How to Create a Successful Book Marketing Plan

You, like a lot of writers do who are attempting to become published authors, may think that you write your book first and then work on marketing it.  But that is actually backwards.  The most successful books are written AFTER the book marketing plan is in place.


By having a book marketing plan in place first, authors are able to strategize how to incorporate their books into their overall speaking business.  Think about it.  Would a construction worker begin building a house without first having a blueprint?  Would an entrepreneur attempt to launch a business without first having a business plan?  Absolutely not. And an author should not attempt to publish a book without first having a strategic book marketing plan already in place.


The very first step in forming a strategic book marketing plan is to determine your target audience.  Who will your customer be?  What is the primary gender of these customers?  What age are they?  What income bracket are they in?  These are crucial questions that must be answered.  Your whole marketing plan (and book) revolves around them.


The next step is to ascertain what the target customer wants.  What message do your customers need, or want, to hear?  Then you can cater your book’s message to deliver that value to them.


Next you create the title and subtitle.  With the message of your book in mind, it is vital to write the title, subtitle and back cover copy text before penning one single word of the manuscript.  The title is so critically important because it can make or break the book’s success.


After that, consider your sales platform.  Sales platforms are a critical element of a strategic book marketing plan.  What sales platform do you already have access to?  Are you a member of Rotary International?  Are you an alumnus of a prestigious university?  Are you a member of a large church or temple congregation?  Can you secure any endorsements from prominent people?  Endorsements help immensely in establishing credibility, which in turn helps to boost sales.


Did you know that during the height of his career, Michael Jordon was making more money on endorsements per year than playing in the NBA?  Every retailer that had any sports equipment at all, Gatorade, Warner Brothers, Wheaties, etc. all wanted Michael Jordon endorsing their product.  And it worked.  The public bought into their products like crazy because “everyone wants to be like Mike.”


Another thing to consider is when to release your book.  What time of year is best? Does your subject matter closely correlate with a specific annual cycle typical of collective sociological behavior?  Is your book directly linked to a particular season?  For example, if you have a how-to book on gardening, it wouldn’t make any sense to release it right before winter.  These are all vital questions to answer when creating a strategic book marketing plan.


The book marketing plan’s purpose is to guide manuscript development to best meet the customer’s needs.  From ascertaining the target audience, delivering the message the customer is looking for, and identifying sales platforms, the strategically-sound book marketing plan will meet the customer’s needs and in turn ensure your book’s success.

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