What the hoo-hah is a marketing plan, and where do I buy one???

Lately I’ve been seeing the phrase, “marketing plan”, as in “You need a…”.

Oh?  Thought what I had in mind was pretty good:

1.  Write a book

2.  Get book published

3.  The crowd goes wild, and they are lining up in the streets waiting breathlessly to buy it

4.  Tim Burton wants to option the book for a screenplay and movie

5.  I get to meet Johnny Depp

Sounds like a darn good plan to me…

Oh–that noise in the background?  That’s just my publisher, reading what I just wrote.  I’m sure she’s only kidding.

Well, okay, maybe we need to beef up some of the details between steps 2 and 3.

I came across a few web pages that have helped me to better understand what is meant by “marketing plan”.  Turns out I’ve been doing some of them, so the task now doesn’t seem quite as daunting.  There are other things I’ve considered, and then there are those I’ve yet to try.

Perhaps you might find something that you haven’t done yet either.

I picked up a lot of good information from an article by Standout Books. https://www.standoutbooks.com/13-steps-to-write-a-book-marketingplan/

Short version:

1–Define your audience–who will be buying your book?

2–Where does your audience spend its time online?  Examples include forums, blogs (I found good advice for writing guest blogs – I include that down further), and associations.  Another site, Arche Books, takes that idea to the streets–literally.  It suggests finding clubs, churches, and other organizations that are relevant to your book.  It also suggests attending conventions and contacting media in your genre, such as magazines and the like. http://www.archebooks.com/AuthCor/AP.pdf

Standout Books suggests that you also list key influencers in the area you’re targeting.  Finding some sort of connection that way would be a great boost.  One area that I will have to research more, definitely.

3–Figure out the amount of money you can budget for ads on websites and search engines.  Okay.   For me–zippo.  On to the next one.

No, wait–did you know that you can claim all of this on your (US) income taxes?  Just keep track of everything so that you can prove you spent $150.00 on ads and not on bubble bath.

4–Guest blogging–get your writing seen in venues besides your own circle.  Make your posts relevant to your book–Stand Alone suggests a short story, one which introduces your book’s characters.  (Hey, character interviews would be good too.)

5–Get everyone involved.  Friends, family, co-workers.  I have a handful of people who’ve read my book who would be glad to talk it up with others.  In fact, some of them have done so.  My sales peeps–gotta love ’em.

6–Get reviews–Amazon has pretty much taught us that.  The more, the better.  Street cred in the book world.

7–Get an e-mail list from your website.  There’s something I’ve yet to try. Heck, I don’t even visit my website–haven’t had the time!  But I see this step’s importance.  It’s on my shortlist.

8–Do a book trailer.  I see these a lot, and I guess they affect different people different ways.  Just remember (and someone remind me of this, too):  all media forms are good for business and promotion.

9–Interviews and podcasts

10–Conferences/speaking opportunities  Get a gig at the library.  Sit panels at a convention.  Stuff like that.

Arche Books suggests that you go to conventions and hand out swag to promo your stuff – that is, if you have the permission to do so.

Arche Books also suggests — NOISE!!!!

Tell it out again, and again, and again.  Use bookmarks, postcards, business cards.  Arrange for book signings.  Go visit the independent bookstores.  Take leave-behind intro kits with you, including a poster, a flyer, printed reviews, bookmarks, and business cards with your contact info on them.

Make sure your book has a good cover, is edited, and is as good a product as you can make it.  Physical books should be made of good-quality materials.

Lots of work, but I know most of us are already doing a lot of this.  I liked what was written on the Arche Books site:

“The author who has adopted the attitude of ‘I just want to write stories and cash checks’ is at the mercy of Dumb Luck.”

Luck, meet Savvy.  And let the games begin…


So, dear readers, what do you think?  Have you anything to add to what I have written here?  I could always use more useful tips.

(Oh, and after I diligently researched all of this, I found an outline on Author Marketing 101: www.authormarketing101.com/p/marketingplan.html)  Wraps it all up quite nicely.


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2 Responses to What the hoo-hah is a marketing plan, and where do I buy one???

  1. TLPoague says:

    Great tips. I have worked on a few, but see there are many that still need my attention. Thanks!

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