Often when we are writing with publishing as the intended outcome, we forget about the important business side of that equation. We complete our work and want to get it into the hands of readers immediately. Unfortunately, without time to market the book, build a following and a sense of family with your readers, few books sell.
However, with good planning, we as authors can change the fate of our books and our careers.
People inherently want to support others they feel a relationship with, products they are loyal to or feel they’ve had some sort of connection to. Building that rapport takes months, possibly years, so the sooner you begin, the better.
There are many great timelines to help authors available online and research should be done to find the one that fits you and your personality. We have found one we like very much and recommend to our authors at https://howtowriteabookthatsells.com/book-marketing-timeline/
We have included here for you:
6-12 months before release
- Create a website, author page, or blog and at least one social media account.
- Begin engaging with your audience via your website, blog, or social media about your upcoming book.
- Find out what your publisher plans to do as far as book marketing, so that you don’t duplicate each other’s efforts.
- Determine your strengths. Are you comfortable doing interviews, book signings, and speaking engagements? Build upon your strengths by knowing your book. Being able to “sell” your book is crucial to your book’s success.
- Research your target market. What websites would readers of your book visit? What groups do they belong to on Facebook? What magazines do they read?
- Do research on book clubs, blogs, websites, and book review sites that could potentially feature you and your book.
4-6 months before release
- Begin building your email list and communicating with your subscribers.
- Contact relevant book clubs and provide copies of your book for review. Determine when your book reviews will be published and add those dates to your marketing calendar.
- Research whether there are any upcoming book festivals or events relevant to your book’s topic. If there are, find out how you can get involved either by purchasing a vending table or by being a featured speaker.
- Create a media list that includes potential radio/TV outlets and magazine/newspapers that would feature you and your book.
- Create your book’s press release and media kit.
- Set up Google alerts for your name. You will later use these alerts to further add positive press to your media kit.
- Map out a promotional schedule for blogs you can write for, schools or businesses you can visit, and conferences you can attend that will further help you to market your book.
- Create a marketing calendar. Your marketing calendar will include a day-to-day accounting of when and where your book will be featured (i.e., websites, radio interviews, contest giveaways, etc.)
- Plan book tours, events and signings (both physical and virtual).
1-3 months before release
- Contact TV, newspaper and radio from your media list. Send media kits and review copies to interested media. Determine when your book will be featured and add it to your marketing calendar.
- Contact blogs and websites that are going to feature your book. Send press release kits and review copies and determine when your book will be featured and add it to your marketing calendar.
- Create and launch a book trailer.
- Schedule your book launch event party.
- Create a 30 second elevator pitch of your book.
At book release
- Update social media accounts, websites, etc. about your book’s release and provide a link where the book can be purchased.
- Send out a newsletter announcing your book’s release to your audience.
- Run contests on various sites (including your own) giving away copies of your book.
After book release
- Continue to use Google alerts to further add press to your media kit.
- Continue to engage with your audience and encourage them to leave book reviews and share details of your book with their friends.
- Be active on social media, making sure to thank anyone who has supported you.
- Repeat any of the above steps as necessary.