Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Marketing Makeover: Why a Book Marketing Plan Is Critical to Bookselling Success

Guest post by Dana Lynn Smith

Some authors write and publish books for their own self-fulfillment, and that's great. But if you want to make money or get a wide readership through your publishing venture, it needs to be treated like a business. Among other things, that means having a solid marketing plan to guide your strategy for selling books.

Here are some of the reasons why authors need a book marketing plan:

Some authors jump from one promotional activity to another, without any real strategy. Others do little or no promotion. A written book marketing plan is a blueprint to guide you in how, when, and where to promote your book.

The process of creating a book marketing plan helps you think through the characteristics of your book's target audiences and how to reach them.

There is huge competition in the book business, and readers have limited time and money to spend on books. With more than 300,000 new books published each year in the U.S. alone, and several million backlist titles available, it's essential to have a strategy for letting your target audiences know about your book and persuading them to buy it.

One step in creating a book marketing plan is to consider how to position your book against competing books. This is especially helpful for nonfiction. How is your book different from other titles on the same subject, and how can you convey that to potential buyers?

Books don't sell themselves. It's important to develop a plan and take action every day, even if it's just sending one email, posting something online, or making a phone call. You can set daily, weekly and monthly goals for book promotion.

There are many ways to promote a book, and we all have limited time and budgets. It's vital to prioritize your book promotion tasks and plan how to best focus your time and money. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Think about which activities seem to have the highest potential for success, given your particular book, target audiences, skills, available time, and budget.

A marketing plan isn't just about promotional activities – it also defines book distribution, pricing and wholesale discount strategies.

If you are seeking a traditional publisher, a marketing plan is an essential part of the book proposal. Agents and publishers want to know exactly who the target market is, what the competition is like, what kind of credentials and platform the author has, and how well the author will promote the book.

A solid book marketing plan is your roadmap to success. Take action now to develop your book marketing plan by downloading the free report, Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books:

If you've already got a written book marketing plan, take some time to evaluate it and make any necessary revisions. You'll be glad you did!

Dana Lynn Smith

About the Author

Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book promotion tips, get her free book marketing tips ebook at


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