The Ultimate Checklist for Success: A Self-Publisher’s Marketing Checklist for 2015

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April 22, 2015

Hey! Congratulations! You’ve finished your manuscript and you’re ready to rock the self-publishing industry this year. At least, that’s what your dreams tell you.

book marketing
image credit to Stockpholio

But you know what; your dream can guide you to success, but you still need to work hard to make your dream a reality. It might be a cliché, but it’s true. Now, if you’re ready to put your best foot forward this 2015, you should combine your dreams with hard work and this marketing checklist to make your campaign plan.

Book Background

  1. What is the book all about? – You’ll need to summarize everything when you finish writing your book. This summary is going to be the foundation of your whole marketing campaign, so you better set aside enough time for it.
  2. Who is your competition? – As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Just keep an eye on other books in the same genre as your work. Take a look at what these authors did for their marketing campaign. Learn from their mistakes and try to think of better ways to improve your book.
  3. What makes your book unique? – Look for an angle on how to make your book interesting and catchy. It can be the book cover, the font style, or the story itself. By the time you find one, don’t forget to highlight this uniqueness in all aspects of your marketing plan.
  4. How is the quality? – Put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Will you like it? I know, it’s hard to be critical since you wrote the book, but you have to know where your work stands when it comes to quality. If you need some help, you can ask a friend or a professional to make an honest review of the manuscript and give out suggestions for necessary improvements.
  5. What will be its price range? – Of course, the price matters. One of the main reasons why some great books don’t sell is because they are too expensive for their own good. Therefore, you must set a competitive price for your work in order to sell more copies.

Target Audience

  1. Who is your target audience? – Try to figure out specific details about your target readers, such as their age, gender, interest and special groups. This will help shape a targeted marketing campaign and make everything easier and more effective.
  2. Do you have a fan base already? – If you’ve written books before, it is possible that you have already gained a throng of adoring fans. So, capitalize on this and let your fans become your marketing agents. Get connected with them, encourage them to promote your books and voila, the battle is already half-won when it comes to marketing and promotion.

Branding

  1. What is your brand? – To put it simply, a brand is an image or a name that can be associated with your work. It can be your name as an author, or either the title and genre of your book. Thus, allocate enough time to create your brand; build it and protect it no matter what happens. As you go along the way, you shouldn’t stop thinking about how to make your brand better. As they say, success can only be achieved if you keep on working for a better version of what you have now.
  2. How to create your brand identity? – There are many ways to discover and create a brand identity. But you have to be careful; a single move can make or break your chance of generating sales.

Self-Publishing Objectives

  1. What do you want to achieve in self-publishing? – Sit down and ponder on your plans. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve as you enter the publishing industry? As ideas pop into your mind, write them down and then categorize them into groups afterwards. Remember, they must have SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals for you to avoid facing complications in the future.
  2. Do you want to gain awards for your work? – Selling more copies of your book is different from gaining an award for it. Being on the best-seller list might be very high praise, but an award is a completely different thing. Therefore, if you want to get an award from a governing body of publishing experts, like the National Book Award, then at the start of your writing process, you must know what types of stories to write or how to package your book in order to gain the recognition that you’ve always dreamed of.

Marketing Tactics

  1. How are you going to market your book? – Now, this is the tricky part. There may be a hundred ways to market your book, but not all of them will work for you. You have to select the most effective ones and then target it to a specific audience. If you need some ideas to work with, why don’t you check out some of the effective tactics below?
    1. Online Strategy
      1. Book/Author Website
      2. Social Media Marketing
      3. Search Engine Optimization Campaigns
      4. Video podcasts and blogs
    2. Offline Plans
      1. Media releases
        1. Press releases
        2. Broadcast guestings (TV and radio)
      2. Book events
        1. Book signings
        2. Book readings
  2. Do you have a specific time frame for the campaign? – In order for your campaign to work, you need to track its progress along the way. Also, you need to set a deadline in order to take advantage of proper timing. You need to set a specific duration for every marketing strategy and do your best to stick to it.
  3. Who will take care of the marketing campaign? – If you’re not willing to invest too much time and effort, then you might want to hire marketing specialists to do the work for you. This way, all you’ll have to do is monitor the campaign, take note of its progress, suggest necessary changes, and then sit back to enjoy the fruits of your campaign. But if you want to be hands-on with the marketing aspect of your book, then by all means, create your own marketing plan and start working on them as soon as you can.
  4. Are you willing to invest your resources? – If you choose to DIY your marketing campaign, you must always be willing sacrifice most of your time and energy for the campaign. More importantly, you must divide your time wisely in order to stay on schedule and achieve the success that you deserve.

Are you ready to take the first step to success?

Sources:

Five Self-Publishing Trends to Know in 2015 by @MidnightWriting

Marketing Planning Checklist

20 Marketing Questions Self-Published Authors Must Answer

6 Branding Tips for Writers and Authors