Three Steps for Creating a Special-Sales Plan

March 2005
by Brian Jud

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There are many ways to make a publishing firm succeed, but one sure way to make it fail: conduct business without a marketing plan. Your marketing plan should set forth your general strategies and specific tactics for product development, distribution, pricing, and promotion. Your special-sales plan–which must be constructed after thorough, careful research–is a subset of your marketing plan that deals with sales channels beyond the world of bookstores; and it, in turn, has three complementary and interdependent sections. The first defines direction, which includes both goals and mission; the second describes overall strategy; and the third lists the actions you will take to implement your strategy and reach your objectives.

Step One: Direction

Begin your special-sales marketing plan with a sentence or two stating your overall mission in terms of non—bookstore marketing. This statement should offer a concise answer to the question, “Whom are we trying to serve, and what do they want?”

Then create a yardstick for measuring progress as you work to penetrate and sell through special-sales channels. You will need written, measurable, and time-oriented specifics to allocate your resources of money, effort, and time intelligently.

Step Two: Strategy

The strategic section of your special-sales marketing plan should paint a broad picture of how you intend to reach your goals and how your product dev…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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