~ Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Template for Authors

Most authors spend 80% of their time writing a book, but only 20% preparing to market it. Yet, it’s the marketing part that determines if your book will sell a lot of copies. Whether you’re a traditionally-published or a hard-working indie writer, how do you know if your book has the potential to sell? Create a book marketing plan.

As a marketing consultant for 10 years, I’ve trained over 450 authors, including several New York Times bestsellers. Plus, I’m a published author of two successful books. So, I know what works, and my Book Marketing Plan Template is designed to get results.
This document is a step-by-step guide to develop a professional book marketing plan. Whether you’re a first-time author or already established, fill out as much of this template as possible. Strive to implement everything that is listed. The more complete your plan, the more you empower success. This template contains two sections:

a. Marketing Activity Timeline
b. Book Marketing Plan (15 sections)

The Marketing Activity Timeline on the next page will help you schedule the right activities between now and your book launch date.

The Book Marketing Plan Template will help you identify 15 essential tactics to promote your book. Each section includes concise instructions and checklists to follow.

After you fill out my Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Template, you’ll know how to take control over your book sales and your author career.

To your success!

Rob Eagar
Wildfire Marketing

Marketing Activity Timeline
Use this checklist to schedule various activities of your Book Marketing Plan. Follow the suggested lead times below to ensure you don’t miss key windows of opportunity:

6 – 12 Months in Advance:
Contact organizations to schedule public speaking events
Build author website and book landing page

3 – 6 Months in Advance:
Submit book galley for industry book reviewers
Contact organizations and individuals that can buy books in bulk
Contact online influencers, including podcasters, bloggers, etc.
Hire PR firm or contact national radio / TV programs for interviews

1 – 3 Months in Advance:
Create pre-order incentives
Launch pre-order campaign
Recruit book launch team

30 Days Before Launch:
Send advanced reader copies (ARCs) to launch team
Send 2 promotional emails per week to your email list featuring your book
Create social media share tools webpage
Speak in public and conduct live video (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)
Escalate pre-order campaign

Launch Day and 30 Days Afterwards:
Ask launch team to post Amazon reviews
Send 2 promotional emails per week to your email list featuring your book
Conduct live video events (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)
Thank launch team and ask them to use social media share tools

Ongoing Activities After Launch:
Send weekly newsletter with book campaign updates
Post weekly blog
Offer special incentives for a limited time to entice more purchases

Book Marketing Plan
Directions: Read the instructions to complete each section. Then, delete my text to create your own document. Use as much space as needed to fill in all of your details.

Book Details
Publication Date:

Book Hook
Develop a provocative sentence or question that you will use as a hook to grab a reader’s attention for your book.
Insert your book hook here…

For help creating an effective book hook, read this resource:

Book Description
Insert a brief description of your book’s premise or story in 300 words or less. This is the marketing language that will appear on your back cover or your book’s Amazon page.
Insert your back cover copy here…

For help writing better back cover copy, read this resource:

Target Audience
Audience Characteristics:
Your book is NOT for everyone. Effective marketing occurs by identifying the readers who would be MOST INTERESTED to buy your book. Use this section to describe the specific interests, felt needs, and demographics that characterize your primary readers and where they congregate.
Describe the characteristics of your ideal reader here…

Use these 5 questions to list where your target audience congregates online:
·         What websites do my target readers frequently visit?
·         What social media groups are dedicated to my genre (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)?
·         What active forums discuss my book’s genre?
·         What blogs review books based on my genre?
·         What online book clubs cover my genre?
List your answers here…

Author Website / Book Landing Page
Your author website is your book marketing headquarters. It’s where readers will come after they Google you to find out about your book. Use the following checklist to make sure your author website or book landing page has the following elements in place:

Author Website URL Address:

Email List Signup: Do you have a homepage sign-up form and pop-ups in place to invite people to join your email newsletter?

Book Details: Is your book cover, marketing language, and video trailer displayed?

Author Bio: Does your bio explain your history of helping or entertaining people?

Retailer Links: Display logos and purchase links to all major online retailers

Links to Social Media: Display social media logos so people can connect with you

Social Media Share Page: Provide one-click social media posts people can share

(Optional) Blog: Provide valuable content and/or stories—along with book updates

(Optional) Pre-order Redemption & Thank-You Pages: Is there a form visible for readers to submit proof of pre-orders and a thank-you page to claim your incentives?

Amazon Presence
Amazon sells more books than anyone, so you need a strong presence on their site. Your book’s product page will determine if people decide to buy. Your author page can help cross-promote other titles in your library. Use this checklist to cover the bases:

Amazon Book Page:
Does your book cover look attractive and legible at a thumbnail size?

Does your book marketing description start with strong hook in bolded text?

Do you have any endorsements or industry reviews displayed?

Do you have at least 50 customer reviews or a launch team to help get them?

Amazon Author Page:
Did you add all of your books to your author library?

Is your author headshot displayed?

Is your author bio displayed with the URL to your website?

Is your author blog and Twitter feed connected to Amazon?

Are your book trailer videos displayed?

Online Advertising
Amazon, Facebook, and BookBub offer affordable advertising for authors. In order to place ads in front of your target audience, you need to identify the proper keywords. You can accomplish this objective by listing similar authors and book titles who are successful in your specific genre. Also, if you already have books listed on Amazon, use the feature, “Customers who bought your book also bought…” for additional ideas.

Select the platforms where you (or your publisher) will purchase online advertising:
Amazon                Facebook                         BookBub              Other:

List the keywords below you will use to target your book ads to the right people:

Competitive Author Keywords:
List the author names here who write bestselling books in your genre…

Competitive Book Title Keywords:
List the book titles here that are bestsellers in your genre…

Reader Interest Keywords:
List the interests, hobbies, or clubs that typify your readers here…

For more details about using Amazon advertising for books, read this resource:

Publicity & Influencer Connections
It’s easy to increase sales when influential people promote your book to their audience. Use this section to identify connections you’ve secured with various types of influencers:

Y/N: Do you have a book press release completed to solicit publicity interviews?

Y/N: Do you have an email script ready to use to request online interviews?

Y/N: Will you manage your influencer interview schedule? If not, who will help?

Online Influencers:
Major Podcasts: List potential and confirmed podcast interviews here…

Big Bloggers: List potential and confirmed blog interviews here…

Book Reviewers: List potential and confirmed book reviewers here…

Publicity and Media Influencers:
Television appearances: List potential and confirmed TV interviews here…

Radio interviews: List potential and confirmed radio interviews here…

Personal Influencers: Friends, Family, Colleagues, etc.
List anyone you personally know who is willing to help promote your book on their blog, social media pages, provide an endorsement, or post an Amazon review here…

List any endorsements received from business leaders, celebrities, musicians, pastors, athletes, etc. If waiting to receive an endorsement, put names on a separate list:
List any received endorsements here…

Email List
Email is most effective tactic for selling books on this entire marketing plan. Use the following checklist to make sure you have the necessary tools in place:

Total subscribers on your email list:                                 Avg. new subscribers per month:

List the content magnet(s) you will offer to entice new subscribers:

Y/N: Is your content magnet featured on your website home page and using pop-ups?

Y/N: Are you putting your content magnet on Amazon to get additional exposure?

Y/N: Are you buying Facebook ads and using live events to get extra email signups?

For help creating email signup incentives and newsletters, read these resources:

Social Media
Studies show that social media isn’t an effective channel to sell books. Instead, social media is best used to capture email subscribers, drive traffic to your website, and spread word of mouth. Use the following checklist to monitor your social media activity:

Select the social media platforms you use and the current amount of followers:
Facebook:                                                 Twitter:                                           Instagram:
YouTube:                                                  LinkedIn:

Y/N: Does a picture of your book appear in your social media page header images?

Y/N: Are you purchasing lead generation ads on Facebook to build your email list?

Y/N: Do you have 10 book quotes with images premade to share on social media?

To avoid letting social media consume your marketing plan, read this resource:

Bulk Sales
List the people and organizations who could place orders for 100 copies or more:

Individuals: List individuals to contact here…

Organizations/Schools: List organization representatives to contact here…

A key to any successful book launch involves pre-orders, even if you’re self-published. Pre-orders provide early cash flow, sales momentum, and the greater chance for quick word-of-mouth. Use the following checklist to plan your pre-order campaign:

List two incentives you are prepared to offer to encourage pre-orders:

List two incentives will you offer for purchases of 5 copies or more:

Does your website have a pre-order form and thank-you page to claim incentives?

What date will you start your pre-order campaign?

Book Launch Team
Create a launch team of fans to spread word of mouth during your book campaign. Put fans on a separate email list for easy communication. Select where will you recruit fans:

My email list                      My Facebook fans                       My friends & family Other:

How many people are committed to your Launch Team?

Y/N: Is there a page on your website to provide one-click social media sharing tools?

Select the marketing activities that you will ask your Launch Team to complete:
Post reviews of your book on Amazon and other online retailers

Share book quotes and images on social media

Promote your book on their blog, newsletter, podcast, etc.

Buy a copy of your new book


Public Speaking & Live Events
Public speaking helps build reader connections, sell copies, and get paid to promote your book. List your plans to create a speaking tour and/or speak via video from home:

Public speaking:
Confirmed events and dates: List here…

Potential event and primary contact person: List here…

Online speaking:
Webinar: List any planned dates here…

Facebook Live: List any planned dates here…

Take The Next Step
In Your Author Career!

Now that you have a copy of my Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Template, you know what it takes successfully launch a new book.

As a marketing consultant, I’ve coached over 450 authors and helped clients hit the New York Times bestseller list three different ways, including fiction, non-fiction, and backlist. In addition, I’ve worked with well-known publishing houses, spoken at industry conferences, published two books, and achieved success as a self-published author.

I’m fortunate to make a living doing what I love, which is helping authors. But, it wasn’t always easy. I started out like most authors with no platform, no experience, not much money, and a whole lot of questions. I spent many years figuring out how to sell books from scratch, build my business, learn what works, and what doesn’t. But, you don’t have to learn the hard way like I did. I’m here to share the most up-to-date strategies and tactics to sell more books and increase author income.

Please visit my website as your online headquarters for everything an author needs to know about book marketing. Click on the links below to learn more about my free resources, video e-courses, and consulting services:

For more details, visit: http://www.StartaWildfire.com   

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