Today on the blog we have Bryan Cohen here to talk about creating a unique marketing plan for your book! Do you have a marketing plan for your book? If you don't, are you inspired to make one now?
It feels easier when you have a formula. When coming up with a marketing plan, we like to know what's come before so we have evidence that it will work. We want to crunch numbers and look at charts and see what the best use of our limited funds will be. We want to hear stories about how so-and-so sold 10,000 books in a week with this idea and how what's-her-face became an Amazon best-seller with that idea. There's just one problem. Nothing works as well the second time you do it.
The first blog tours were extremely successful. The first author to hold a Kindle Fire giveaway tied up with the sale of his or her books probably turned a significant profit. The authors who use the data from these once new ideas can't help but get diminishing returns from these secondhand marketing plans. They can't help it. Do you think the second magazine or television advertisement of all time was anywhere near as successful as the first? It just doesn't work like that.
To be as successful as possible, you need to try to come up with an idea that's never been done before. As a peddler of creative writing prompts, I'd like to give you some prompts to ask yourself as you're creating your new marketing campaign.
1. What are five ideas to target my desired audience and why will they work?
It's easy to come up with a general marketing plan. A few guest posts, an advertisement or two and a giveaway. Can you be sure, however, that this plan will reach your target readers? List at least five different ideas and evaluate whether or not the ideas will reach your ideal readers.
2. How do I make these ideas cheaper?
We love the idea of doing these big giveaways of merchandise and hardcover books. If we spend all of our money on one marketing plan, however, we may not be able to diversify and reach the highest number of people possible. Spend time, as opposed to money, and consider giving out or trading services to make your marketing plan less expensive.
3. How much time will these marketing plans require and how will I be able to put in the necessary hours?
Many authors shortchange their marketing plans because they don't put in the necessary time to help the plan flourish. Just as sacrifices must be made to create the time necessary to write the book, sacrifices must be made to free up the time needed for a marketing plan. Come up with ways to set aside that time and your marketing plan will be much more successful.
4. What are five marketing ideas that have never been done before?
It's always better to come up with multiple ideas than it is to think of one. Once you come up with the ideas, look them up to make sure you haven't reinvented the wheel. It's also never a bad idea to run these ideas by a few trustworthy author friends.
5. How are you going to market the marketing plan?
The first blog tours and giveaways were successful because readers and authors found out about them. You can have the most amazing contest in the world, but if people don't find out about it, your plan won't be worth the website it's printed on.
The marketing plan you create needs to be an extension of your art. If you've got a book that people will actually want to read, it means you've created art. You must use your artistic abilities to make a marketing plan that is just as unique and exciting as your book.
About the Author
In honor of his new book, Cohen is hosting the “1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter!
Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter.