

Decide how much you are willing to travel and speak to promote your book. If you are terminally shy in front of people but great at sending out press releases, this is another part of building your marketing strategy.

Don’t let this work scare you away. Have some fun imagining people finding out about your book. Envision them reading it, talking about it, sharing it. Not only does your vision help you make decisions about which format or formats to use, it adds energy to the actual creation.

Here are a few marketing questions to answer as you ponder the creation and sales of your book.

  1. What is the perfect description of your book?
  2. Who is your perfect customer?
  3. Where does your perfect customer get their information?
  4. What other books are there in your area of expertise or what other genre writers are similar to your style?
  5. How great is the competition for audience in your area?
  6. What are your personal marketing strengths? Great copy, good presenter, excellent researcher, tireless promoter. What do you do well?
  7. Do you have a personal network of friends or business associates that can help you market your book? Do you belong to a professional organization that can lend support?

Be inventive and have some fun with it. Learn to enjoy all the parts of creating a wonderful, successful book..