As an indie author, the process of marketing your book can seem overwhelming. There are so many marketing tools and resources at your fingertips that it can be difficult to figure out where to start! To guide you on your marketing path, I’ve created a series of Marketing Do’s and Don’ts. In Part 1, we’ll talk about Do’s and Don’ts to help you create a marketing plan for success!
Do: Understand Your Industry
Knowledge is power, so as you compile this marketing plan, get to know your market. Research and prepare a list of bloggers who you should pitch for advanced reviews. While you’re compiling this list, keep track of who to contact, and when you need to pitch them. You can also research the top authors in your industry to investigate what types of marketing efforts they are implementing. Success leaves clues, so you can learn from these top authors what marketing efforts work best in your industry.
Don’t: Rely on opinions
It’s natural to want to ask for advice as you begin to market your book. However, you should make sure that the person you’re consulting has something helpful and relevant to say. While your friends and family may be willing to help you, they may not be in the best position to provide relevant insight. When you ask someone’s opinion about your book, topic or marketing, make sure they are either working in your industry, or know your consumer. Try to align yourself with experts in your market.
Do: Think Long Term
When creating your marketing plan, think long term. In order to give your book the best launch possible, you’ll want to have a marketing plan in place months before your book is out. Don’t spend all your marketing dollars in the first few months of a campaign, but, rather, make sure you have enough money or personal momentum for the long haul. Publishing is a business. You’d never open up a store and then just sit around hoping people show up to buy your stuff. You advertise, you run specials, you pitch yourself to local media. You work it. But what does “working it” mean? Well, it means that if you have a full-time job, you find time each week to push the book in some form or fashion. You find time. You make time. You cannot just sit by and hope people buy your book, but, rather, you should be engaged in your own success. Even if you hire someone to do this for you, you should still be involved. Sometimes it doesn’t take much, but it does take a consistent effort.
Don’t: Rely on Metrics
Planning your marketing plan on metrics alone is not realistic and, at times, can deter you from pursuing marketing efforts that will contribute to your success in the long haul. What do I mean? Sometimes, authors forgo getting reader reviews, thinking: What’s the metric in that? Well there isn’t one, technically, but you never know if a new buyer will see that particular review and be prompted to buy your book. Yes, you could pitch 100 bloggers and get only one response and you think: the metrics of pitching bloggers is terrible, I won’t do that again. In reality, maybe it was your pitch that was weak, or your email subject line, or maybe the book wasn’t right for them. I know that sometimes it’s easier to blame metrics, but in most cases, metrics aren’t the issue.
Now that you understand how to create a marketing plan for success, stay tuned! In Part 2 of this series, we’ll talk finances, and how you can best allocate your marketing budget.
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of twelve books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet."
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.