Marketing 101–Part 1

Now What?

You wrote the book and did all the right things to make it the best it can possibly be …now what?

No matter which publishing path you chose, self, independent or traditional, most likely you will be the one responsible for the marketing of your work.

What exactly is Marketing?

Marketing is actually a plan you create for the process of promoting, selling and distributing a product or a service. Your marketing plan should include plans for advertising, promotions and public relations.

The two most important pieces of information you will need to put a marketing plan together are:

a)    Who is your target audience? (everyone is NOT the answer)

b)    Determine your books message, and why you are the one qualified to share that message.


What exactly is Advertising?

Advertising is paying some form of media to spread your message of an offer to sell products or services.

To create your advertising portion of your marketing plan you will need to determine a budget. If you are scheduled for a book signing or event, you will need to let people know you are going to be there. The most cost effective and time saving way to do that is to advertise.

There are many forms of media vying for your advertising dollars, so before shelling it out do your research. If you wrote a YA novel, you may not want to advertise in the local assisted living facility’s newsletter. If you wrote about your atheist lifestyle, you most certainly do not want to advertise in a church bulletin.

Local newspapers, newsletters, magazines, bulletins, radio, T.V. and social media (ads) are all good places to research. Depending on your media market area, most have reasonable local fees.

In this business as in any other business, you must spend some to make some.

Newspaper photo

What is Promotion?

Promotion involves materials or events created to inform the public of a product or service. Again, there are countless companies competing for a piece of your budget.

Everything from business cards, flyers, pens, mugs, T-shirts, counter cards, bookmarkers etc…are considered promotional items.

A promotional event would be a goodreads contest, blog tour or a reading from your book.

Public Relations (PR)

P.R. is gaining exposure to a larger audience using topics of interest to the public and news items—that never require a payment.

This is SO important because you have to understand that newspapers, magazines, news shows etc…are never going to advertise your book or anyone’s book for free. They sell ads for that.

However, if you have information that may interest a T.V. shows audience they will invite you on their show. In other words if the queen of England needed a heart transplant, and you had a heart transplant you just might be the expert your local morning show wants to interview.  (Using my friend Brian Hayden as an example here)..

Brian Hayden Death Living to Talk about It

They will invite you on to discuss your experience not your book. They will however plug your book and website at the end of the interview. Your appearance on the show alone will give your book credibility.

A press release is also part of your P.R. plan and should include a short list of talking points such as:

a)    Transplant expert

b)   Navigating health insurance

c)    Prescription costs

d)   What family and friends can do to help a loved one with a life threatening illness

It should also include a short bio, education, work history and why you are an expert on these talking points. You will want to include a two or three –sentence- blurb about your book a high -resolution author and book photo.

Your Press Release should look like a professional memo. It should not be flashy.

Social Media

Social media should be used for sharing information and creating relationships with readers. It should be used to support and to be supported in return by other writers.

Your posts on social media should not be advertising. It is called social media not marketing media. If you want to advertise on social media you should purchase adds. They can actually be quite effective.

You should be starting or joining conversations. If someone wants to know who you are and what you do, because they like the conversation, or your comment they will look at your profile. Of course, you want to have author and your website link in your profile.

You can share information on social media such as new blog posts, you can create an event and invite people to book signings and of course, you want to share whenever you might be mentioned in some form of media. These information posts should be occasional. If you have a separate book or author page, you will want to do most of your information sharing there.

Always remember the buzz about your book should never come from you. It should come from your readers, reviewers and in some circumstances from other writers. The best way to receive support is to give support!

Good Luck!!

Doreen McGettigan

author Bristol boyz Stomp


3 Responses to “Marketing 101–Part 1”

  • How is buying ads on social media different then advertising on social media? That doesn’t seem logical to me.

    Making my way through the road trip linky.

  • This is a great post, thanks! We all need to be paying attention to this, because you’re right, we will have to do our own marketing and promotion.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  • Doreen, thanks for all this fabulous advice. I’ve chosen the indie-author route and anticipate self-publishing my romance novel this fall. I’ve got so much learning to do! Will definitely check back here for more words of wisdom. 🙂

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