Develop a marketing plan to increase sales

Marketing your book can become a full-time job that yields few immediate results. This cuts into your limited writing time – and you still need to work, raise your family, and maybe even attend school. The best solution is to develop a marketing plan and then limit your work on it to a few minutes a day.

A marketing plan gives your efforts focus, allowing you to maximize results for your efforts. It’s about determining the best ways to reach readers and enacting strategies to do so.

Your marketing plan should include the following elements:
• Objectives – An author always has two goals: a) to create buzz about book; and b) to turn this awareness into an engaged audience that purchases your book. Especially if writing nonfiction, you may have a third goal: to build your name as an expert on your book’s topic.
• Target audience – Next, determine who specifically is most likely to read your book. This should at least include gender and age but depending on your book’s topic might include education levels or even careers.
• Target media list – Once you’ve identified your target audience, learn which media it usually utilizes, especially to find out information about your topic. Such media might include blogs, podcasts, print publications like newspapers and magazines, radio, and television.
• PR tactics – These are specific public relations actions you’ll take to gain coverage from your target media list. For example, you might send a press release announcing your book’s release to everyone on your target media list.
• Marketing Tactics – You’ll also want to list specific marketing actions you’ll take to directly promote your book to the target audience. Among them might be offering a book giveaway on Goodreads or writing an informative article related to your book’s topic for an outlet on your target media list.
• Social media campaign – This is a list of specific social media actions you’ll take to reach your target audience. These will include creating accounts on social media your target audience uses, making posts on those accounts, and including hashtags popular with your target audience on those social media platforms.
• Op-Ed – You also can list any specific opinion/editorial page actions you’ll take, such as writing a guest column related to your book’s topic, for a newspaper, magazine or blog. This is particularly useful for authors of nonfiction book aiming to change people’s perspectives.
• Advertising – Determine if there are any places you can purchase ads that would effectively reach your target audience. This might be on or in a magazine that caters to your target audience.
• Events – You can deliver a number of presentations such as book readings/signings, book fairs, and conferences that your target audience would attend.

Always remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all marketing and promoting plan for every book. Your first book is a good opportunity to experiment and learn what works and what doesn’t. Keep those lessons in mind when writing a marketing plan for your second and subsequent books.