This morning I’ve been updating my book plans, which includes my book marketing plan and product and services roadmap. It’s quite a task looking at what needs to be written, by when and then considering what happens next.
What happens next? Phew wasn’t it enough that you had to find the right idea, outline it, write endlessly, edit and finally hit the publish button?
Well… that’s when the exciting bit comes – book marketing and selling your book is an exciting and potentially overwhelming prospect.
Add your product roadmap to that – creating and selling coaching, programs and membership and you might feel like you need a lie down in a cool room and order your slave to bring you a cocktail.
The book marketing plan is something that most authors don’t want to get their heads around while writing and editing and I get that – it’s too much. But there are some simple things that you can do while writing and this helps to keep the momentum going.
Just recently one of my 1:1 client’s sent me a photo of her presenting at a conference and on the screen was a massive slide of her book cover. You can imagine the smiles that reached my heart. The book isn’t launched yet (we have a date) but already she is getting used to what her book can bring and what this means to her and her business.
She is what I call an ideal client – open, receptive and my goodness me is she an action taker. She does what it takes to get her book written and I know that she’ll do the same with her marketing (no pressure there if you are reading this…).
When I start working with my clients I gently remind them that we will need to do some marketing as we go through and that can be as gentle as hey I am starting to write my book and I feel [scared/excited/fit to burst….] to asking for feedback on titles, subtitles and covers, getting beta readers to sharing some of the content, and getting the launch team in place.
At some point, though it makes sense to write up the plan, create a vision, set the intentions and put in some dates for action.
In fact, no matter how hard this all seems, it makes sense to start your book marketing plan now.
At the planning phase of book creation, it’s a great idea to get clear on how you want to build your personal brand and promote your book. What I find at this stage of book marketing is that the author is fixed on getting it written, but we do highlight it as a vital action point.
What will happen is that the plan we first thought of will change. It always does. And that is perfect.
It’s important to remember your book is a big part of your personal brand strategy but is not the overall strategy. We need to be looking at your product roadmap as well and how this links into your overall marketing plan and business plan. And while I am at it add content marketing to your plans as well, because blogging your book is a brilliant way to not only get it written but to also market it.
Ok, ok I get it too much already!
I’m sure you know all of the quotes about failing to plan, blah, blah. But it’s true. If you don’t put together a book marketing plan at some stage and any stage is better than no stage, you will have just spent a long six months or more writing and giving yourself a headache for nothing.
You will not raise your profile in the way that you expected. You also never capitalise on the gold that your book contains. And worse of all you may believe that it was all a waste of time.
Start your book marketing plan now, some of the benefits are:-
Naturally, it helps if you write the right book up front. Get this right and know what else you will use your book for and you will be on track for success.
Nothing to do with books, well it has as they are a big part of my business. I have been beautifully nagged by one of my coaches about another plan and like my clients, I am an action taker, so I made sure that I went through it and put in what and when and transferred the now stuff to my 90-day plan.
I hate to be nagged, but I hate not seeing results more. What about you?
Some points to mull over and remember this doesn’t have to be hard, we just make it hard, don’t we?
Look at your overall strategy and consider how this book fits with that. Get really clear on your values, passion and vision and then look at how you can dovetail this book into the rest of your plan. It’s not about where you can fit it in or making it the sole focus, it is about developing an integrated marketing plan.
I see a book as giving you a fantastic blueprint for many other things that you can do. It provides so much clarity that you may find your business model changing. For the better, of course…
A book is like any other product when it comes to creating your go to market plan, that is, you need to know what problems it is solving so that you can position it in the market in the right way.
Now, of course, I am expecting that you are writing a book that fits with where you want to take your personal brand, and you will have already decided on your ideal reader, aka your target market/niche. You, of course, understand the environment in which you are operating and how you compare with your competitors.
Remind me to write an article about STEEPLE…
Do you know how your buyers typically buy from you? Will your book follow the same pattern, or do you need to create another approach to attract them?
Consider the route your customers normally take, ask if this is appropriate and if not, start to research how you will attract and convert them into buying your book and becoming raving fans.
Your actual launch i.e the launch party at your favourite book store may not generate masses of leads. Your online book party and other activities will generate many more leads and is an invaluable ingredient in raising awareness of your brand.
There should be lead generation activities before and certainly on an ongoing basis afterwards. Think of how your book marketing needs to help with positioning you as an expert and what you will market and sell alongside it.
Do you have a program to launch? Your book is the perfect blueprint for that. While you are delivering your program you can be creating your online course. Perhaps your book is to support your quarterly retreats in some far-flung exotic location.
All I am saying is that plan your book launch well and use it to create leads for something else you want to deliver.
From the moment that you know that you are writing your book test your readers. Ask them for feedback about suitable titles and subtitles, float cover ideas across them, share ideas about different aspects that you are covering and tell them about the journey. Design every interaction so that it gives you valuable feedback and builds a fanbase waiting to read your book.
Every bit of feedback you get will make for a better book.
Before you launch your book make sure your book marketing plan includes your lead page with your pre-order offer and gift – perhaps a chapter of your book and a mini-course?
It is so easy to miss this step. If you don’t write it up, how will you know what to do? Grab a roll of brown paper and coloured pens to kick-start your brainstorming early. Keep a journal and a spreadsheet of your ideas. Rate or rank them and expand on the ones you want to go with.
As you are writing your book, keep going back to the brainstorming plan, review your ideas and add more in. Look at how they fit together. It will remind you of things that you first thought of and may just spark a bit more creativity.
What can go on there? Think videos, sample chapters, blogs, interviews, podcasts, infographics, Tweets, website, Facebook page, adverts, webinars, actual book launch, virtual book tour, email lists, blogging your book, etc
Writing a book can be a challenging process without having to worry about all of the marketing that has to go into to it, which is why my advice is to start early. The earlier you start, the more rewarding it will be, and your brand will be raised long before launch day.
In fact – start your book marketing today.
Today tell your community that you are writing a book and what it is about. Ask for a hands up for beta readers for when the time comes. And if you think you may need case studies, ask for them next.
If you have already written a book, how can you bring it to life? Write a book marketing plan and product roadmap and relaunch.
Be brave and be bold. Get out there and rock your brand.
If your head is spinning, book in for a call and let’s talk about where your book can take you, your business and your readers.
What can you do next? Chat to me about planning your book marketing, blogging or writing your book.