Marketing Plans- Don’t Panic!

While browsing around various writing sites and blogs the other night I saw more than one person asking about (or freaking out over) Marketing Plans. More and more submission guidelines are requesting one of these. Why? The publishing industry is changing, and writers are now often expected to promote their own work. Publishers want to know if you can, or are willing to do this.

DON”T PANIC! Yes it may be something new, but you can do this!

First of all, check the guidelines to see if there are any specific comments for the Marketing Plan( or Marketing Strategy) they wish you do submit. I’m not just talking about formatting, but page length and also if a date range is set. For example; Submit a 1-2 page one year marketing plan. Now you’re ready to start.

Pretty much, a marketing plan entails what you will do, or have done, to promote yourself and your book.

You can start with a general paragraph if you like and then get into the good stuff. (Do note that if you are submitting for print and/or e-book publication ideas may vary accordingly.)

Let’s start with the Internet. One of the easiest, and also often less costly forms of promotion. There are many ways to promote online; Twitter, blogging, Facebook, to name a few, and your own web page as a launch site for these. You can go into detail for each of these promotional sites. Do you plan on getting one? Do you have one already? If so, give details on if personal or promotional, number of followers etc and how you plan on using it. (For example, networking, making contacts, promoting book, discussing status of book(s), creating a fan base). If you are willing you can also discuss using forums, Youtube, having contests, promoting on others blogs/websites, finding places to get your book reviewed or having yourself interviewed.

See, those 1-2 pages are filling up fast! The Internet of course, is not all there is. What else will you do? This may depend on your availability to travel and also if you have funds to promote yourself. Will you place ads in magazines, newspapers or on the radio? Will you do book signings, go to conventions, perhaps try to get on your local TV station? Will you be a featured speaker at events, libraries or schools? Do you plan on having promotional materials to send out to libraries or bookstores?

These are just some general ideas. You can further research online, or fire up that imagination of yours and come up with other ideas too!

Hopefully this post has been helpful, and at least partly lessened the panic of the unknown. Still have a question? Leave a comment!

Do you have any other marketing ideas? PLEASE comment and share with the rest of us!


About jlwylie

Stay at home mom of 2 boys, avid reader and writer. Published by Untold Press

12 thoughts on “Marketing Plans- Don’t Panic!

  1. Sessha Batto says:

    I think often as writers we become used to the company of other writers. We do blogs about writing, run contests for writers . . . but in the process I wonder how many think about their readers. Who are your readers, where do they hang out, are you engaged with them there? Those are the people who will, ultimately, be your biggest word spreaders. If you DON’T have readers, start finding some. Write fiction (or fanfiction – it’s easy and you’ll be working into a known reader base) and start posting on the active sites for your genre and INTERACT with your readers. If and when the call comes I hope to leverage some of the 100,000+ reads I’ve had over the last year into some (hopefully) enthusiastic buyers who already know they like my work.

  2. jlwylie says:

    Great ideas Sessha!! The readers are of course what it is all about! 😀

  3. Jon Gibbs says:

    Good post.

    The myth that writers write and other people market their books is still strong, especially among authors who aren’t yet published.

    I’ve always suspected folks choose to cling to that idea because the alternative scares them.

    • jlwylie says:

      Most definitely John! However it only makes sense you should market your own book…the more marketing then the more people will know of it, and hopefully BUY it (and read it!).

      For those that have never thought of, or had to market something it can certainly be a scary experience. Again, that fear of the unknown.
      Luckily there are a lot of great websites, and helpful people, who can make learning how to do this not as challenging.

  4. sean hayden says:

    Writing is easy
    Getting Published is difficult
    Finding an agent is impossible

    Marketing is just downright scary.

  5. jfhilborne says:

    Sean hits the nail on the head. A great marketing strategy is to network, and one of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to attend writer’s conferences. You’ll meet many people from all aspects of writing: authors, those getting started, agents, editors, publishers, and you’ll learn a massive amount of stuff about writing. Then, when you’re socializing in the bar, you’ll be making friends and meeting future readers.

  6. J. B. Thomas says:

    Writing and publishing are both fairly easy to do now, with publishing actually being easier than writing.

    I have not attempted finding an agent, not sure I want someone with their hands in my pocket.Pretty sure i don’t want to jump through hoops just to get someone who will.

    Marketing on the internet seems pretty useless anymore.People had learned to turn off anything that is selling something on the internet. Too many years of various internet ads have programmed them that way. To me it is beginning to look as though new authors will have less and less success in the future if they are left to fend for themselves like this. Perfectly good authors will get lost in the mix just because they do not have marketing skills.

  7. jlwylie says:

    I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    Marketing is a necessity. Without it, no one knows who you are, what you are writing or where to buy it. If you want sales you need to market both yourself and your work.

    I’m not talking about flashy expensive and annoying ads. A writer needs a website where readers can learn about them and their work. They need to promote themselves online and have at least some sort of presence.

    All authors fend for themselves, even those with large publishing houses. The larger houses may provide some assistance and a little marketing, but not much.

    Basic marketing skills are not hard to learn, again, I am talking about the basics here. It is not difficult to set up twitter, or a facebook account or a basic webpage. Nor is it hard to find blogs to interview or host you as a guest.

    The more people who know about, the more likely you are to sell books.

  8. J. B. Thomas says:

    Looks like other see the way things are going the same as i do. New writers are not doing as well as they used to. Check the article from the Wall Street Journal-

  9. jfhilborne says:

    A lot of it comes down to determination. Like with any business, you have to go to bat for yourself and do what you can to promote it. You can market on the internet without being annoying. Engage others in social conversation, make yourself interesting – there’s more to you than just your books (or whatever other business you’re trying to market). Make people want to know about you and this will lead to a bigger interest in what you do. If folks care about you, they’ll care about more about your product. Everything you do, both virtually and physically, tells the world something about you – be interesting and engaging. No one said it would be easy, and if it was, it wouldn’t be so rewarding.

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