Developing your book marketing plan

thRosemary Hutchison talked to the Gettysburg Writers Brigade about the book marketing plans she has put together for her husband, Will. The one thing I noted about her talk is that she said a marketing plan forces an author to focus the book and study it in an almost scientific way. An author putting together a marketing plan takes off his or her creative hat and begins looking at the book in an analytical, business way.

Roesemary begins her plans with an Executive Summary. This is the author’s first chance to catch a publisher’s attention. This paragraph should not only tell what the book is about, but it should also describe why the book is unique and why a reader would want to buy it.

As part of the Executive Summary, you should include the top three selling points or unique features that should be used when discussing the book. These are the how and why points of why the book will sell and what will help the reader decide to read further.

Next, what are your Goals in writing the book. Why did you write the book?

Then come the Objectives. You want to establish yourself as an authority on the topic of your book. You want to prove your book is sustainable and you’re in it for the long haul. What are the Keys to Success in reaching your objectives? Show that you understand what it takes to put a book before the public.

Now, you begin looking at the Marketing and Promotion Campaign Summary. First, you identify the challenges that your book will face on the market and how you will meet them. Include a paragraph About the Author. This will include a paragraph about your experience and what makes you the person to write the book. If you have prior publications, list them in a list of Other Books or Publications.

The next section of the marketing plan is Competitive Comparisons. Research the books that are the closest to the book you want to write. Who wrote them and how is your book going to be different from them. This will show that you have started to do some research to discover how to make your book stand out.

Now begin your Market Analysis. Who are the people that will want to read the book? Why will those target readers love the book? How do those unique things about your book appeal to potential readers?

Start listing where you can find those readers. Where do they live? Who are the Target Audiences? What do they do? How old are they? What is their education level, their hobbies, their age, etc.? This is your Target Reader Profile.

Up to this point, you’ve been showing your understanding of the book and who you are trying to reach. Now you start laying out the Actionable Items to reach that audience. How are you going to find these readers? Besides what you will do to reach them, list organizations, societies, and groups along with contact information. This section can be developed into a checklist that you can refer to keep your marketing efforts on track.

Marketing your book is going to be hard work, but the end result is worth it as you start to see your sales and exposure increase.

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