Marketing isn’t exactly an author’s favorite job. After all, aren’t writers supposed to keep producing books and rely on their publishers to sell their books for them?
That used to be the case. But now, agents and publishers search to sign with authors who understand how to market a book. They want to trust that the writer will be committed and work hard toward placing their book in front of its target audience.
This is why it’s vital that aspiring authors don’t just learn how to write a book; they must also learn how to create a marketing plan. And yes, it’s smart to do this even before your book is contracted.
Most writers, I’ve noticed, only include brief promotional ideas under the “Marketing” section of their book proposal. But rather than writing a brief paragraph about a few of your marketing ideas, why not create an action plan—just like you’d do if the book were preparing to release?
Doing this will do 3 things:
- Prove to the editor that you know what it takes to market a book.
- Increase your chances of selling the book to a publisher.
- Make marketing easier for you once the book is released. How? Because you’ll already have your plan in place.
Even if you haven’t reached the book proposal creation stage, I highly recommend that you go ahead and begin crafting the first draft of your marketing plan.
That way, once it’s time to put your marketing section together for your proposal, you won’t be tempted to write the following paragraph:
“To market this book, I’ll hold book signings at bookstores and sell the book at writing conferences. Some other ideas include: hold giveaways and contests on my social media accounts, do a blog tour, and speak at schools and libraries.”
Please do not write that into your book proposal. If you really want to stand out and impress the editor, then you’ll want to create an actual marketing plan.
- Categorize your plan into the type of marketing.
- Beneath each category, list about 3 – 7 steps you’ll take once the book is published. Be specific by listing the newspapers, magazines, radio stations, etc. that you’d like to reach out to once the book is published.
- Arrange a 10 – 30-stop blog tour surrounding the release of the book
- Submit articles to teen websites, such as [list here]
- Hold a 15-day Instagram challenge using the hashtag #PursueYourDreams
- Invite my street team to read an early copy of my book in exchange for an honest review
- Plan a book cover reveal with my street team members
As you create your marketing plan, keep in mind that you are not expected to do it all. If your marketing plan is too extensive, then the editor probably won’t take it too seriously. Be sure to write a plan that you will put into action. Make it realistic and reasonable by giving ideas that you know you can follow through with.
Only choose marketing efforts that 1) you’re passionate about, 2) you can logistically put into action, and 2) that will reach your target audience. Even better if your marketing strategies can intersect the three!
My advice? Familiarize yourself with how to market a book. Don’t wait until you have a contract. Not only will this impress an agent/publisher, but it’ll also take pressure off of yourself once you do sign a contract and begin navigating the intimidating waters of marketing.
Who knows? You might even discover that you enjoy the idea of marketing more than you thought you would!
What are your favorite marketing strategies? Do you enjoy the process of marketing, or would you prefer to spend the time writing instead? Let me know in the comments!How to Create a Marketing Plan for your Book—Before it’s Contracted #writerslife #amwriting @TessaEmilyHall Click To Tweet