A book marketing calendar is a priceless document in the self-publishing realm. It contains valuable guideposts to steer your marketing and, ideally, includes ambitious but attainable benchmarks, such as promotion deadlines, book events and other to-do items in one place. It also should serve to inspire you to progress in your marketing efforts by making you accountable for your goals and the timeline for achieving them.
But where do you even begin to create a book marketing calendar? Here are five essential items to include on your marketing calendar for a successful year of selling:
- Literary contests. Your calendar should include submission deadline dates for literary competitions that interest you, as well as a list of submission requirements (or a link where you can find them). Remember to set a series of smaller goals for each step of the process so you can complete your registration on time.
- Book reviews. Some book reviews do have a submission window, so track these and schedule other reviews that aren’t time-sensitive for other times of the year.
- Book fairs and expos. There are many local, regional, national and international book fairs where authors can display their books and make valuable industry connections. Research ones that are appropriate for your genre and track registration deadlines and requirements on your calendar.
- Other marketing prompts. There are many little things you can do in between competitions and events to boost your visibility, such as book-signings, book giveaways, social media posts and advertising opportunities. You may wish to schedule specific types of activities for certain days of the week or month so you can easily keep track of your agenda. Social media Saturdays, book-signing Fridays, advertising on the 15th of the month, end-of-the-month giveaways, etc. This would also be a good place to note your monthly marketing budget.
- Resources. Add helpful links directly to your calendar for future reference. These should include book competition webpages, online forms, how-to articles and more. This will ensure the information you need is close at hand when you need it, and that you never miss an important deadline.
With careful advance planning and organization, you’ll save time down the road and will be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity available to you.
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