Okay, you've done the brainstorming about read-alikes, your blog community, marketing outreach that suits your personality... But how does this all add up to an actual MARKETING PLAN? You know, a list of things you can actually do or strive to make happen to raise reader-awareness of your book.
Every week, when I start writing my Monday marketing post, I think, "this is the post where I'll sum it all up." But this is a huge topic and it's going to take a few more weeks to get there. I've been working in publishing for twenty years and seen this business from the perspective of an in-house library marketing staffer, a freelance writer of jacket copy and educational marketing materials, and as an author. There's just so much to say and the best marketing for a book should be carefully analyzed and title/author-specific. So, I'm going to steal a few more Mondays of your time to try to put together the pieces.
THE FIRST PART OF YOUR WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN should be the things you are going
to do BEFORE your book is published.
Note: If you're currently agent-hunting, on submission or writing a manuscript, you can take the brainstorming material and use it to refine your online presence. Connect to your live writing community by attending writing conferences, local writer group meetings, bookstore events (such as signings) and help out at your local or school library.
If you have a book in the pipeline--if you are between one year and six months out, the first part of your Marketing Plan document should be a list of PRE-PUBLICATION "to-do's" such as...
--Creating or updating your Amazon author page and making sure it is linked to your social media outlets of choice (e.g., blog, Twitter) so that your page has new content as frequently as possible.
--Doing goodwill outreach to local libraries, bookstores and schools, such as offering a book talk, writing workshop, or simply helping out the book people in that venue.
--Reaching out to any groups or organizations that might have a special interest or connection to your book (e.g., if you write about soccer or if your character is a painter, consider appropriate sports clubs or arts schools)
--Planning the timing of an arc give-away on Goodreads
--Planning a few pre-pub blog stops to discuss your upcoming book
--Developing any author-driven specialty opportunities for arc distribution and getting ready to discuss this with your editor or publicist (depends on house protocol)
--If budget allows, designing and producing a bookmark or other swag item
WHAT ELSE can you do (or have you done) to generate pre-publication buzz for your book?