Marketing plans are great guides for business owners. And a book marketing plan is the specific tool you will use to find and create places to sell your book(s).
Consider these six areas when developing your marketing plan.
||The Audience: Who did I write this book for? Make sure you narrow your focus and target specific groups. Try to network with networks instead of one-on-one.
||The Product: What kind of book is this? Check out your competition; see what the latest trends are with books similar to yours. One current trend is to sell your how-to book at the end of free how-to teleseminars.
||The Price: How will I price my book? Make sure you don't price your book too high. Again research your competition (and/or your friends!) to find out what books like yours sell for. I've seen lots of POD (print on demand) books outrageously priced because of the high cost per book to the author. I can't imagine they are selling many books when their competitors are selling similar books at half the price. Remember that printing larger quantities on your own allows you to achieve higher profits per book.
||The Packaging: How will I design and package my book? Packaging makes all the difference and is the most fun to plan! This is where I get creative and try to incorporate what I love most about the different books that I buy. Make your packaging passionate!
||The Promotion and Publicity: What promotional methods will I use to sell my book? This is another fun and creative area to plan. A few words of advice: Be unusual and different because this creates buzz and free publicity. Make sure to combine your unusual promotional techniques with steadfast long-term tactics too. I love to do seasonal off-the-wall stuff, yet I always have ads running consistently where I know my customers will see me.
||The Distribution: How will my customer purchase my book? You must have a website that features you and your book(s). Writers try to tell me all the time that they just don't need a website. That maintaining it takes time away from their creativity. If you aren't networking with networks (in this case the entire world) then you are working much harder than you have to. Of course you can distribute via traditional markets such as bookstores and gift stores, but what sounds more efficient to you? Don't think of having a website as an option. Consider it a great way to connect with your customers and really have control over your marketing plan.
Five Things You MUST Do In Order To Sell Your Books
Want to sell more books? Learn from an expert the five things you must do in order to achieve your goals.
1. You Must Find YOUR Market
Hopefully before you even wrote your book, you sat down and mapped out who your potential customers were. If you didn't, don't waste any more of your time selling books to people who don't want them. Knowing your audience before you write your book creates focus. Figure out who is most likely to read your book. If cat lovers are your market, don't bother wasting your time with all animal lovers. Spend your marketing efforts and budget on cat lovers. Can't find the cat lovers? See below...
2. You Must Create a Community
If you are having a hard time finding your market, find them by creating a community for them. The Internet allows you to create a place where all cat lovers can talk to each other, have live chats with you (the author) and ask their questions, get mailings about your events, find other resources for cat lovers, post their cat's picture in your forum... you can see that there is no end to what you can do with the Internet. You can use click-and-point services to create your own website like I did for the NAWW (National Association of Women Writers) or you can hire someone to do this for you. We feature writers every week in our newsletter who have built wonderfully large communities from scratch in a very short time (less than a year) using the Internet. Check out NAWW Member, Dotsie Bregel's site at http://www.boomerwomenspeak.com.
3. You Must Create a Database
To sell books, you must have a mechanism in place to store all your potential customers' contact information. Intimidated by the thought of creating a database? Please don't be, just go to your nearest office store and you can purchase a database program for less than $50. Some website providers even have this function built straight into their website. Keeping track of your customers' basic information is crucial to the success of your long and short-term sales. At the very least, you must capture (enter) their name, address, and e-mail. You will use this database to quickly and efficiently communicate with your customers through future e-mailings and direct mailings. Add customers to your database by networking (and speaking!) at conferences by simply saying, "I have this free (report, booklet, etc.--something you created that is what every cat lover would want to read) and I would love to send it to you with my free weekly newsletter." Just grab their card and put a little check by their e-mail so that you know you got their permission. Another faster and easier way to build your database is by doing it online. Have a sign-up box right on your website for new potential customers. Doesn't matter how you do it, just do it!
4. You Must Have a Call to Action
Busy people need a reason to act now. Whatever your form of communication is with your customer, it must have a call to action somewhere in it if you want them to stop what they are doing and make your book a priority. Include wording that says 'act now' because if you don't you will miss this opportunity. The best calls to action include date expirations, liquidation sales, early-bird sales, etc. Simple technique, very powerful!
5. You Must Have Fun
You must have fun creating your community, networking with future customers, and thinking of creative/seasonal calls to action. When you have fun doing what you love, people want to do business with you. Hopefully the book that you wrote came from your passion about the subject. Now that you are selling your book, you get to live the "sharing of your passion" on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis. It is up to you--the more you live it, the more books you will sell!
Sheri McConnell is the President of the National Association of Women Writers. She helps women writers and entrepreneurs discover, create, and profit from their intellectual knowledge! Free reports for writers available with subscription to NAWW Weekly. Sheri lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Seth and their four children.
Contact her at her toll free number at 866-821-5829.
Business URL: http://www.naww.org
Blog URL: http://naww.blogspot.com
Personal URL: http://www.SheriMcConnell.org