During author coaching calls, we almost always discuss marketing timelines, and when each author should actually start promoting their title. Although it’s good advice to start early, it’s important to understand that early can be relative based on each author’s circumstances.
Marketing Timelines Are Not 'One-Size-Fits-All'
The reality is that most “start marketing your book early” warnings come from people involved in traditional publishing. For example, if you’re with a major publisher and are planning to release your book in the fall, they’ll need to pitch it to bookstores in March. This means that you will need to have ARCs (advanced review copies) early in the year in order to meet retailers’ schedules, especially considering how busy the Fall season typically is.
Publishers typically have a reasonable number of books on hand and may become frustrated when sales slow and they have no way to get rid of them. It is a scenario that can shatter dreams of selling large quantities of books through bookstores. If you find yourself in a similar situation, however, there is hope. You can sell your books to new buyers in non-trade markets at any stage of a book’s life cycle.
Hesitation in pursuing new sources of revenue in non-trade markets is typically caused by the thought that bookstores are the only places to sell books, and also by not knowing where or how to find new buyers in new markets. Selling to non-trade markets is not that different from selling to bookstores, particularly in the non-trade retail sector, which includes mass merchandisers and specialty shops.
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If you’re an author and want to stay on top of the important issues in the world of publishing — issues that affect you — you need The Hot Sheet.
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If your 2020 New Year’s resolution was to “lose weight,” you already reached it if you lost even one pound. If your goal is to sell more books than last year, one more book sold will accomplish that. In both cases, your intention was probably to do more. These resolutions demonstrate the importance of writing specific, measurable goals, and then having a plan in place to reach them. How much weight do you intend to lose? How many books do you intend to sell this year? How will you do it? Be precise, and you are likely to do what you really want to achieve.
Once you have set your goal for how many books to sell this year, act on these recommendations to make you more likely to reach them:
Many authors of fiction believe selling their work is difficult. But if you look beyond the bookstore you can find many sales opportunities. The information below provides ideas and examples of potential segments that could be lucrative for you. This information is by no means an exclusive list, but as a catalyst to get you started.