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Publishing a successful book requires more than just good writing. It requires a strong marketing plan.

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Every author looks forward to the day they get to hold their book in their hands—whether it’s their first book or their tenth. But publishing a successful book—either through a traditional publisher or by self-publishing—requires more than just good writing: it requires a strong marketing plan.

A book marketing strategy will make sure your book gets seen by the type of people most likely to buy. Good book marketing is often what makes the difference between simply a published author and a bestselling author.

6 Tips for a Successful Book Marketing Plan

A book marketing plan is your step-by-step guide to getting your book in front of the right people, at the right time and place, with the right budget. Think of your plan as a marketing campaign to make your book a bestseller.

Here are some helpful tips to help you learn how to market a book!

1. Define Your Audience.

You just finished writing your new book, and of course, you want everyone in the world to read it. But realistically, only a certain demographic of people will be interested based on the topic and genre. To maximize the number of potential readers for your book, build a plan to target those who are most likely to be interested.

  1. Use keywords to define your book. You can start to determine your target audience for advertising by figuring out what sorts of interests they may have that have to do with your book. Think about your book’s style and genre, then do a number of Google searches around those words to determine what words are best associated with your book. Knowing a few keywords can help you put digital ads in front of those most likely to be interested in your book.
  2. Find communities with interests related to your keywords. You don’t need to create a new circle of readers in order to sell your book—you should tap into the network of relevant readers that already exists. Find out where your target readers are getting together to talk about their interests. Are they on Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook? You might look for local groups that meet up, like groups that meet to discuss science-fiction books or young-adult-fiction book clubs. There might even be yearly conventions for your book type or genre you could attend. Find out what your audience likes and where you can find them and you’ll be able to reach new readers in no time.
  3. Get to know these communities. As you find communities of people who may be interested in your book, get to know them so you’ll know even more of their preferences. What kind of content do they like to see? What other authors do they read? Knowing the answers to these will help you decide how best to reach them when advertising your book.

2. Define Your Budget.

You need to determine how much you’re willing to spend on your book promotion so you can map out your marketing tactics and be prepared for them.

Think about your audience and what it will take to reach them, including the kind of content you will need to create and where it will go. WIll you be creating a book trailer? Will you be running Facebook ads? Are you publishing a print book, and have you already accounted for printing costs? Also consider if you will need to travel for book signings, conferences, readings, or speaking opportunities.

Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your potential costs and see how much money you will need to accomplish your goals.

3. Start Building an Online Presence Early.

It might seem strange to start marketing your book before it’s even published, but starting early will help ensure that, when your book finally comes out, you already have a large following that is excited and ready to purchase it on day one.

Decide which social media platforms you will be using based on your audience and start posting early. If you’re using Twitter, Instagram, or a Facebook page, you can post progress updates, sneak peeks of your work, or content related to your genre. Your social media following will grow as you post frequently and consistently. Be genuine and engage with your audience as they engage with you.

Build an author website that has your bio and your previous work. You can use your own website to host all of your content, like your tweets and social feed, a weekly blog, press releases, sample chapters, or a podcast. Encourage your website visitors to sign up for your email list; email marketing can be a great way to track engagement and build excitement for your launch.