Writing a book takes discipline, patience, and creativity. But getting people to actually read it is another ball game. That’s where creating a marketing plan comes into play. But this particular blog isn’t about creating a marketing plan. (Read about marketing plans in next week’s blog.) It’s about utilizing one important element that is crucial to reaching the right readers effectively…
What Does Time Have to Do With It?
It takes time to promote a book. In fact, the same amount of time and effort you may have put into your book may also have to be put into marketing it. The industry standard to market a book is 6 months before its release date, which means you should have a marketing plan in place before the first month of those six dreaded months. And that means you have to plan accordingly, which takes TIME.
How Should I Use My Time Wisely?
Don’t ever throw some marketing materials together in a haste and hope for the best. Instead, give yourself ample time to do the following:
- Learn more about your audience and market. You may have done this while you were writing your book. But now that you will be marketing it, you need to learn about your readers’ likes and dislikes, the best marketing channels to use, and where to find your readers.
- Develop specific marketing materials you want to sell or give away to your readers. Bookmarks, notebooks, pens, and tote bags are just a few of many great marketing materials to sell or give away. (The blog on creating a marketing plan goes more in depth about this.) Whatever you choose, make sure it relates to your book and engages readers to want to buy (or at least inquire) about your book.
- Allot time to create a marketing budget for your book. Creating social media posts is probably the cheapest way of promoting a book these days, but marketing your book will cost you something in the long run, and that cost varies depending on the channel(s) and marketing materials you choose. And you need to be ready for it.
When Should I Start Thinking About How to Market My Book?
It’s actually never too late to start. Even if you are halfway through writing your book, start thinking of ways to market it.
But if you can’t quite focus on it just yet, start thinking about marketing strategies when your book is in the formatting and printing stages. During this time, the book is complete and usually no text (and art/illustration) changes are made, which is a great time to re-evaluate your story and find elements in it that may be marketable. For example, with my picture book, Scary, Scary Sasha, I used one of the book’s illustrations to create a bookmark (see images above), which accompanies the book with each purchase and is given away at book signings and literacy events.
For more information on marketing your book, check out next week’s blog about creating a simple marketing plan for your book.