In the publishing industry, not having a road map to detail your goals, book’s message and marketing plan will only land you lost among all the other books in the slush pile or on the selves trying to find a potential reader. Nevertheless, your map will keep this from happening by guiding you from staving writer to successful author. I talk about this often on my blog talk radio show, “What is Success” every Friday and this last month, Writer’s Digest also had an article on this very subject: “50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day.”
With that in mind, you must be wondering, “What do I put in my author business plan?” A very good question, so let’s start with...what do you need to write a book? Now I know you must be thinking “imagination”, however, we both know you need more than that. What you will need is a “WOW” factor and some talent. To get started you will need some paper and a pen or if you are like me, a computer (laptop or desk) will do. However, what happens next?
- Outline who you want to reach with your book. Knowing your target readership is important, not only in writing but in also knowing whom you need to market to after you are published, and better yet…before your book even hits the bookstores. Time to jot down all those people who will want your book and how effective they will be at getting more people to want it; after all, if you hit the right target market, they will be more than happy to share about you and your writing with others who like the same things they do. Nothing beats word of mouth marketing.
- Sign up for Google Alerts. Google Alerts (google.com/alerts) can help you track who is following and talking about you or your book. I use this for not only myself as an author and my books, but also for Stories for Children Magazine, the World of Ink Tours and everything else I do. Why is this important? So I can make sure I am reaching my target readership or a group I might not have thought about to begin with. The other important thing to do is send a "Thank You" when you see they have posted, twitted or shared about you. Remember…Network!
- If you have a blog/social network site, post pictures of you out promoting your book and at writing events. Readers like to know you are actively involved with your writing. Trust me; I know how hard this can be. I am not the best about this either, but my goal in 2012 is to be better. I have a blog, I have a newsletter and I should be posting my picture at writing and community events. So get ready to see more of me in 2012, even if I hate having my picture taken.
- Hold your own local event. This one is not as tough as we make it out to be. There are many local businesses that are willing and happy to host a book signing or author event. You just need to ask, but I would first build a networking connection with the business first and also offer something in return for their help. Make it a partnership.
- Offer guest posts to those who have blogs or websites on writing or topic of your book. This helps build a fan base or following. Those of you who have been reading or following me for sometime know that I write guest post for a few blogs and websites (free of cost). I do this because I love sharing about writing, marketing and publishing.
- Be a guest on a talk radio show. This is a great way to show your expertise as a writer or on a topic in your writing/book. I have my own blog talk show but before I become a blog talk radio host, I was a guest on many different talk radio shows local and on blog talk radio. This helped me build a following and fan base for my writing and my services.