Here’s my book marketing plan for my novel Perfects that I will publish in January 2017.

My current planned publication date is over 11 months away. You could be forgiven for thinking that I’m jumping the gun a bit. However what I’ve learnt is that doing this properly takes time.

Planning the Book Marketing Plan

A book marketing plan is no different to any other sort of project plan. You need to work out what you need to do, break it into bite sized chunks and identify the dependencies. I’ve done that and also identified my critical path.

Working back from the start you need to be able to send out advance reading copies to reviewers. Many of the more popular, and therefore more useful, review sites have a wait time in months. So you need to allow about three months for this stage.

The step before that is getting the book to the reviewers. If you are doing this in hard copy then you need to build in lead time for orders from the printers. I’ve been using createspace and the lead time is about 6 weeks for proof copies. I also need to factor a couple of weeks for me to receive them and then post them back out. That means I need to order them in early August.

Before I order the books I need to have finished proofing, editing and writing. There’s another couple of months work there. Also I want to get some beta readers ahead of a final edit. This means the novel needs to be ready as a good complete draft about Easter.

So right now is the time to think about planning. Writing a good novel is a two year project for me. That said I’ve spent longer than that for Perfects, and I can do more than one project in parallel.

Key activities in my book marketing plan

There’s more to the plan than this, but it gives the gist of what I have planned. The key parts of the plan

  • get reviews
  • generate buzz
  • test content and covers
  • sort distribution channels
  • advertisements
  • finalise and print
  • launch campaign

These aren’t in the order that you need to do them. Each of them has its own work stream and you need a more detailed plan. I’ll share mine over the next few posts.

Have you marketed a book? If so what worked for you, and what didn’t work? Leave a comment.

Buy Themself

PS – Buy my book Themself: Confessions of an Open University Creative Writing Student. Available in paperback and on kindle.