Chip MacGregor

March 15, 2016

What’s the seventh step in marketing your book?


businssman drawing business concept on white wall

Okay, you’ve come to the point in the process where you really get into the details… you’ve done a bunch of research. You know who you are, and what it is you want to say. You’ve figured out who your audience is, and done some research on how to reach them. You’ve made choices about the general strategies you’ll use to get your words in front of potential readers, and you’ve decided what your specific plans are — where you’ll go and what you’ll say. Now you’ve got to write it all down. 

You probably think this is too simple, that you’re waiting for some secret to making marketing work. Well, this is it. Write it down. Put down on paper all the things you want to do. All those tools you were choosing yesterday? Write them down. All those places you want to reach? Write them down. All the audiences you want to stand in front of? Write it down. Get down on paper everything you want to do. Force yourself to get everything in one place, since it will make it much more real (and therefore more likely that you’ll actually DO it).

So if you’re going to do a blog tour, and visit 30 blogs in 30 days, here is where you write down the goal, then note the actual blogs you intend to target, and make notes on how you’re going to reach out to them and what you’re going to talk about. If you’re going to be focusing on talk radio, here’s where you right down the places you want to hit — the cities, the regions, even the shows and stations if you know what they are. Write down notes about what questions you expect to be asked, and how you plan to answer them. Prepare stories — both long and short stories, that will get your point across and entertain listeners. If you’re going to be sending out copies of your book, write down who you plan to send them to. If you’re going to create articles, this is where you write down what those articles will be (if nonfiction, make it a small chunk of the book, reshaped for the particular readers of that magazine; if you’re a novelist, maybe something on the events or time or place or characters, or perhaps something broader on the creating of the book itself — your motivation and process). But gather together all the disparate elements and put them into one big document, so you’ve got a handle on what you’ll be doing.

Don’t leave anything out. In fact, you’re better off writing too much, and having to delete some aspects of your plan later, rather than not planning enough. Again, perhaps only one-third of the things you try will really be effective — but you don’t know which one-third is going to work, so write the entire plan out. Be specific. Make note of your goals. Keep track of your audience. Have each step laid out clearly. Many people add a date & person responsible box to each activity, so it’s clear WHAT is to be done, WHEN it is to be done, and WHO is to do it. The entire document should be so clear that you could hand the document to someone else, and they could go out and execute your plan on your behalf.

Write it all down. That will allow you to tweak it, once you see the various pieces working together to help market your book. You might see holes that need to be filled, or realize you’re over-working one part of the marketing plan and under-working another. Just get the whole thing written down clearly. At that point you’ve gone from having some vague notion about “maybe helping market my book” to actually having a written plan that you can put into practice. Imagine the difference that will make — and how different you’ll feel, knowing you’ve got a plan and are way ahead of most authors.

Don’t wait. Write it down. Now.


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