10 Steps to Include in Your Book Marketing Plan

Julie Trelstad
Julie Trelstad

You’ve finished writing the last pages of your book. It’s a beautiful feeling! Now on to the book launching process. Perhaps you have a few ideas in mind of events you want to attend and sites you want to be part of, but you have no real plan in place, and maybe your publicist will take care of everything for you. That’s OK, right?


Having a healthy marketing plan in place long before finishing the last chapter will better your chances of a successful launch

Every publisher or literary agent will inform you of the success of your book relies heavily on the author- you. Yes, you’ve worked hard writing your book, but now it’s time to work even harder to promote it. This process takes time and dedication, the same as writing your book but requires more planning, administration, and careful oversight.

Put these 10 steps in place with your marketing plan and let’s make it a winner.

1. Know Your “Bookshelf” and Promote Them

What authors are like you? Knowing which authors most like you will be a big help in this process. In what ways do your comparable authors promote themselves? Who are their readers and where are they finding them? Are all excellent pieces of information to help you determine how to market your book.

In your marketing plan, consider promoting these similar titles to your readers. Promoting these authors will also serve a benefit to you. I’m sure you’re asking, “Why should I promote other authors? Won’t that lead my readers away?” Good question, but no. In fact you’re doing two things: creating good karma and helping your readers find other great books they’ll like as much as yours.

2. Set Up Your Online Presence

In today’s world, an online presence (author platform) is a must. A website or book-specific page will help in several different ways—by informing readers of upcoming events, leading them to your Amazon sales page (or any other sales page), and keeping up with overall communication with your subscribers. Your page becomes the center of all of digital promotion efforts.

3. Set Up Your Social Media

Social media along with a website is an absolute must, but that doesn’t mean you have to be on every platform every day. Social media will help engage your readers in different events/activities that traditional ways of marketing wouldn’t. Set up a profile on two or three key platforms—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular, and commit to posting at least weekly. Quality graphics and content along with a defined strategy will help attract more readers to your page.

4. Use Author Promotions Like Booksweeps

This is a great strategy to promote on your website and social media. Booksweeps offers a multi-author giveaways for readers that can help explode your mailing list.

5. Make a Promotional Calendar

Having a calendar for your personal appointments is helpful, but a timeline for your book promotions is a must! Keeping track of which marketing strategies need to take place when and what needs to be updated where will help you stay on track and encourage your launch and reader visibility to be successful.

6. Know Your Publishing Dates

Be on top of your important dates such as your book birthday and publishing date to keep your book launch timeline on track.

7. Create an Email Marketing List

With the help of your website and social media, you will be able to create an email marketing list in which you can notify your readers right at their inbox of top events such as book releases, book readings, and other promotional activities you have on your promotional calendar. With this list, you can also offer fun giveaways or contests to engage your reader and make them interested in more.

8. Optimize Your Author Profiles

If you aren’t optimizing your author profiles on Goodreads, Bookbub, Amazon, and LibraryThing, you could be missing out on traffic and possibly even sales.

9. Enter Awards

What better way to promote your book (and have the gratification) than winning a book award! Winning book awards will help you reach out to other media, booksellers, and agencies. Sprouting more sales and leading to more opportunities.

10. Go Local

Go out and promote your book publicly! A few resources will be right in your own hometown. Offer signings or readings at your local bookstore and library to generate interest and be an essential part of your book marketing campaign.

Whenever a company or even author market or create something, things can turn out differently than expected. Which is okay!

Having an actionable plan in place whether or not it turns out exactly how you expected will save a lot of time and frustration in the end.

Ready to take charge in your marketing plan with the Julie Ink Team?

Contact us to find out more about our custom Author Marketing Plan Service!

book marketing

Julie Trelstad

Julie Trelstad is a book publishing pro (former acquisitions editor, digital rights director, publisher) who teaches writers the art and science of book publishing to support her serious book habit.