Who knows your book better than you? That’s why you are the perfect person to market it. You should sit down and write a marketing plan to keep you focused. It will take a lot of concentrated work, probably as much as writing the book, but you know the story and, most importantly, you know the audience. You will want to define:
- Objectives – be specific as to what you want to achieve so that you can measure the plan’s effectiveness
- Target Audience – who are going to be your readers?
- Strategy – how are you going to meet your objectives?
- Tactics – what specific tactics are you going to use to promote your book?
- Timeline – over what period of time are you going to implement your tactics?
- Budget – how much are you going to spend promoting your book?
As you build your marketing plan, you should consider some of the following:
Marketing Plan Tip #1: Build a Web Presence
Developing an author website is essential to reaching readers, as well as a blog that is updated frequently, and profiles that are active on social media sites. Make sure that you have a .com address to help gain search traffic. You site should be easy to navigate so that readers can learn about your book and buy it.
Focus on building organic search traffic by using long-tail keywords. These types of words will be effective at bringing quality prospects to your site who are interested in your book topic, genre, or theme based on the word choice you use throughout your site. Your keywords should be as specific as possible. For example, “romantic novel” is pretty common, but “romantic novel set in the 1930s during the Great Depression” is much more specific. You’re a writer, get creative.
Marketing Plan Tip #2: Find Your Audience and Where They Hang Out
Your audience isn’t everyone, you need to define a specific group of people who are most likely to read your book. Is your book more appealing to men or women? Are they younger or older? What things do they have in common? Where do they go to get their information? What media outlets do they consume?
Once you better understand who your audience is, your marketing plan should specify how to get them, because they are not going to automatically come to you. Participate in guest blogs, podcasts, and social media platforms. Identify who the influencers are and follow them. Building strong relationship with influencers should be a top priority. You should pitch these audience sources as to why they should feature you to their audience. What are the key benefits to them and their audience?
Social media can be extremely time consuming, so focus on a few platforms to build and spread your author name and attract followers. All of your platforms should include a sign up for the author’s mailing list. Determine an amount of time to dedicate to social media every day to making new friends and extend your reach, but limit that time so it doesn’t get in the way of your ongoing writing.
Marketing Plan Tip #3: Build That Mailing List
As you participate in these various platforms, make sure you develop a mailing list by collecting their names, email addresses, and social media profiles. It may be wise to use a service to build your list and track its performance, such as MailChimp, aWeber, iContact, or Constant Contact.
Develop a contact calendar of emails to send to your list about a new blog post, a live event, and to promote early book sales. You should also try to segment your lists based on various criteria, such as geography or interests, so that you can send relevant communication. Be judicious about how many emails you send, because becoming a source of irritation will only defeat your purpose.
Marketing Plan Tip #4: Invest in Some Promotion and Advertising
You don’t want to go crazy and spend thousands of dollars, but it may be worth spending some money to get your book out there. There are many free and paid book promotion sites that will give you exposure on their website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
You may also want to consider Facebook ads when launching your book to attract Likes to your Author Page. This is a good way to increase your exposure and credibility and to begin attracting organic Likes. The key is to develop an audience so that on your launch day, you can sell enough copies to get your book to the top of Amazon.
Marketing Plan Tip #5: Speaking of Amazon
Amazon is the number one place for readers to find books, so your marketing plan should detail how to market your book on Amazon.
When setting up your book through their KDP interface, you’ll establish your Metadata, which is just data about your book. Make sure your book description is a least 100 words and includes genre specific words that people will be search for.
Reviews are important to selling your book, because some readers will ignore books that don’t have reviews. It’s not easy to get the reviews, but think about creative ways to obtain them. One idea may be to run a giveaway promotion and ask the winners to write a review.
On the day you launch your book, you should consider using a “stacking” marketing plan, where you implement these various tactics all at once to drive books sales and reviews.