Too often, authors wait until they’ve finished writing their books before they begin working on their marketing plan. This is like delaying your planning for a long-distance journey until the day before you’re due to arrive in a distant city and you realize that your journey will take longer than you had anticipated. Similarly, by the time your book is published and hitting the bookshelves, it’s too late to begin marketing it. You should have begun months before that â€“ months before it was published, months before you finished writing it.
Publishers plan the marketing of their books almost at the moment when they sign an author to publish his or her book. (And traditional publishers can take a year or more to bring a book to market.) They know how important marketing is (even if many publishers today don’t have the resources to devote marketing to each of their authors). You should, too: marketing is too important to be a last-minute thing.
You will need certain people to review your book before it’s published. These include recognized experts in your field, influential people in the book-publishing world, and others such as book club buyers (there are book clubs for most genres, even business books). These people should receive your book in some form well before it’s published, so that they have time to read it, review and so that their review (if they write a review) coincides with the book’s arrival at stores.
We know it’s almost impossible to get a book noticed â€“ but just as you’ve targeted journalists and bloggers in your field to draw attention to your expertise well before you have written or finished your book, you should look to these people to review your book, or at least notice it in some way (such as a brief feature or article about it), to help draw attention to what you’re doing. Bloggers and online media in particular have a great need for new content â€“ and a book by a trusted source can be just the thing. Offer them e-galleys (which are more common today than print galleys) or PDFs of your book, so they can easily see what your finished book will be like.
In any event, you want to create momentum for your book so that by the time it’s published, it will already have been anticipated.
In our next post, we’ll continue to look at your book-marketing plan.
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