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    Self-Publishing a Book: 7 Things You’ll Need For Your Marketing Plan

    “All writers think of what they do as an art,” said novelist Barry Eisler. “Smart writers understand that writing is also a business. Really smart writers see themselves also as entrepreneurs.”

    Courtesy of Mark Anderson under Creative CommonsThat means you need to approach your book as a business person would. You have a product to sell – your book. How will you get the maximum number of potential readers to buy it? That will take some thoughtful planning. You’ll need a good marketing plan for your book.

    Today we’ll focus on seven things you should think about before you formulate your plan. (Creating the plan itself will be next Monday’s post.) Several of the things we’ll cover today are resources you’ll need to create and use as you put your plan into action.

    Goal: What do you hope the book will accomplish? Will it establish you as a thought leader leading to speaking or consulting engagements or influence policy? Earn royalties and build your reputation as a storyteller as you launch a career in fiction?

    Book Description: You’ll need a 2-3 paragraph description to use in promotional materials, tip sheets, book catalogs, and press releases.

    Target Audience: Who are the readers for whom your audience is intended? Consider demographics like age, gender, educational level, hobbies, etc. Where are you likely to find these people? Think of both places online they might hang out and places you might find them in daily life like clubs, social groups, and favorite media.

    Positioning Statement: 1-2 sentences to capture the essence of your book - both what it’s about and who will read it. This is an opportunity to show how your book stands out. Marketers would call this your elevator speech for the book.

    Author Biography: You will need a good bio of yourself for publicity purposes. Emphasize your professional skills and accomplishments, but include things that are unique or interesting about yourself. Think about the author bio on a book jacket.

    Comparable Books: List other successful books similar to your own. You’ll want to think about how to differentiate yours from the others. You’ll also want to look at how those books have been positioned in the marketplace.

    Possible Contacts: List the people from both your personal and professional networks who might be able to help you publicize your book. The list might include everyone from friends who will talk up the book on social media, to someone who might host a launch party to a prominent person who might give you an endorsement or jacket blurb.

    Check out next Monday’s post Strategies For Your Marketing Campaign.

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