How Do I Market My Book and Do I Need to Have a Professional Marketing Firm to Market My Book?
As Founder/CEO of Enhanced DNA:Develop Nurture and Achieve, LLC and the Enhanced DNA Publishing division, I wanted to share insight into the world of publishing through this Q&A series. Marketing is often a confusing subject. Let's look at options related to Marketing.
Marketing is a biggie and if possible, should be completed with a professional marketer if it fits in your budget. The first step is to identify your goals for your book. This is the most important step since the answer will determine how much marketing you will need. If you have a goal to sell your book to your immediate contacts or those connected to you via social media, you may not need an extensive marketing effort. However, if your goal is to reach some of the Best Seller Lists or have global distribution, you will need to have marketing expertise - and that expertise needs to have specific knowledge and contacts within the literary community. There are options in between, so determine your goals and then decide your level of marketing needed.
At minimum, your publisher should have access to marketing materials and provide a marketing plan. Marketing can be fun or it can be daunting, depending on your level of experience with Marketing. You may believe that you have the skills to market your book, however, there is a community within the literary world that you need to have knowledge of and experience with in order to have an effective marketing campaign beyond your friends and contacts.
When should you begin marketing your book?
You should begin marketing your book once you have a firm foundation of the book and it’s key components. For example, you can begin “teasers” on social media letting your community know that you are writing the book and some of the key components. People like to guess – things like “title”, choices between “cover options”, etc. Getting them involved throughout the process will generate interest and momentum. The passion you have for your book will become contagious, so let that passion show.
Even if you only intend to market to your immediate contacts, you still should have a marketing plan. The marketing plan can be simple, but it should include the type of marketing along with a timeline. For a template of a publishing Marketing Plan, check out the workbook, "Enhancing Your Communication DNA: Publishing for Beginners".
If you have the goal of having a broader reach, then it is critical that you get help. I use the RACI chart to help me think about actions that need to be taken regarding Marketing but getting guidance from a professional is the best action. Once you identify the appropriate actions for your project, you can then determine specific actions that will need to be taken. For example, if the action is to create a Marketing Plan, the RACI chart will determine who is responsible, etc. But then that person may need to actually develop the Marketing Plan with the specific actions that need to be taken.
If you have not used a RACI chart before, here are the general definitions:
R – Responsible – Who is ultimately responsible for completing this action?
A – Accountable – Who is ultimately accountable for the overall responsibility?
C – Consult – Who should be consulted for this action?
I – Inform – Who needs to be informed – no action on their part?
Use the RACI designations to determine what the role is for each action item. You can use the following chart as a guide and to identify the actions needed for your project. If you are self-publishing, ensure that all actions are completed even if you get others to assist. If working with an Indie Publisher, make sure that you work with your publisher to ensure that all roles are understood and that the detailed expectations are identified.
For a template of a publishing RACI chart, check out the workbook, "Enhancing Your Communication DNA: Publishing for Beginners".