Why Every Author Needs A Marketing Plan

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Every business has a marketing plan. And writing children's books is no different: it's your career or side gig! In a nutshell, a marketing plan is actionable strategies that are organized, intentional, and thought out in order to maximize your product's visibility and sales.

What is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan outlines an author’s specific marketing strategy that they’ll use to promote their written work to their audience. It should be a detailed, strategic document that specifies your target markets, marketing objectives, programs, activities, timescales, and resources according to your budget.

Once you’ve created it, you’ll use your marketing plan to organize, execute, and track your marketing strategy.

Still not sure how you can bring it to life? Let’s look at just some of the reasons you need a marketing plan:

Top 4 Reasons You Need a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan helps you raise awareness

It can take time and effort to gain traction and build a following, especially if this is your first book. Creating a marketing plan early helps you understand how you’ll gain interest in your book before publication. You can do this by sharing updates on social media or asking for feedback on your book from a pool of interested individuals while you write. But a solid marketing plan includes many detailed strategies. Don't just rely on one! As you stimulate curiosity and curate investment from your audience, you’ll be building a following. Remember: people can't buy your book if they don't know it exists.

A marketing plan reminds you to get specific with your goals

When you create a marketing plan, your goal should be to get specific. If you’re writing down items like “Get more Instagram followers” or “Write more articles” or “Create more YouTube videos,” then your plan isn’t going to serve you. Instead, you want to identify key performance metrics that you want to impact and the percentages that you want to increase them by. For instance, perhaps you want to “Increase Instagram followers by 100 per month” or “Do 1 Instagram giveaway to 5 followers of your book each month to increase awareness.” These are just examples, but your marketing plan should include what you're doing, where you're doing it, and who it's for.

If you're trying to get editorial reviews, how many? Where will you look for interested parties? How will you pitch or ask for editorial reviews for experts on your book's topic? If your goal is a press release, where will you get feedback on it before sending it out? Will you distribute yourself or use an online distributor? What local channels do you plan to send it to and what is their contact information? Your marketing plan is something that you can reuse with future books and tweak as you learn what works for you and your audience, but it should be specific enough that if a stranger picked it up, they'd be able to implement it! Detail is key.

A marketing plan allows you gather early reviews

It may not be your only goal, but at least one of your goals when writing a book is to sell copies, right? Well, part of your marketing plans should focus on that, and gathering reviews early in the process will begin to facilitate the process. Roughly 90 percent of consumers view online reviews as an important part of the purchasing process.

As you launch your book, have a plan in place to gather reviews either on Amazon or other popular book sites in the first few weeks after release. Having reviews will boost your book’s discoverability and help buyers find a good fit.

A marketing plan establishes a clear, implementable strategy for releasing your book

A marketing plan provides you a clear reference point for various activities throughout your book’s release. When you create this plan, brainstorm the types of content you’ll create, how much content you’ll create, the goals you’ll use to track each type of content, the channels on which you’ll distribute the content, and any paid advertising that you’ll use on these channels.

It's all about figuring out what you need to do and when. Then you can focus on creating and releasing the content to boost awareness of your book. With a thoughtful schedule, you’ll not only generate a buzz around your book’s release but also continue the momentum after publication.

Many people don't realize just how important it is to have a launch/release strategy and a post-publication plan too. Some of the strategies within those plans may overlap but your timeline for each will vary. Here are the essential components to ANY marketing plan:

  • Budget

  • Target Market/Audience

  • Product Purpose

  • Timeline

  • Strategies

Check out our blog, courses, and coaching for ideas for what you can add to your marketing plan but don't be afraid to get creative! After all, anything worth doing well.

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