It looks like a lot. You might feel overwhelmed. Don't worry though. Just take things one step at a time. We did it in an hour and so can you!
Just remember, you need to go through these steps for EACH project you want to market. One plan won't work for everything. You also need to be flexible after you start working your plan. Things change. Be willing to reevaluate the effectiveness of your plan and try something else.
And now, from the totally awesome Sarah Negovetich!
The 1 Hour Marketing Plan1. Step One: Set a Budget
a. This depends on you: your desires, your income, your situation.
b. If your book goes into another print run or you earn out your advance, you can always create a second wave plan so don’t feel like you have to do everything at your launch.
c. Plan for the unexpected. Every budget needs a slush fund for last minute additions and unplanned changes.
2. Step Two: Determine what success will look like
a. Are you targeting a sales number? Amazon rank? Website hits? Print runs?
b. Know ahead of time what it will look like to be successful. This will steer you in deciding what tactics to pursue and help you determine what worked and what didn’t work.
3. Step Three: Brainstorm
a. Set a timer for at least ten minutes and write down as many ideas as you can.
b. Don’t edit yourself with “this won’t work” or “I can’t afford this”.
c. Think about things you’ve seen for other books and don’t be afraid to copy their strategy (you just can’t expect duplicated results).
4. Step Four: Time to narrow the list
a. There are no bad ideas, but some are better than others.
b. You can’t do it all, so we are going to narrow the list down. That doesn’t mean you can’t come back to some of these later on in your marketing stretch (an anniversary celebration?). When you cross items off, be sure you can still read them.
5. Elimination One: Know thy reader
a. Cross off anything that doesn’t reach your target audience
6. Elimination Two: Focus on your strengths
a. If you aren’t sure what your strengths are, I recommend the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
b. Cross anything off the list that you don’t want to do or that isn’t something you would be comfortable with.
7. Step Five: Who do you know?
a. Take a look at what’s left. Now scan you phone/email contact lists, friends and followers. Do you know someone who could help you with any of these ideas? Maybe you know a graphic 22 artist who could help you design a banner ad. Do you know someone who works in a library or bookstore, a book club coordinator, a PTA president, a journalist, etc.?
b. Add the names of people who could help you next to each item.
8. Step Six: Price tag
a. For each item remaining give it an F=free, $= a negligible costs such as mailing a reviewer a paperback copy, $$= for something a bit more expensive (ex. A $25 gift card, or an order of bookmarks and postcards, $$$= a high ticket item such as a $100 gift card or a purchased book trailer).
9. Step Seven: What do you want to do the most
a. Marketing shouldn’t be all work and no play. Put a star next to the tasks that seem like the most fun to you
10. Step Eight: Decision time
a. You need to narrow your list to the top five items you will work on to launch your book. Take into consideration costs, how much help you could get from friends, and what you want to do the most.
11. Step Nine: Breakdown
a. Once you’ve identified the five focus projects, you need to break them down into workable subtasks.
b. Example: Target genre appropriate books clubs and offer an Author visit via Skype
12. Step Ten: Create a detailed budget
a. For each subtask, determine if there will be any cost associated and an estimate of what that will be.
b. Compare this to your initial number. If you’ve gone over, you need to decide if this is still an item that you want to include.
c. Don’t forget to add in incidental costs, such as gas and postage. These may seems small but they can add up fast. Swinging by the post office on your way to the grocery store is no big deal. Driving an hour each way to a library talk is going to cost you a tank of gas.
d. Add a line in the budget for all those unexpected costs.
13. Step Eleven: Create a calendar
a. Determine how long each subtask will take to complete. Working backward from your release date, decide when each one will need to be started.
b. Keep in mind that if you are using outside vendors, you have to work on their schedule.
c. Don’t forget to add in a little padding to account for sick days, tasks that take longer than you anticipated, or a day when you just need a break. Better to be ahead of schedule with a day off for a massage, than behind schedule staring at an all-nighter.
14. You’re Done (but not really)
a. Now you have a marketing plan, but that doesn’t mean you’re done.
b. A marketing plan is a living document. Not everything on paper works out in real life. Be prepared to be flexible and make changes where needed.
c. Your launch isn’t the only time you need to market your book. We all hope to reach that organic point where our fans do our marketing for us by singing our praises to everyone who will listen. Until we get there, it’s up to you to get your book in front of readers. When you finish your launch plan, it’s time to work up your continuous marketing plan using the same techniques.
If you’d like additional marketing information, Sarah blogs about publishing and marketing at www.sarahnego.blogspot.com.