If you're an author, then you know how important it is to have a winning book marketing plan. Without one, your book will likely not sell as well as you'd like it to. You've probably looked around in search of a free book marketing plan template, but they don't quite meet the mark!
In this blog post, we will discuss 12 tips that will help you create a successful marketing plan for your book. By following these tips, you'll be able to reach more readers and sell more copies of your book!
- 1. Set Goals
- 2. Create A Stronger Message
- 3. Develop A Marketing Budget
- 4. Choosing Your Target Market
- 5. Create A Marketing Timeline
- 6. Marketing Materials
- 7. Planning Book Tours & Events
- 8. Include Beta Readers
- 9. Plan For Your Social Media Campaign
- 10. List Some Similar Books to Your Own
- 11. Book Price
- 12. Release Date
1. Set Goals
The first step to creating a winning book marketing plan is setting goals. Without them, it will be difficult to know what you are working towards and if your efforts are worth the time invested in them.
When setting goals, it's important to be realistic. Don't aim to sell 10,000 copies of your book in the first month if you only have a small following.
However, you should always aim to improve on your previous efforts.
Some good book marketing goals include:
- Increasing sales by a certain percentage each month/year
- Getting your book featured in a major publication
- Increasing the number of reviews for your book
- Reaching a certain number of pageviews on your website/blog
- Growing your social media following by a certain amount each month/year
By setting goals, you'll have a better idea of what needs to be done in order to reach them. You can then create a plan of action that will help you achieve your desired results.
If you're not sure where to start, we suggest setting some goals for yourself and then brainstorming ways to achieve them.
Some other things to keep in mind when setting goals:
- Make sure they are achievable and realistic
- Set a timeframe for each goal
- Have a plan of action for each goal
- Track your progress and adjust your goals as needed
2. Create A Stronger Message
Next, you need to work on crafting a stronger message for your book. What aspects of your story are most important, and how can you get that message across to potential readers?
It's important to have a strong message that you can convey to potential readers. What makes your story unique and why should they care?
You need to be able to answer this question in a clear and concise way. If you can't, then you'll likely have a difficult time getting people interested in your book.
Your message should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should also be something that you can easily talk about in a conversation or in a social media post.
Some tips for creating a strong message:
- Keep it simple
- Highlight what makes your story unique
- Make it interesting and easy to understand
- Focus on the most important aspects of your story
If you're not sure where to start, we suggest brainstorming a few different messages for your book and then testing them out. See which one resonates most with potential readers and use that as your main message.
Your message is a critical part of your book marketing plan and should not be overlooked (nor overcooked).
3. Develop A Marketing Budget
Once you know what your goals are and have a strong message, you need to develop a marketing budget. How much can you realistically afford to spend on marketing and still make a profit?
When creating a book marketing budget, you'll want to take into account your goals for the campaign, as well as how much money you can realistically afford to spend. Be realistic in what you can achieve with your budget - if you're only able to allocate $100 towards marketing, don't expect to see a huge boost in sales.
Try to break down your costs as much as possible so that you have a clear idea of where your money is going.
For example, if you're planning to run a social media campaign, consider how much it will cost to boosted posts or ads. If you're doing print advertising, factor in the cost of design, printing, and mailing.
Once you have a good understanding of your costs, you can start to develop a budget that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Don't forget to factor in the cost of any prizes or giveaways you'll be doing as part of your marketing campaign. Giving away free books is a great way to generate buzz and excitement, but it's important to make sure you have planned and thought out the end game.
4. Choosing Your Target Market
Of course, this is something that should have been done long before you ever wrote your book. But if you haven't given much thought to your marketing angle, now is the time to do it.
Your target market is the group of people most likely to buy and read your book. When choosing your target market, consider things like age, gender, location, interests, and even occupation.
For example, if you've written a business book, your initial target market might be entrepreneurs or small business owners - but maybe you could niche down even further?
Once you've narrowed down your target market, you can start to think about the best ways to reach them. Where do they hang out online? What type of media do they consume? What kind of language do they use?
Answering these questions will help you to develop a marketing strategy that is tailored to your target market. And that, in turn, will help you to achieve your book marketing goals.
5. Create A Marketing Timeline
Once you've got your goals, message, budget, and target market sorted out, it's time to start putting together a marketing timeline.
A marketing timeline is a critical part of your book marketing plan - it will help you to stay organized and on track throughout the campaign.
Start by creating a list of all the marketing activities you want to do. Then, break those down into smaller tasks and assign deadlines to each one.
Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to complete each task - you don't want to be scrambling at the last minute to get everything done.
And, try to build in some flexibility into your timeline as well - things always come up and things don't always go as planned. By building in some extra time, you'll be able to handle the inevitable hiccups that come with any marketing campaign.
6. Marketing Materials
Your marketing materials should be aligned with your overall message and branding. They should also be tailored to your target market - remember, you want to speak their language.
Some of the marketing materials you may want to develop include:
- an elevator pitch
- a one-page overview of your book
- a press kit
- website and social media content
You can also get creative with your marketing materials. If you're targeting corporate clients, for example, you might want to develop a white paper that outlines how your book can help them achieve their business goals.
If you're not sure where to start, there are a number of templates and resources available online that can help you develop your marketing materials. Just do a quick search and you'll find plenty of options.
A website or blog for your book is always a good idea. Not only does it give you a place to sell your book, but it's also a great platform for sharing information about your book and connecting with potential readers.
If you don't have the time or resources to develop a website or blog from scratch, there are plenty of Fiverr gigs from freelancers offering up this service at an affordable rate.
Reach out to on and let them know your vision - it could even just be a landing page for email capture; they will handle it.
7. Planning Book Tours & Events
Planning and executing a successful book tour can be a daunting task. There are a lot of moving parts, and it's easy to get overwhelmed.
The key to success is to start small and plan well in advance. If you're just getting started, focus on planning events in your local area. As you get more comfortable with the process, you can start planning events in other cities and even other countries.
When it comes to book tours, less is more. You don't want to try to do too much and end up spreading yourself too thin. It's better to focus on a few key events and make sure they're successful than to try to plan a huge tour and end up canceling half of your events.
Some tips for planning book tours and events:
- Start small and focus on your local area first
- Plan well in advance
- Keep it simple - less is more
- Focus on quality over quantity
8. Include Beta Readers
Beta readers are an invaluable part of the book marketing process. They can provide you with valuable feedback about your book - feedback that can help you make necessary changes before it goes to print.
Including beta readers in your marketing plan will also help to create a buzz around your book. As they read and provide feedback, word will start to spread about your upcoming release.
If you don't already have a group of beta readers lined up, the following posts will help get you clued up on the process.
- Do Beta Readers Get Paid?: Common Practices And What To Expect
- 20 Questions For Beta Readers: What All Authors Should Be Asking!
9. Plan For Your Social Media Campaign
I have included social media briefly in 'marketing materials; however, social media marketing is its own beast that needs to be properly planned and resourced in order to make the most impact.
Your social media campaign should be an extension of your overall marketing plan. It should be aligned with your branding, messaging, and target market.
You can try to include your beta readers, influencers, and all of your overall marketing and branding efforts in your social media campaign to make it more successful.
Look at using the following platforms to promote your book:
10. List Some Similar Books to Your Own
You can't have a book launch marketing plan without market research! Make this a list at least 5 items long. Try to find books in the same genre, style, or with a similar target audience.
Try to find books that have been published within the last few years so that you can get an idea of what's currently popular in your genre.
Once you have your list, take a look at each book's marketing materials and try to identify any patterns. Are there certain elements that all of the successful books seem to have? Make a note of these so you can form book marketing ideas from them for your own marketing plan.
Have any achieved bestseller status? If so, what do you think contributed to their success? Can it be replicated?
11. Book Price
The price of your book will have a big impact on its success. If you price it too high, people may be hesitant to buy it. But if you price it too low, people may not take it seriously.
It's important to find a balance that works for you and your target market. In general, looking at your competitors' prices can give you a good idea of what's appropriate for your book.
Remember, you can always change the price of your book later if it's not selling well at the current price point.
12. Release Date
Your release date is one of the most important aspects of your marketing plan. It's the date that everything leads up to - all of your marketing efforts, all of your hard work - it all comes down to this one day.
When choosing a release date, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, choose a date that makes sense for your book.
If it's a seasonal book, you'll want to release it closer to the season it's based on. Second, make sure you give yourself enough time to properly market your book. You don't want to choose a date that's too close to your publication date, as this will leave you little time to market effectively.
And lastly, try to avoid choosing a date that coincides with other big releases. If you can help it, you don't want to get lost in the shuffle.