If you wanna sell a crap load of books - and if you're an author, of course you do! - then ya gotta have a book marketing plan. But what does a book marketing plan actually entail? And where should you devote most of your resources to get the most book marketing bang for your buck.
Here are 12 tips to creating a book marketing plan that helps build your brand - and sell a ton of books:
Item #1: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Make Sure You Have a Great Book
First thing’s first, before you think about raking in cash, make sure your product is good. Is your book the best it can be? Is it worth having another editor-friend take a look? Make sure it's high-quality work before you even get started with the marketing plan.
Item #2: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Figure Out How Much You're Willing to Spend
Know what your marketing budget is so you know what you have to work with. Prioritize the items that will get you the most bang for your buck. If your budget is small, don't overspend on your website and remember social media is free!
Item #3: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Determine Who Your Audience Is
Who will be avid fans of your book? If your book is already available, check to see who leaves goodreads.com reviews or who mentions it in social media. The themes and characters will pertain to which demographic? You need to know who to gear your marketing to. Once you've determined who your audience is, you need to determine where they lurk online. Are there certain blogs who share the same audience that you could interact with and get eyes on your book?
Item #4: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Write Guest Blogs!
Come up with some really specific and interesting ideas for blogs that you could write up and ask other popular blogs if you could guest blog for them. Maybe it's a story using your characters, or information on the history you reference in your book. If their readers are intrigued by your topic or writing-style, they'll want to check out your book.
Item #5: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Gather Emails
Hopefully you already have a website that's gathering email addresses, but if not, now's the time to start. Compile a list and come up with regular newsletters or email blasts to send out to your followers. Unless you're paying a web designer to design the email, this is a cheap and easy way to reach your audience.
Item #6: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Seek Out Review-Writers
Do you know any avid-readers or expert-writers who would be willing to write reviews for you? These can be on sites like Amazon or Goodreads or they can be posted directly to your site. Positive reviews are what potential readers will look for when determining whether or not to commit to your book so try to rack up as many as you can.
Item #7: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Get Creative! Consider a Book Trailer
If you've got some extra cash saved away for marketing, consider getting really creative and making a book trailer. There are ways to keep the production costs down and a video capturing the feel of your book that could be posted to YouTube (and potentially go viral) could be an immeasurable way to market your book.
Item #8: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Make Sure Your Price is Right
Do some market research to determine what the best price is for your book. Should you offer occasional sales and promotions? Free copies? See what other similarly-themed books of similar length are going for and adjust your price accordingly.
Item #9: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Think of Everyone You Know
Description: Come up with a list of the family and friends who you know will be able to help you. Maybe it's as simple as them retweeting a link or sharing a post on Facebook, or maybe they have connections you can use to your advantage. In the early stages, this is a great way to get the ball moving on your book marketing. Take advantage of every opportunity, but be nice about it! Personal calls requesting help and a free book go a long way!
Item #10: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Where will you sell?
Decide where you will sell your books. Are you planning to keep them solely on Amazon where you'll only get a percentage or is your website equipped to sell the books as well? Where will you ship from? Are you going to reach out to bookstores too? Consider the costs and limitations of each distribution channel and adjust accordingly.
Item #11: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Gauge the Competition
Description: The best way to learn is to learn from your peers. Study your competition. Go to successful self-published author's websites. What are they doing that you should try? How often do they write blog posts? How active are they on social media? Do they run any campaigns? Who do they network with? Take a look at what they're doing and mimic them as best you can.
Item #12: Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Checklist: Let Social Media be Your Best Friend
Fortunately, we live in the age of social media. Never has it been easier to get your voice heard and your audience is always connected. Take advantage of social media. Post regularly. Schedule a variety of posts that will help you gain followers, fans, and clicks, and interact with your peers and your audience as often as possible.