6 Reasons You Need a Marketing Plan

You have finished, or are close to finishing your book and your thoughts turn to finding someone to publish your work. Whether you decide to start by looking for an agent or going directing to publishing houses, the one thing you need to be aware of is this…

No one will talk to you.

Okay, that is a pretty harsh sweeping generalization but the truth is, with fan fiction, e-books, self-publishing and everyone and their mother thinking they have just penned the next Harry Potter, publishing houses and agents are just not looking for unknown talent.

If you want a publisher to put their money behind the promotion of your book, you first have to prove there is going to be an audience interested in making a purchase. The way to gather that information is by getting the word out yourself. The best way to do that is by creating an effective marketing plan.

Based on my years of experience, finding some things that work and others that don’t, I’ve put together six reasons why you need to create a WRITTEN marketing plan:

  1. To hold you accountable. By taking the time to write down your plan, you’ll have a document to which you can be held accountable; whether by friends or family, it is a written goal that you can measure your actions against.
  2. To keep you focused. Social media is the biggest rat trap ever created and without a plan that keeps you focused on your goal and connected to your time, you may find yourself commenting on cute cat videos rather than reaching out to your potential readers.
  3. To connect with your target audience. Not everyone is a candidate for your book. Hopefully, you have taken the time to determine your target reader. You can use that information to create a marketing plan that ensures you are visible in the places your reader hangs out. Are they on Pinterest? Instagram? Are they Mommy bloggers? A written plan will identify where you will spend your time and how often.
  4. To measure your results. If you have a plan written down that you can refer to, you’ll be able to assess your success and make adjustments where necessary. For example, if you first determine that you should spend time on LinkedIn because you are writing a business book but you aren’t getting any interest on your articles, group discussions or emails then perhaps you want to adjust where you spend your time. A marketing plan eliminates the need to rely on “gut feel.”
  5. To assess your financial investment. If you are spending money on Facebook ads but don’t see a great result however, paying for Twitter advertising seems to garner a lot of click-throughs to your website then you might want to adjust where you spend your money. Creating a plan and then keeping it up to date helps you stay on top of the effectiveness of any money you are spending on advertising.
  6. To ensure you are visible on a regular basis. A component of your plan should be an editorial calendar that spells out when you will write a press release, a new blog article, an article on LinkedIn, a speaking engagement, book signing, etc. If it is on the calendar, you’ll remember! The key is to make sure your name and your book are visible to your potential reader on a regular basis so they are reminded to visit your website and make a purchase.

Creating a marketing plan and then executing it on a regular basis will help to build your audience, ensure you are visible on a regular basis and also prove to any potential publisher that your book is a great one to back.