Why Authors Need a Book Marketing Plan
By Rob Eager
In today's erratic economy, publishers pay more attention than ever to the strength of an author’s platform. I define “platform” as the amount of people you’re sure will buy your new book within the first 90 days. If publishers don’t believe that you can help sell a lot of books, they’ll tend to reject your book proposal and choose someone else. This doesn’t minimize the importance of good writing, but it means that publishers place a premium on authors with a large marketing platform.
The problem is that most authors spend over 80% of their time writing a manuscript but less than 20% preparing for how they'll market that book. Yet, it's the marketing part that usually determines whether or not a book ever gets published. Publishers gravitate to books that they believe will sell in the marketplace. But, how do you convince them that your book is worth the financial risk? Show them a well-crafted marketing plan along with your book proposal.
Publishers want to see real numbers describing how many copies you can help sell on your own. However, I find that many of the standard book proposal templates used by authors and agents don’t give enough marketing detail to make a convincing case with a publisher. That’s why I recommend creating an author marketing plan that shows the specifics of your platform and your ability to promote books. Demonstrate in writing how you can help sell a lot of copies on your own. Publishers who see this information are more likely to offer you a contract, and even better, devote more marketing resources to support your book.
A good marketing plan should answer these four essential questions:
1. What positive results do you know your book can create for readers?
2. What type of reader needs your results the most?
3. Where do readers who need your results congregate in large numbers?
4. What steps will you take to get your book in front of those large groups?
Creating a marketing plan that answers these questions ahead of time provides multiple benefits. First, you’ll be better positioned to convince a publisher that your book is an asset, rather than a risk. Second, you’ll be positioned to start your marketing efforts way before your book launch, which helps insure your success. Too many authors are too haphazard with their marketing and start promoting way too late. Planning in advance helps you avoid their fate.
When you’re armed with a solid book marketing plan, you’ll show a publisher that you can be more than just an author – you can be an invaluable marketing partner.
If you’ve never written a professional marketing plan, get a copy of Rob Eagar’s “Marketing Plan Template for Fiction and Non-Fiction Authors.” Rob has coached over 400 authors at all levels, including several New York Times bestsellers. Plus, he's secured multiple book contracts for himself. So, he knows what it takes to gain a publisher’s attention.
His downloadable, 4-page template serve as your expert guide to create a successful book marketing plan. They're in an editable format that walks you step-by-step through each part of the process. When you're done, you'll have a top-notch book marketing plan for personal use and to accompany discussions with a literary agent or publisher. Rob's marketing plan template will help you:
• Identify specific groups of readers most likely to buy your book.
• Understand your competition and the advantages your book offers.
• Prove that you’re a financial asset to a publisher, rather than a risk.
• Create an effective plan that keeps you focused on success.
The regular price for Rob’s "Marketing Plan Template for Authors" is $19.99, go to: http://www.startawildfire.com/marketingplan.html
About the Author:
Rob Eagar, founder of WildFire Marketing is a consultant, author, and speaker who helps authors and publishers sell books like wildfire. He has worked with numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Dr. Gary Chapman, Lysa TerKeurst, and Wanda Brunstetter. His new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, will be published by Writer’s Digest in May, 2012. Find out more about Rob’s coaching services and products for authors at: www.startawildfire.com