This is twelve part series that will serve as a guideline for authors.
As a #1 Bestselling Author of several books, and self-publishing expert who has assisted many authors to enjoy that status as well, I find myself consistently in awe of the constant changes in best practices and in tools that are available at our fingertips to market our books.
Indeed, one could go into complete and total overwhelm as publishing books have become the "thing" we do for a variety of reasons.
- A business establishing themselves as the expert in their field. Even brick and mortar companies are finding that having a book or series of books has brought more clients and increased sales.
- Speakers and coaches are writing books to add professional credibility and an extra stream of revenue.
- Individuals who have a story to tell, write books to inspire others.
Time and again, I have observed new authors become joyful at accomplishing best-seller status then lose their steam and experience enormous disappointment with the fact that after the initial launch of their book, sales are nearly non-existent.
It is what could be described as Lost in the cobwebs to cyberspace!
My company began surveying authors as to what their experience has been and what they want.
Consistently, marketing was the missing ingredient and even if they were marketing it was inconsistent.
Many authors who have chosen the self-publishing realm, (often called Indie authors), consider either look at what they can do on their own to market their books, or look for services to do it for them. Often this happens AFTER they have published.
Marketing a book MUST be:
- part of your overall publishing process
- begin the moment you put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) writing your book
- a strategic and detailed part of your "business plan" as you treat your book as YOUR business.
We suggest a project management platform (free) to outline and track what you need to do. This platform has a built-in calendar with the ability to add links, key training on how to implement and a checklist. You can also use a special notebook to outline and track what you will be implementing, but we find that this platform is simple to use and creates a good visual that does not easily get lost.
There is a TON of information as you search the web about marketing and I find that for many authors it becomes overwhelming and there is a tendency to go for the "shiny objects" and end up in overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to doing nothing at all and that leads to low book sales.
In this blog series, we will share in bite-sized chunks, a marketing timeline that will serve you well. Whether you have already published or are just beginning to write, all of these strategies are useful and timely. By creating a detailed book marketing plan, you will have the confidence that becoming an author will not be in vain.
Before you can create a marketing plan, let's examine the big "WHY" behind your book. This will affect your overall book marketing strategy.
- What is your goal in publishing your book?
- Who is your target audience? Who did you have in mind when the thought of writing a book came to your mind?
- Are you writing your book to make money? How many books do you want to sell? Break it down to pre-release of your book, the main launch, first month, first quarter, first year.
- Are you writing this book to inspire others? How will you accomplish this and do you wish to position yourself as the expert on the subject matter?
- Are you writing, (particularly as a coach or a speaker) to add professional credibility and differentiate you from others in your field? How will you measure your success?
- How much money can you spend on marketing?
- How do you evaluate book marketing services?
- Do you want do-it-yourself? If so, where will your marketing begin, and what tools should you use?
- If you hire a book marketing service, should you go for their all-in-one publishing/marketing services, or should you use a variety of services from different companies?
- How much time do you have to commit to authorship?
- Are you willing to treat authorship as a business?
Next week in Part 2 of this "Treat Your Book Like it's Your Business" series, we will discuss the starting point, providing key tips to help you begin the journey to successful publishing and marketing of your fabulous work of heart. Part 2 is about Branding Yourself as an Author.