The 3 Phases of a Marketing Plan

Some authors might wonder: When does the actual marketing take place? Planning is part of the marketing process and one of the most important parts at that. As your efforts unfold, you will begin to understand just how valuable it is to have a plan that keeps you focused and moving forward.

There are so many factors to consider when marketing a book that it can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Taking a phased approach will allow you to tackle one thing at a time.

Phase 1: Ask the Important Questions:

Understanding your audience, goals, competition, key selling points and other particulars about your book are all part of the crucial first phase of creating the framework of your book marketing plan.

A good marketing plan has clear goals and a clear picture of who your potential readers will be. A book for the “whole world” is idealistic, but not realistic. Create a prototype of your ideal reader by considering age, gender, and other demographics. Getting a picture of whom you are targeting with your message will help you develop a strategy.

Phase 2: Gather Your Resources:

With those important questions answered, you can begin bringing the pieces together that will help you launch your book successfully, such as a media hook, mailing list and event plans.

  • Develop Your Book’s Media Hook: Sometimes called the “elevator pitch,” this is the two-minute speech you would give to get media outlets interested in featuring your book. Above all, make sure your pitch is brief, clear and unique.
  • Plan Events and Book Signings: One of the key elements of your marketing plan should be a book launch party. This is a way to generate interest and start the grassroots promotion of your book. Most bookstores and libraries will welcome authors who are interested in speaking or holding book signings, but they want to plan for them in advance.
  • Assemble Your Mailing List: When it comes time to invite people to your events, you want to have a quick and easy list you can use to distribute announcements. Prepare that list now, and be sure to accommodate for both email and regular mail. Remember to add to the list as you continue marketing by providing a sign-up sheet at events and on your website.

Phase 3: Follow Through:

Launch your book by carrying out the event you’ve planned to help your work truly shine. Schedule other events, pitch to local and online media outlets, commit to a social media schedule and execute other elements of your marketing plan, pausing periodically to check your progress, review and refine your goals and prioritize next steps.

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