As an author, I know how much time and effort authors put into crafting the perfect book. In order to give your book the best chance at success, you must put the same amount of effort into crafting your marketing plan.
In part one of this series, we talked about how to create a successful marketing plan. Next, we’ll talk about how to best allocate your marketing budget to support this plan.
Do: Invest Your Money
First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand where you should spend money. My advice is to trust the experts when it comes to designing your book cover and website. Why?
Consider these facts for a minute: shoppers in a bookstore spend an average of 3 seconds looking at the front cover of a book and 7 seconds looking at the back before deciding whether to buy it. Further, a survey of booksellers showed that 75% of them found the book cover to be the most important element of the book. Also, sales teams for publishers or book distributors often only take the book cover with them when they shop titles into stores.
Your website is similar. It’s like your business card, and is a reflection of who you are as an author, and your book. Let’s say you designed your own site, which saved you a few thousand dollars paying a web designer. Now you’re off promoting your book and suddenly you’re getting a gazillion hits to your site. Like your book cover, if your website is not appealing, it will not convert visitors to your site into a sale.
While you are the expert on your book, most authors have little expertise in book design, or website design. Unfortunately, I see a lot of authors who try to either design their book cover themselves, or leave the design to someone who is not an expert. Even though you may save money upfront, if your book cover does not attract readers, and your website does not retain visitors, how much money did you lose by foregoing the designer and doing it yourself?
Don’t: Fall for “Deals”
Like I said in part one of this series, when creating your marketing plan, it’s important that you have enough money or personal momentum for the long haul. In order to make the most of your marketing funds, it’s tempting to take advantage of any marketing deals that you may encounter. But sometimes you have to be critical when evaluating marketing deals. I would also urge you to be skeptical if someone offers you a deal that seems too good to be true.
Say someone offered to market your book for $300. Ask questions about exactly what you get for your money, because while $300 dollars isn’t much, you may find yourself needing to supply an extra $100 here and $99 there. Eventually, it all adds up. When spending money on your promotions, I suggest that you get a detailed list of deliverables so that you know what you are getting for the money you are spending. While finding a deal isn’t a bad thing, it can sometimes lead to a waste of money, or simply turn out to be a false promise.
With parts one and two of this series, you now know how to create a marketing plan and allocate your marketing budget to support this plan. But a successful marketing plan is not just about logistics. Remember what I said about ensuring that you have enough money or personal momentum for the long haul? In the third and final part of this series, we’re going to talk about the best attitude and habits to support your success!
Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of twelve books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet."
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.