Marketing Plans for First Books

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March 2012
by Brian Jud

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Marketing Plans for First Books

by Brian Jud

“You need a marketing plan.” Experienced publishers regularly give first-timers that sound advice. But if you are a first-timer, you are probably intimidated by the idea of doing a conventional, platform-based marketing plan, with its mission statement, executive summary, market analysis, goals, strategies, and actions. And you may be still more intimidated when you realize that these plans rely on previous experience, with goals described as increases over last year’s achievements.

I suggest that you consider two other, and perhaps easier, ways for inexperienced planners to chart marketing actions, which I call discovery-driven planning and planning by narrative.

Discovery-driven planning involves using the word plan as a verb, a course of action with today as the starting point. It works best for nonfiction and lets you start by assuming certain things about pricing, distribution, and promotion and learning by trial and error over time. Planning by narrative works best for fiction; it involves constructing a story, much as you might in writing a novel, and also allows for learning and correcting course.

Create your preliminary plan at least six months before publication date, since many actions must be t…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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