Author Resources
Free Publishing Guide

Creating Your Marketing Plan

Part 1: Determining Your Sales and Marketing Goals

If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll have a hard time getting there. This simple, logical statement should be a powerful guide to you as you craft your marketing plan. If you want to determine the best way to market your book, you first must know specifically what you want to accomplish with your marketing program.

Your goals in writing the book translate directly to your marketing goals. If you primarily are interested in seeing your story in print and distributing it to a small group of family and friends, you’ll use a very different marketing approach than if you hope to reach a very wide audience. The more copies you hope to sell and the more widespread recognition you seek, the more time, energy, and money you’ll need to invest in your marketing efforts.

Aligning Hope and Reality

A good marketing plan is based on realistic expectations. There are millions of titles in the marketplace, making the bookselling industry extremely competitive. While most would love to see their book in Oprah’s Book Club, it’s not smart to start with that as your first goal. Use each success to fund your future successes. Start small and keep setting your goals higher. For example, your first goal may be to sell 100 copies of your book. Once you’ve reached that goal, you can strive to sell more. Each step counts, and no success is too small to be counted. Imagine each accomplishment as a step on a ladder to broad recognition, more sales, and additional media attention. Believe in your book and keep working hard.

Start Locally, then Grow

The reality of the competitive market should not discourage you from taking on challenging goals. Just be certain, however, that those goals are attainable. Begin your campaign by focusing your efforts on local promotions, then work your way out to larger regions and markets. Promoting your book locally will be more cost-effective and successful than tackling the difficulties of achieving nationwide success.

As you gain a greater understanding of your book’s audience and marketplace, you can expand your marketing efforts. The more early success you can achieve, the better able you’ll be to build toward great success through the course of your marketing campaign.

*Adapted from Your Voice in Demand: The AuthorHouse Guide to Marketing and Promoting Your Book