Are you an author? How does your marketing plan look? If your answer is “What!? I need a marketing plan!?” then this post is for you!
Here at Method Agency, we work with a ton of authors, many seasoned and many just starting out. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth book; whether you’re self-publishing or have the backing of a major publisher, one thing is for sure: you need your own marketing plan. We’ve put together a list of questions you need to be asking about your business. Get comfy, put down TikTok, and let’s take a real quick evaluation of your marketing!
Do you have an overall marketing plan or strategy in place? And if so, are you using it?
Putting a plan in place gives your marketing strategy a focus. Your plan can be as simple as a loose framework and timeline for your book release. Work backwards: How far in advance will you start promoting the book? Write it down. Is there a pre-order? Add those dates. What events are you attending, or do you plan to have a book tour? How often will you be posting on social media on a weekly or monthly basis? What content ideas do you have?
Getting a timeline in place will help you see the plan for your book launch with a bird’s eye view, and figuring out the types of content ahead of time is important to stay on track and organized. Even if you aren’t actively launching a new book, your author marketing plan can keep you focused on that author self-promotion, especially during the “off season” between books.
Is your Marketing Plan diversified? Do you post to at least two social media profiles consistently?
Maybe you have an amazing Instagram account that gets killer engagement or have tens of thousands of followers on TikTok. You shouldn’t rely on just ONE social networking site as the only element of your marketing plan. TikTok alone does not a marketing strategy make! You need to put all of your social media eggs in multiple baskets in case one of the platforms disappears or stops reaching your readers one day.
Are you sending regular emails to your email list? (Do you even have an email list?) —
Your marketing plan should include things like growing your email subscriber list and sending regular emails. There’s no greater antidote to algorithm changes like OWNING the channels with which you communicate with your readers. You own your email list. No one else. You can take it with you if TikTok closes down or if the ‘next big thing’ is just something you don’t want to jump on board with. Add your email marketing plan to your overall marketing strategy- sign up for some author e-newsletters to see how often they send emails and the types of content they write!
Are you updating your website regularly?
Keep your website current. A user-friendly (and mobile friendly) website is super important so readers can find out more information about you (and where to buy your books!) Website updates can be as simple as keeping your books page current with accurate links, adding upcoming events and appearances for your book launch, or a monthly blog post. When you publish blogs on your site, it allows you to control the content and also cement yourself as THE go-to information source for yourself and your work. (It also helps increase your SEO efforts!)
Do you have video content?
Video content is a must, must, MUST. We’re not talking about hiring a video production company to create a fancy biographical short film about your life as an author. These days, video encompasses everything from Reels and TikToks to YouTube and videos hosted your website. And the best performing videos are unpolished, under produced and super authentic. If you don’t already have some created or at the very least some ideas about what you’d like to do, you need to get planning immediately. Video is the be all and end all on every single social media platform right now (and probably for the foreseeable future).
Due to the structure of their algorithms, if you want to get your content in front of potential readers or even the audience you have already built, that content needs to be in the form of a video. If you’re unsure about where to start, browsing through what’s trending on #BookTok and #Bookstagram is a great place to start.
Are you utilizing digital advertising – especially social media advertising?
It’s not a fun fact, but social media platforms have become pay to play. In order to get in front of the audience you already built, or find a new audience, you have to play the advertising game. We recommend to everyone who works with our agency that you earmark part of your budget for social media ads.
Are you taking chances?
It’s important to experiment. Have you gotten on board with the latest social media trend? Are you testing new ads to see what clicks with your audience? Are you giving some exclusive perks to email list subscribers? Have you considered partnering with a book influencer who can help introduce your work to a different and potentially wider audience? Take a chance! Make a video utilizing a trendy TikTok topic… you never know what could happen!
Have you done your research?
If you had to describe your typical reader right now, could you do it? What would you say? Knowing information about age, gender identity, and location is vital to sales success. What other books is your audience reading and who is your “competition?” The best way to find new readers is by targeting the right audience, and having as many specific details as possible about that audience is a major piece of the puzzle.
So how did you do? Is your author marketing plan on track to reach as many new readers as possible? If you need a bit of a strategy refresh or need a partner to help you do it, reach out to our team at Method. We’ve been working with authors since the very start of our business, so we know this terrain from front cover to back!