Develop a Marketing Plan for Authors

To begin a marketing plan, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Who is my audience?”
  • “Where is my audience?”
  • “How can I reach my audience?”
  • “What should I say to my audience about my book?”
  • “What will convince my audience to purchase my book?”

If you have the answers to all these questions, then you have a market. If you have a market, then you have a career.  

I believe that everyone should have an Untraditional Published book, before a traditional or self-published book. Authors cannot succeed until they have a market, audience, resources, and funds.

How does one stand out? They break tradition. Doing the same thing repeatedly, or following the crowd, is not a way to establish an author career. Untraditional approaches are based off change and innovation.

Here is an example of how an Untraditional Published author builds an audience:

  • Make a list of family, friends, business associates, church membership, school contacts, club members, Facebook friends, and every single acquaintance.
  • Think of your book as a marketing tool, not a sales instrument.
  • Network. It does not matter where, just get out to places and talk about your book.
  • Schedule speaking engagements, but do not concentrate on selling your book. Instead, discuss your beliefs and dedication to serving others with your gifts. If you sell books, that is a bonus.
  • Attend events. Focus on ways to increase your email list. (Prizes and contests are the best way to do this.) Do not stress the sale of your book at the event. Once again, if you sell books, it is a bonus.
  • Send out bookmarks with your Christmas cards, Easter cards, Halloween cards, Valentine cards, etc…
  • Put up a web page or web site. Keep it simple and serviceable.
  • Speak at schools. Have them interview you for the school newspaper.
  • Support other authors on your web page or web site. They will support you.
  • Support clubs, churches, and schools, and they will support you.
  • Participate in community web sites.

After the above is completed, you should have a nice contact list and gain the momentum needed to market your book. Every four months, you can send out a professional E-Blast to increase the sale of your book and drive traffic to your web site.

For example, if you have 100 contacts and those contacts forward your information to their contacts, at the very least you will have reached 5,000 people.

However, your list will grow every quarter because of your aggressive marketing via e-commerce, networking, and events. By the end of the year, you may have 1,000 contacts. If those 1,000 feel that you have a serviceable book, they will pass the information along to their contacts. Now you have built an audience in the range of 50,000. If your book sold to 10% of those people, that is 5,000 sales. Congratulations, you have now started a career as an author!

The following year, your contact list will double. With aggressive marketing, networking, and events, you should have a contact list of 5,000 in the next three to four years. You will have an audience of 250,000 or more.   

A market, an audience, resources, and cash flow is the way to succeed as an author. In an Untraditional way of course.

Ron Knight
Author of Untraditional Publishing

Ron Knight

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