I’m back with a Monday Marketing post. So let’s talk about our Marketing plan. One writer I spoke to informed me that they hadn’t really gotten any ideas for marketing and just wanted to get lots of their books published.
Now this is one way to go, however if you want to be a professional writer, sell your books, then you do yourself a disservice if you don’t at least consider some form of marketing.
This is where the Marketing Plan comes in
Whether you have already published a book or are still just writing one, make sure you think about a Marketing Plan. The sooner you do this the better.
Writing is not easy and with all the things you have to do, planning, editing, polishing, getting beta readers… it’s easy to dismiss marketing. But make sure you give yourself some time to devote to it.
What is a Marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a strategy that defines clear actions that you will take to achieve your marketing goals. The plan is to give detail of how you will promote yourself in your current field (e.g.writer).
Okay, so what are marketing goals?
Goals in relation to a marketing plan should be what you want out of your marketing plan. For example, do you want to increase your sales by 20%? That would be a goal.
As with all goal planning, the key is to be specific and measurable. Saying “I want to sell more books” is vague. Vague goals are not worth anything. So start small, come up with 2 or 3 marketing goals and then build a plan around those.
Maybe you want to sell x number of copies? How about gaining 50 email subscribers?
Use numbers, facts and objectives. Remember, writing, while oodles of fun, is also a business and you need to treat it that way when you’re creating your marketing plan.
Is Marketing really important?
Marketing is the term used to describe such things as advertising, promotions, giveaways and sales. It is how the public learn about your product and how you do your marketing can help make them decide to buy.
If you are just writing books and letting them out into the world, that can work. People might find them by accident and buy them. But you aren’t giving yourself a strong presence.
The book is not always “enough” to grab someone instantly. You may think it’s the bees knees, but you have to prove to your customers it is!
There are a ton of writers out there, new ones every day are publishing so that’s a big sea to get lost in. You want to compete with them? Then give yourself the tools to do that and a marketing plan is a great tool.
What should go into a Marketing plan?
There are the Four P’s of Marketing. Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Decide what your product is. Is it a stand alone book? An autobiography? Maybe it’s a series? Will it be an ebook or a paperback or both?
Depending on your books, you might need a different plan for each book. After all, marketing a Non-Fiction Self-Help book will be somewhat different to marketing a fantasy series aimed at teenagers or a stand alone horror book aimed at adults.
Think carefully about your pricing. Will you offer free copies for a short time? Maybe your first book in a series will be Perma-free? Will you offer it for £0.99? What is the best average price for books like yours? How will you price your ebook compared to your paperback?
Where are you going to advertise? Now please think carefully about this. Just flinging up post after post on Facebook blaring about your book is not a good strategy. Let’s be honest… it’s not a strategy at all!
You need to know where your customers hang out. Maybe spending time on Goodreads is a better bet? Or maybe using Pinterest? When people use social media for their promotions they always seem to stick to just facebook and twitter. Well, try and mix it up a little.
What sort of promotions will you offer? Giveaways? Quizzes with prizes? Free copies? Half price? Extra Swag? What can you do to catch the customer’s eye, to get them to recommend you to other customers.
How will you get into peoples eye line? Maybe through interviews or guest posts (remember, me being the awesome person I am, offers guest post slots on this blog, check out the guidelines and available slots here)
Make sure whatever you do online aligns with your marketing goals. Use your online time wisely.
Other things to add to your plan:
Situation Analysis – Target market. Competitors. Trends in the industry.
Target – Who you product is targeting to? What age range, what gender? When you know your audience, you can connect better with them.
Tactics – Go through the above, create your marketing strategy and then plan the method to implement it to have greatest impact.
Forecast – Think about the sales targets and create projections.
Budget – Specify your budget levels. How much to spend and on what and when. A budget also allows you to track expenses which then need to be taken into consideration when tracking your sales revenue.
It’s all about value
I’ve mentioned this before in posts, but it’s about value to the customer. Not about them buying your book and thus giving you cash. You need to approach it by what you can do for them (and “they get to read my book” is not enough).
Your readers and fans are important, you need to treat them well and offer them value. Maybe offer them deleted scenes. Or share snippets of your processes. How about photos that have inspired your work or giveaways or signed copies.
Good marketing brings people to you, but to do that, you have to offer them something. If they are going to take a chance on a new writer, you need to give them something as a thank you (before they even buy).
Things to Think about
Time – How much time are you going to give to establish and maintain your marketing strategy?
Money – How much cash are you willing to spend to promote your book and build your brand?
Tactics – What are your intended tactics you wish to implement first?
Goals – What are your goals and how will your measure them? (remember without measurable goals, how will you know how well you are doing?)
Value – What will people gain from your product and promotions?
Audience – Who is your audience and where do they spend their time?
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Thanks for all the kind words you have been sending me during my prolonged illness. I am back and running at around 80% but that’s better than nothing. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this post, if you have any thoughts or questions, leave them in the comments section below.
NB: Picture purchased through Storyblocks.com