The hard part is over. You’ve finished your book. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the sales to roll in. That may be true for big name authors, but for the rest of us, attracting readers isn’t so easy. We need to create and implement a Book Marketing Plan to capture our potential reader’s attention and entice them to purchase. Non-fiction authors must pay particular attention to their book marketing plan because our books typically solve a problem for a specific target audience. Mass marketing won’t work for us.

Outlined below are five areas that should be considered in your plan:

1. Start with your book description

It should be one paragraph that identifies your ideal reader, the problem your book will solve for the reader and how their life will be different after reading your book. Armed with this information, you can build the rest of your book marketing plan.

2. Determine your marketing goals

These should include, at minimum, the number of books you want to sell and at what price points, the number of book reviews you want, and the number of press interviews you would like. Think about how you plan to use the book. Will it be combined with other marketing material and used as lead generation for your business? Will you offer it as supplementary material with a workshop? Think beyond simple book sales to how you can leverage the work you’ve done

3. Decide where you will offer your book for sale

In step one, you identified your ideal reader or target market. You should place your book wherever your ideal reader is likely to find it and make a purchase. There are many options such as an author or book website that’s part of your author platform, at online stores such as Amazon, at local events, and in the back of the room when you speak at workshops and conferences.

4. Identify how you will attract the attention of your ideal readers

Now that you’ve determined who will buy your book and where you will offer it for sale, the next step is to identify how you will attract the attention of your ideal readers. They have to know your book exists before they can purchase it. Some popular promotional tactics are:

  1. Hosting a book launch
  2. Creating an email campaign
  3. Doing book signing events
  4. Blogging about your topic
  5. Writing guest articles on other blogs,
  6. Placing ads in strategic publications or social media networks
  7. Implementing social media marketing campaigns

5. Create a budget and marketing calendar

Finally, create a budget  and marketing calendar taking into account the amount of money you can afford to invest as well as the time commitment required.

Your completed book marketing plan will go into lots more detail on the five areas identified above. The earlier you create your book marketing plan, the more likely you are to achieve the results you want. Writing the book description identified in step one should be done as soon as you make the decision to write a book. Once you have that, you can start marketing. In fact, I recommend to my clients that they announce their upcoming book and start building an email list immediately, even before they start writing. Their goal is to have a group of fans and followers anxiously awaiting the publication of the book. These people will be the first ones to read your book, review it, and recommend it to others.




Linda Griffin
Linda Griffin

Linda Griffin is the author of the book, Maximum Occupancy: How Smart Innkeepers put heads in beds in every season and the founder of She is currently working on her second book, Book Smarts: The ninety day guide to writing and self-publishing for busy professionals.

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