Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Marketing Plans

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I know you've probably heard the term Marketing Plan a billion times, but do you really know what it means to have one? Do you even know what a marketing plan is? Well, today I'm gonna do my best to lay it all out there. Heck, you might even get a handy checklist by the time it's over. Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Definition of Marketing Plan (from Wikipedia):
Marketing strategy is the goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.

In author layman's terms: Marketing Plans are goals you set for the launch or publication of a novel, and it includes details on how you'll keep it selling long term.

You need a marketing plan so you don't just throw your book out in the world and hope it hits someone who might enjoy it. Yeah, I've done this. I imagine you have, too.

So, let's go over the things you need to think about when you're halfway through your novel and the things you need to answer once it's off to the editor. You can do these things while you work on your book!

Grab a sheet of paper (if you haven't already) and write down the following questions:
  1. What's my book about?
  2. What genre is my book?
  3. What age is my target audience (Don't write all - be specific)?
  4. Will more males or females enjoy my book?
  5. What other books will they have read?
Now that we have those questions down, let's go into some channel specific stuff. Next:
  1. Where does my target audience hang out?
  2. What social media do they use most often?
  3. What activities do they enjoy?
  4. Who would they most likely get a book recommendation from?
Let's say my book is about a young skater boy trying to escape the oppressive dictatorship his family has endured for hundreds of years. Genre is young adult urban fiction. Target audience are males between the age of thirteen and seventeen who've read Outsiders. They hang out at skate parks, hip coffee shops, and restaurants like McDonald's after school. They'll read books suggested by friends or forced by teachers.

Make a list of things you can do to get your book in front of those readers. Be detailed. Examples:

Advertisement:  I'll put an ad on my car that appeals to skateboarders and go to McDonald's every day for an hour to have a coffee and write for an hour. My car will be parked in the lot in a highly visible area. I'll put free bookmarks at every hip coffee shop within a fifty mile radius of my house and replenish them weekly. I'll put an ad on the local teen radio station with my blurb.

Social Media: I'll post images of skateboarders doing cool tricks with a link to my book and a twenty-five word blurb every week on Instagram. I'll use Twitter to increase hits by having my photos auto-tweet.

And so on. Also, write down what you'll do with folks you know. E-mail list, friends and family, etc...

After you've done all of the above, create your launch plan. Start four to six months out. It should look something like this:

24 Weeks out -

  • Schedule author interviews with blogs
  • Start posting to social media about what's coming
  • Blog about writing the book
16 Weeks out -
  • Finalize list of bloggers willing to help (yeah, they schedule way ahead of time)
  • Add the book to Goodreads with a release date
8 Weeks out -
  • Have cover designed
  • Order swag and vehicle imagery
  • Contact radio station
6 Weeks out -
  • Send book to beta readers
  • Ask for ARC reviewers
4 Weeks out -
  • Send book to editor
  • Schedule Facebook party and collect giveaways
and so on.

As you can see, it's a long and arduous process to properly launch a book.

I found a couple of apps that may help you along the way! They're all about creating a business plan.

Get them here for iPad and Android. They're called: MyBizPlan and MarketMyBiz

How do you plan for a launch? Share!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Nice timeline! Book releases are so exhausting! It is important to be organized though and definitely remember to show appreciation to anyone willing to help spread the word =)

  2. This was really helpful, although maybe a little too late for me as I already threw my "book out in the world and hope(d) it hits someone who might enjoy it". I have some retro planning to do.

  3. Perfect timing, I'm preparing to release the 3rd and final book of the One Fateful Night series this spring! Your timeline and marketing tips are very helpful. Thanks!

  4. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my
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  5. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There's a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks


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