Have You Got a Marketing Plan for Your Book?

07 Feb


Marketing possibilities for your book sometimes seem to be overwhelming. Use this article to schedule and divide it into small pieces to execute one at a time – make it a habit to work on it every day.
Let’s assume that you, as a self-publishing author have produced an excellent, high-quality book or e-book and now you are going to publish and to market your book.
Or take scenario two: you have written the best book and found the best agent possible and she’s made the best deal she can get with the best publisher who’s interested, then you will be surprised to learn about the reality in traditional publishing: Publishers do spend money on advertising, PR and paid placement in bookstores, but they don’t spend the same amount on all books. On average publishers spend less than $2,000 on advertising 90% of their titles—not much to get the word out about your book.

Bookstores will return your unsold books after three months to the publisher, which means almost the end of your book’s “brick & mortar” career. These are the reasons YOU will have to get the word out about your book, no matter if you author-publish or if you go with a big, traditional publisher.

You certainly have done your homework before you started writing your book:

  • You researched your possible competition and how popular the genre is in which you are writing.
  • You have identified your target market and in which time-frame you want to accomplish the introduction for your book.
  • You made plans for your writing career, you vision already – and maybe even lined out several books, you know that one book only doesn’t make for a writing career.
  • You thought about where you want to be in one, three, or five years from now, and what you want to have accomplished as a writer then.
  • You also know that book marketing starts ideally before and while you write your future bestseller.

There are two avenues to market and sell your work, even if you have sold your manuscript to a traditional publisher. Either you:

  • will invest lots of money and buy ads / go on book signing tours / attend book fairs – or you
  • will invest time into building a platform and an authors brand through the use of social marketing and content marketing, plus you learn some fast and free tricks to spread the word about your book

And then there is 1. the promotional, social part and 2. the “hard-selling” part for your book.
The latter will barely work if you have not laid out the foundation with the first part. Would you likely buy something from an unknown person, no matter if on- or off-line?  Remember that your competition in published books is fierce and there are millions published every year. Readers have to be convinced to buy an unfamiliar book from a totally unknown author…

It will be the same for both, fiction or non-fiction: The foundation for your books’ success is in building a community, a social environment and a platform to introduce yourself and your work to readers. How can you accomplish this, even before your book is finished? It takes a year to make yourself known in the book community, so start early in order to have a successful book launch:

1. What you can do before your book is ready to go to the beta-reader, copy-editor and final editor:

– Have a professional! photographer taken a portrait to use for your avatar
– Get to know and introduce yourself to potential readers, sign up at Google+
(good for SEO), Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Flickr
– Join several book communities, #1 Goodreads, #2 Wattpad, #3 KindleBoards, BookTalk, Scribd…
– Visit forums in your field, especially if you write non-fiction
– Join HARO (Help a Reporter out) to make yourself a name as an expert in your field
– Start and write regularly (once or twice a week) blog posts
– Create your own (not a free!) author website 
– Send your blog articles to newspapers / magazines and even to e-Zines
– Write guest blogs for other bloggers to get your name out
– Write your “elevator pitch” and practice your “elevator speech” for quick pitch
– Start a spread sheet or list with email addresses of potential readers
– Create an email signature & use it for every email you send out
– Print business cards / book marks
– Get an ISBN number and register your copyright
– Register with Bowker to have your book worldwide listed (free)
– Choose the right genre (category) and keywords for your book
– Gather as many reviews as possible and write a compelling blurb
– Research media contacts and prepare Press Releases
– Invite several thousand! people as followers and friends on your social media sites

2. Plan of action, once your book is edited, has an appealing cover – that’s what people see first, is professionally converted (e-book), or got a perfect layout (print) and is ready to launch:
.– Place your book into the right category / genre and sub-genre (important for its success!)

– Create a second, separate BOOK PAGE on Amazon, Goodreads, Google+ and FB
– Submit your book to the Library of Congress (USA only)
– Set up a media press kit on your website with a link to your book trailer
– Plan and create an email campaign to potential readers
– Get customer orders for special (price) pre-launch sale
– Invite more reviewers for your book
– Submit photos of your book cover image to Pinterest, Flickr…
– Create a slide show  and/or video book trailer
– Send copies to book reviewers in various publications and to book bloggers
– Send review copies to book clubs with large distribution
– Automate submissions to and between all your social networks
– Write a blog post about the upcoming launch
– Spruce up your website and blog for your book launch
– Write a compelling press release
Ask your friends to list your book under “Listmania” on Amazon
– Participate in “Carnival of the Indies” blog carnival to promote your blog URL
– Comment on other blogs and write lots of guest blogs
– Submit your blogs including an URL link to even more e-Zines
– Consider to participate at KDP Select free days, announce your upcoming book for free
– Offer interviews at Radio /TV stations and newspapers or on other blogs
– Try to set you up to become a desirable guest expert on a talk or morning show
– Befriend influential book bloggers for even more reviews and articles
– Donate your book to local libraries and offer to speak
– Contact local bookstores for book signings
– Gather writing friends for cross-promotions and blog tours
– Add press clippings and articles, already published, to your website
– Get a new business card with an image of your book and sales link
– Place the books’ cover image & description daily on your Google+ stream
– Announce your book launch or book signing on Google+ for FREE
– Get even more friends, followers and people in your circles on social media sites
as you need lots of audience to spread the word about your new book!

What else can you do to increase your books’ success:
– Become a guest speaker at writers conferences or business seminars
– Sell your book to libraries
– Let your book translate in other languages or sell foreign rights
– Split your (non-fiction) book in pieces and sell single articles to magazines
– Participate in writing contests and book awards

The possibilities are endless… Stay tuned for more tips at
Make sure you have done every one of these steps to have a great start once your book is published. Write for pleasure – publish for profit!




If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 700 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter,, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris


Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 responses to “Have You Got a Marketing Plan for Your Book?

  1. Cathy Brockman

    February 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    This is such a good blog on marketing our books I had to share.

    • ebooksinternational

      February 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      Cathy, thanks for sharing. There are a lot more marketing possibilities.
      But I wanted to keep the list as short as possible : )

      Take care,

  2. Seyi sandra

    February 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Wow!! The list is endless but insightful! Thanks your post, it’s ever so helpful!
    Much love. 🙂

    • ebooksinternational

      February 7, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks Seyi Sandra, for your ever encouraging lines.

      Happy Writing,

  3. Gina X. Grant

    February 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

    This was awesome. I’ve got 3 ebooks coming out in back-to-back-to-back release this summer and even though it’s with a big publisher, I’m not expecting much marketing support. Thank you! (BTW, I found this post via Twitter, just to let you know that’s working.)

  4. vickie johnstone

    February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    What a list. Thank you! 🙂

  5. EditorEtc™ LLC

    February 15, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Doris, you have done it again. Have to reblog this one too. Best wishes!

  6. EditorEtc™ LLC

    February 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Reblogged this on EditorEtc LLC and commented:
    Doris comes through for writers, again…

  7. Anthony Alegrete

    February 24, 2013 at 5:40 am

    whata great article. I have read about 10 of your posts tonight. Thank you for sharing this information. I am a new writer and this is the 1st time Ive written a book

  8. Sandra Owens

    February 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    This is great, and timely for me. Just sold my first two books, and the marketing side of being published feels overwhelming. Thanks!!!

  9. maggie mundy

    February 25, 2013 at 3:15 am

    This is fantastic for someone like me who has just signed a contract.

  10. beduwen

    March 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips. There is so much to do and think about, it helps to see these things written down. A plan of action is incredibly helpful!

    • ebooksinternational

      March 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Well, the size of the company doesn’t equal ethical behavior. There are crooks in all sizes of enterprises… ALWAYS check a companies name on Google together with the word complaint.

  11. Kristi Grimm

    March 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    That was a lot of great info. Thanks!

  12. Ando san

    November 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Found this site via Twitter. What a find! I plan to publish a trilogy of Novellas on Kindle Singles and I was looking for some marketing tips. Incredibly useful!
    Anyone here have any experience with Kindle Singles? Were you happy with the results??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: