December 30

Book Marketing Plan: What to focus on in 2021

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There is so much noise out there when it comes to book marketing, it's almost impossible to know what is worth listening to. If you're trying to put together a book marketing plan, how do you know which pieces are most important?

Or as one author said to me, how do you find the diamond advice in a barrel of rhinestones?

If you found yourself thrown off track in 2020, and let's face it, who didn't? Then I want to help you get focused for 2021.

By the end of this post, you'll have a plan for exactly what to focus on for better book marketing success in the coming year.

Know your author business phases

When thinking about being an author, there are a couple of phases that will be familiar. There's the writing part, and then there's the launching part.

Depending on how fast you write, you could spend months at a time in the writing phase. Then once your book is ready, including the editing and the cover design process, you switch hats and move into the launching phase.

This phase can feel really chaotic and stressful. If you don't enjoy it too much, you quickly switch hats again and go back to your comfort zone of the writing phase.

Now, I am here to tell you that it doesn't need to be this way. Your launches don't need to be chaotic and stressful. That's if you focus your book marketing plan on growing your readership all year round.

The most important time for book marketing

The most important time in your author business is between launches.

Of course, that does mean the writing phase and building out your back catalog. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the marketing work that you do between launches.

Launch marketing is very different from consistent, regular book marketing.

Launch marketing may involve things like promos, ads and price promotions. Things that you don't do all the time, but you do to give your book a bit of a boost around the time of its launch.

But between your launches is the time that you can invest in getting to know your readers, and growing your audience of loyal fans.

So you'll be attracting them to your mailing list. You'll be nurturing them with interesting content. You'll be getting to know them better by asking questions and engaging with them on social media. And you'll be spending time getting in front of new audiences and attracting them back to your mailing list as well.

FREE Target Reader Checklist

Identify your readers for more effective book marketing!

A book marketing plan for any year

If you want a book marketing plan for 2021, or any year for that matter, it is this: Focus on growing your audience of loyal readers.

Let's break that down a bit.

It starts with identifying who your target readers are. Remember, I have a checklist that can help you with that.

And then it's a case of getting in front of your target readers to let them know that you exist. You don't need to use 101 tactics to do this, you only need one.

So that could be ads. It could be being interviewed on other people's podcasts or guest posting. Or it could be using something like Pinterest.

You may need to experiment to find the way that works for you and for your readers. But remember, you only need one way to get in front of readers and attract them back to your mailing list for this to work.

Focus on your email list

Once you've found a way of getting in front of your target readers, you want to entice them onto your mailing list so that you can keep in touch with them. That means you'll be able to market to them when your launches roll around as well.

You do this with an awesome reader magnet. I have lots of ideas for compelling reader magnets in this post!

Then the icing on the cake is to nurture your readers with interesting content that they're going to love. That could be a blog, it could be a podcast, it could be a video show. It could even be a regular Facebook live.

This regular content serves two purposes. One, it nurtures those readers that have already found you, and, two, it serves as a way to attract new audiences. You don't want to only send emails, because that doesn't attract anybody new. If you're creating consistent content of your own, then you will attract new people to you as well.

Your number one goal is to grow your email list and to stay top of mind with your readers. That means when your next launch rolls around, you have a tribe of readers ready and eager to buy from you.

And not only buy from you but help support your launch as well. They will share your book with their friends and networks too, and they're more likely to leave reviews.

Invest in the long-game

If you put in that time and effort between launches nurturing your tribe of readers, they are going to pay you back.

You can throw a lot of money and energy at a book launch, which may or may not pay off. If you're only ever going to launch one book, then that may be the best way to go. You put everything behind that launch, and then it's done, and you don't worry about it anymore. But if you're in this for the long game, then the most important marketing is the marketing you do between your launches.

If you invest time and energy in your readers between book launches, I guarantee your launches will be more effective.

Remember it all starts with identifying your target readers. So grab my checklist and commit to being smart with your book marketing next year.


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Don't know where to start?

Discover where to spend your time and budget for better book sales with this free guide to investing your book marketing budget for fiction and non-fiction authors.