How to Create a Book Marketing Plan

by : Deborah Woehr

A book marketing plan is an outline that will help you determine where and how you will promote your book. It can also serve as an indicator of how well your book may do in the market, once you publish it.

Ideally, you should draw up this plan well before you send your manuscript to a traditional or POD publisher. Today, many publishers require writers to submit a marketing plan along with their queries.

The problem is, many writers have no clue as to how they’re going to market their books. Often, they publish and hope for the best. The information below is a template that will guide you through the process of creating your first book marketing plan.

1. Your Target Audience: Who is going to read your book? Find out what kinds of books are the most popular in your genre and why. What makes your book stand out from the throng of books currently on the market? Have you tested your book’s idea with prospective readers to determine their interest?

2. The Product: What kind of book have you (or are about to) published? Is it a romance novel or a how-to book on underwater basket-weaving? Will it be available in other formats such as an ebook, podcast, CD-Rom, etc.?

At this stage in your marketing plan, you will need to research your competition to find out what the latest marketing trends are and how to use them to your advantage. You’ll also find out how well your competition is doing. Are their books (and derivative versions) selling like hotcakes or are they struggling to make a single sale?

3. The Price: Research your market to find out what readers are willing to pay for your book’s genre. Where are you going to sell it?

4. The Packaging: Decide how you’re going to design your book cover and marketing materials. Consistency and good design are critical. Again, research your competition to see what their materials like.

How does the design and copy measure up? Both play an equally important job in attracting the reader. How are you going to improve on what they did?

5. Promotion and Publicity: How are you going to promote your book? Where are you going to promote it? Take this time to research every available resource both online and off. Write them down or enter them into a database. Creating and keeping a database is the better option because you can set up columns to track your progress.

Once you have gathered all of this information, you are ready to create your book marketing plan. If you are going to submit this plan to a prospective publisher, make sure to follow their guidelines, if necessary. Otherwise, you can type everything into a report and print it out for future reference.