The ideal time to begin your marketing efforts is several months before your book becomes available. However, if your book is already out, don’t worry. You can still market the book. Actually, it is never too early or too late to start your marketing campaign.
Most chapters in the book will have a number of activities to work on. In total, there are more than sixty marketing activities or informational sections. You don’t need to work on them all. You, in your role as the book’s marketing director, will have to decide which ones to implement and which ones to ignore. Since some of the activities will require funding, part of your decision making will have a financial element to it. Another factor is whether the book has a print or an ebook edition. A few of the activities will not be suitable for a print book and others won’t apply to an ebook. If you have both print and ebook editions, then all of the marketing tasks will apply to your book.
A word of caution: don’t look at the sheer number of activities and panic. They all don’t have to be worked on immediately. There is nothing wrong with spacing out your marketing over a long period. It would be a mistake to go into overload trying to complete all the activities in as short a time as possible. You can and should go through the lists and choose the ones that look easy. Start with those. Other activities may require the investment of a chunk of time because you’ll have investigate how to do it and it may also involve a bit of learning before you can start it.
My assigning a task or activity to a specific area such as Platform or Marketing Content is more than a bit arbitrary. Where a task is slotted isn’t all that important. The grouping simply makes it easier for me to deal with the large number of activities.
If you have, or will have, a publisher, it will (or should) perform some of the pre-launch activities. The publisher may (or may not) choose to work on the post-launch marketing activities. How do you know which activities are pre-launch and which ones are not? You can use the extensive spreadsheet I developed. Besides indicating the ideal time frame, the spreadsheet can be used to control your marketing campaign. It shows every marketing task listed in this book and is available in .numbers (for Mac) and .xls (for PCs) formats. To get a copy send me an email at hanque99 (at) gmail (dot) com. Specify which format you want. A screen shot of the spreadsheet is pasted below.
If you have a publisher, it will be in your best interest to determine exactly which marketing activities it will be responsible for.
Although the publisher will take care of the pre-launch stuff, it is important for you to understand what those tasks are so you can better discuss them with the publisher.
So let’s get to the crux of the matter. You probably have questions that need to be answered. Does book marketing work? Is it worth the time and money?
The answer to both questions is a definitive yes, no and/or maybe.
To explain the last statement, book marketing is similar to playing the lottery. If you buy a lottery ticket, you have a small, very small, chance to win a lot of money. If you don’t buy a ticket, you have no chance of winning the money. With book marketing, if you do the marketing stuff, you have a small, very small, chance of making a lot of money through your royalties. If you don’t do the marketing, you have zero chance of making money on the book.
With the lottery, you can also win smaller amounts of cash. So too with book marketing. If you market the book, you may earn back your marketing investment through your royalties and perhaps a bit more.
So the real question is this: Will you market your book? If the answer is ‘Yes’, read on.
There are seven areas to be worked on. Here are brief descriptions of each.
Platform: Refers to you and your book. It’s your author brand.
Marketing Content: Is material you write up about the book. Most of it will be used in other activities.
Marketing Activities: Is work you will do to tell others about your book
Book Reviews: Is activity to increase the number of book reviews your book gets.
Events: Are activities in which you participate, either physically or virtually.
Publicity: Is telling the world about your book.
Advertising: Is just what you think it is.
So let’s get started! You can do this!