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06 March
2013
After the Manuscript Viewpoints
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Build a Customized Book Marketing Plan

After The Manuscript: Build a Customized Book Marketing Plan, By Dana Lynn Smith

As a book marketing consultant, I’ve noticed that many authors don’t have an effective marketing plan. Some authors focus most of their energy in one area, such as social networking, while others seem to jump from one thing to another as they hear about different ways to promote books.

A written book marketing plan is a valuable tool in guiding authors how to invest their time and money most effectively to generate book sales.

The basic principles of marketing are the same for all types of books. In a nutshell, a marketing plan should define your target markets and your strategies for reaching those markets and persuading them to buy your book.

But there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” book marketing plan. Your plan should be customized to your target audiences, the type of book you write, and your personal situation. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.

Define Target Markets

No book is for “everyone” and it’s important to define the characteristics of the primary market (ideal buyer) as well as secondary markets that also have an interest in the type of book you write.

For example, the primary market for a children’s picture book might be parents of young children. Secondary markets could include grandparents, schools, public libraries and retailers that cater to families. Also look for specific niche markets and distribution outlets based on the subject matter of the book. For example, a book featuring baby animals might be appealing to a zoo gift shop.

Tailor Promotional Plans

Although the marketing principles are the same, there are some differences in the most effective ways to promote children’s books, novels, and nonfiction books. For example, promoting how-to nonfiction is largely about promoting the expertise of the author. Speaking, writing articles, and getting publicity are good ways to achieve that.

Fiction sales benefit greatly from word of mouth recommendations, so a novel marketing plan should include strategies for getting lots of people to read and recommend the book to others. Finding ways to connect with kids and parents is important for children’s book authors, and hand-selling can be very effective.

Customize for the Author

There are dozens of ways to promote books, but we all have a limited amount of time and money. In developing your book marketing plan, consider your own strengths, preferences, time constraints and budget. Many authors have no background in marketing and they will need to learn new some skills.

The final step is to pull everything together into a written plan of action that describes what you will do on a weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to prioritize your activities so you focus your resources on the things that are most likely to produce sales.

For more details on what goes into an effective book marketing plan, download a free report, Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books.


About Dana Lynn Smith

Dana Lynn SmithDana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer, helps authors and indie publishers learn how to sell more books through her how-to guides, blog, newsletter, and private coaching. For more book promotion tips, get her free ebook at TheSavvyBookMarketer.com.




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BAY AREA AUTHOR EVENTS

November 21, 2014
Shiva Rea - Tending the Heart Fire
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 21, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Brian Krebs - Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 21, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Books Inc, Opera Plaza; 601 Van Ness, SF, 94102
November 22, 2014
Divya Srinivasan - Little Owl's Day - Special Event for Kids
Starts: 10:00 am
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 11:00 am
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Market to Table: Cooking Demonstrations by Cookbook Authors
Starts: 10:30 am
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 12:30 pm
Location: Book Passage at the Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Description: On Saturday mornings, chefs and cookbook authors lead free cooking demonstrations using seasonal ingredients from the Farmers Market. Join them in the CUESA kitchen (North Arcade) for tips, recipes, and a sample. Book Passage will be there with the books.
Nina Lesowitz & Mary Beth Sammons - The Grateful Life
Starts: 1:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 2:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Aglaia Kremezi - Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
Starts: 3:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 4:00 pm
Location: Omnivore Books: 3885a Cesar Chaves St, San Francisco
Carine McCandless - The Wild Truth
Starts: 4:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 5:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Mark "Fightshark" Miller - Pain Don't Hurt: Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Books Inc, The Marina: 2251 Chestnut St, San Francisco
November 23, 2014
Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith
Starts: 11:00 am
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 12:00 pm
Location: Author Appearance - , “” Book Passage - 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Description: Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith at Book Passage, Corte Madera
Starting September 12!
Sundays • 11:00 am • Free
Summer is over and Christopher is back! Singer-songwriter Christopher Smith has been writing music and performing in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Smith writes well-crafted story songs that aim for the heart. Children of all ages—and adults—love him!

These events are free and take place at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, unless otherwise noted. For information or to reserve autographed books, call 415-927-0960 or go to http://www.bookpassage.com.
Maxine Louise Michel De Felice - May the Spirit Be Unbroken
Starts: 1:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 2:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
California Writers Club
Starts: 2:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 4:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Description: California Writers Club at Book Passage, Corte Madera
4th Sunday each month • 2:00-4:00 pm • $5 members/$10 non-members per meeting
The Marin branch of the California Writers Club meets monthly at Book Passage, except July, August and December, on the 4th Sunday of the month, unless it’s a holiday. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meetings may feature a guest speaker, a workshop, or a panel discussion, along with networking, encouragement, and writing news. CWC, a 501c educational corporation, is the nation’s oldest professional club for writers ... “educating writers of all levels of expertise in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work.” All are welcome. Visit http://www.cwcmarinwriters.com.
Upcoming Meetings: Sun., June 26 • 2:00 pm • Topic: “Patience & Persistence: the Writer as Marathoner” • Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells, The Wednesday Sisters, and The Language of Light.
Kate Gale, Maxine Hong Kingston & Shelley Savren - An Evening of Poetry
Starts: 4:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 5:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera

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