3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Plan

3 ways to improve marketing plan

Almost every blog, workshop, and website on the subject of self-publishing advocates for creating a book marketing plan even before your book has been printed.

You will already have read about several marketing methods, from virtual book tours to book signings to book fair partnerships to glossy mailings featuring your book. Have you followed that advice?

Sometimes, even when we answer “yes” to this question, our sales numbers may not reflect the hard work and the (usually) good advice we receive. You might even be following to the letter every piece of advice you’ve been given. So, how could this be? And more importantly, how do we fix the problem?

The simple truth is that your book’s marketing plan may have a fatal flaw, and this flaw may be costing you sales. And truthfully, this is a common problem among self-publishing authors, which means that you’re not alone and that we’ve figured out a couple of surefire ways to troubleshoot the issues.

Instead of looking at your book marketing plan as an “enemy” which is actively working against you, ponder these three questions. Your answers might just help reshape your marketing plan to be more insightful, more effective, and more successful at moving your book off the bookstore shelves.

  1. Have you clearly defined your target market? When you wrote your first book, you just knew that everyone would love it. It would make you the talk of the town (or maybe even the talk of the nation or globe). It would be the “it” book everyone would want to read. But . . . that’s a rather lofty goal. Many might even say that it’s an impossible goal, in that even the most successful authors (like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Jan Karon) aren’t able to reach everyone with their books. And that’s fine; they have developed loyal followings among readers who are committed to them and their books. That’s where their success lies, and even if you’re not a blockbuster breakout success on the scale of a Stephen King, one can learn from that core truth: loyal followings sell books. How, then, do you seek them out? First, ignore all the white noise, and dispense with the idea that your book is for everyone. There isn’t a book on earth that’s for everyone. So, who is your book for? Who is your intended audience? Start locking in the details, from demographic information like age and occupation to the qualities people look for in books. Define your target audience with care and with specificity. If you can’t name some specific characteristics, you can’t market to them.
  2. Have you figured out what differentiates your book from the other books available to your target market? Can you tell us why your book is both different from and better than any other book on the market in its genre? Is there a lesson taught in your book? Are your characters easier to relate to? There has to be a reason why readers want to buy your spy thriller instead of the latest from John le Carré. As daunting as it is to consider as a competitor THE AUTHOR who leads the pack in terms of sales in your genre, doing so will help you figure out your book’s strengths. You aren’t just churning out another Vince Flynn action book; you’re publishing a book with its own strengths of plot and character. Find out what makes your book special and use that as your unique value proposition . . . in marketing as well as every other context.
  3. Have you updated your book marketing plan lately? The book marketing industry, like any other, evolves with blinding speed. If you don’t keep your plan up to date, it can quickly become irrelevant, and your book sales will flag. Therefore, we recommend that authors review and update their book marketing plan at least once a year and make sure to get eyes other than their own on their plan. Having that external insight is vital to ensuring that every detail of your marketing plan serves a purpose!

Have your book sales been lagging, and you can’t figure out why? Perhaps it’s time to consult with one of our Book Marketing Specialists. Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with one of our book marketing specialists. Enter promo code bmssavings at checkout to instantly receive 10% off.

This Week’s Amazon Featured Book of the Week is An Unstoppable Survivor by Judy Welden

Now available on Amazon.com!

An Unstoppable Survivor by Judy Welden

(5 out of 5 Stars – 7 Customer Reviews)    Price: $22.95

Stifled for two decades by an unloving husband, after his drowning death in 1980, Judy Welden helped her new husband set up his Chiropractic office, began writing songs (eventually wrote 400 +), started two publishing companies and two record labels.

Her Memoir tells of her earlier life and the struggles she endured in an interesting, often humorous manner.

Reading Judy Welden’s story will uplift the reader, motivating them to never give up on their dreams!

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

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This Week’s Amazon Featured Book of the Week is Dirt Road Main Street by Cynthia L. Clark

Now available on Amazon.com!

Dirt Road Main Street by Cynthia L. Clark

(4.5 out of 5 Stars – 3 Customer Reviews)    Price: $18.95

Without even knowing her last name, Tano is convinced that he must take a chance to find her, and he sets off on an August morning for Sage. When they reunite, their romantic past is renewed, and a secret is revealed. But the chance reunion is threatened by a hostile brother, a boyfriend in Kansas, a jilted ex, and a wildly obsessed woman stalker with guns and a hunger for Tano’s love. Dirt Road Main Street is a story of the strength and survival of love lost and found, entangled with the apprehension produced by the unpredictable desperate acts of an edgy mad woman.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

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TRIPLE your FREE author copies PLUS get an Amazon Kindle edition of your book

TRIPLE your FREE author copies PLUS get an Amazon Kindle edition of your self-published book Outskirts Press

Having paperback copies of your book on hand lets you nimbly respond to promotion opportunities and make plenty of unanticipated sales.

When you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package now, we’ll triple the number of free author copies that come with your package!


Simply order your package before the promotion expires by entering the promotion code triplecopies into your shopping cart. We will also publish and distribute an Amazon Kindle e-book Edition of your book for free when you start today!

When it’s time to share YOUR story with the world, call and talk to an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant who can help you on your journey to publication.There are three convenient ways to connect:

This Week’s Amazon Featured Book of the Week is Shadows of Swayne Field by Ronald R. Harrington

Now available on Amazon.com!

Shadows of Swayne Field by Ronald R. Harrington

(4.7 out of 5 Stars – 5 Customer Reviews)    Price: $19.95

When the kitchen ceiling caved in, and the contents of his mother’s attic splayed across the floor, Ron, better known as “Punky,” knew he had to help clean up. With the assistance of his son and nephew, he would try to preserve as many of the dirty, mold-covered memories as he could, including a mysterious, old metal box, possibly belonging to his Grandpa Hash. What’s inside it takes him back thirty-two years earlier as he recalls the magical weekend in 1984 spent with his grandfather attending two baseball games. The first, at Tiger Stadium in Detroit to see their first-place heroes in action. Then to the local diamond to see their beloved Toledo Mud Hens the next day. The Beatles and Elvis on the radio, “crunchy” hot dogs, and plenty of baseball talk was on the agenda for this fun-filled road trip with many surprises along the way. The weekend takes an unexpected turn when the whereabouts of a long-lost family heirloom, a baseball signed by Abraham Lincoln, comes to light, setting off an impromptu detour, a bizarre return to a game at old Swayne Field—demolished twenty-nine years earlier, and uncovering the real holy grail of baseball collectibles.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

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Celebrate the New Year with 22% Off Self-Publishing

Celebrate the New Year with 22% Off Self-Publishing Outskirts Press

The wrapping paper has been torn off—and this is the perfect self-publishing gift for yourself. Among the many benefits both publishing packages offer, you’ll receive:

  • A free customizable cover, the number one thing that gets readers to buy
  • A publishing team to answer all your questions and make sure everything that needs doing is done—on time
  • Worldwide distribution and availability at over 25,000 retailers

This deal even includes a stocking stuffer: we will also publish and distribute an Amazon Kindle eBook Edition of your book for free.

Keep your resolution to publish this year. Just use promo code newyearsv when ordering your package right now! This offer expires on January 7th! Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions, or this offer, pass you by!

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help you publish your masterpiece:

  • Call 1-888-672-6657

Author Poll: Writer Bernard Bentley wants your help with his cover

Bernard Bentley is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press. And he wants your help deciding his book cover.

Book Summary

Life is an adventure. Share your adventure with someone!

Little Ben’s Life is a fun and entertaining book that is suitable for all readers. It Is written in rollicking rhyme which is sure to capture your attention. In the early years Ben overcomes boredom and life’s challenges by using his vivid imagination as a way of escape. While in the later years Ben shares his incredible experience of growing up and living in the Great Pacific Northwest.

About the Author

Bernard enjoys writing. It is his way of sharing his heart with all of his readers. He received his start in the industry as a model with Elan Modeling Troupe. Bernard later went on to act in several film projects. He is currently focused on further developing his talents as a writer and a independent film maker. Bernard speaks English, Haitian Kreyol, Tagalog and Spanish. He has over 30 years’ experience in martial arts. He is also the Pastor and founder of Latter Rain International Church.

Please take a look at two possible covers below and then vote on the choice you recommend for Bernard Bentley.

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Cover Option A (opens in new window)

Cover A

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Cover Option B (opens in new window)

Cover B

If you don’t see the survey above, click here to visit the webpage version.

This is NOT an email—it is a MAGIC WAND!

Save $500 on any One-Click Publishing Suite Outskirts Press

When you set out to write your book, did you think, “I can’t wait to format my book’s interior!”?

How about “I’m so excited to be my own marketing assistant!”? Of course not! You said to yourself and to anyone who would listen, “I’m a writer!

But you do need formatting, marketing, and many other essential things, like editing, to turn what you write into a book. So, for today only, let Outskirts Press wave our magic wand and make $500 disappear from our completely turnkey One-Click Publishing Package. This package features dozens of benefits geared specifically to your book’s genre, as well as free book copies for marketing . . . and more. In addition, the One-Click Publishing Package is the only publishing bundle that automatically also includes coveted marketing options such as Author Platform Setup Through Social Media, Google Books Preview, Book Video Trailers, Amazon Author Profiles, and Amazon Listing Enhancements.

Simply enter promotion code holidayoc, and you will save $500 instantly—but for a limited time only!

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help you publish your masterpiece: 

• Call 1-888-672-6657
• Live Chat at OutskirtsPress.com
• Schedule a free consultation

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Outskirts Press

No matter what holiday you celebrate (including the Binge Hallmark Movies Holiday), we wish you a happy, peaceful one!

If you exchange gifts to celebrate, may there be plenty of books with bows tied around them. If you use this time for quiet contemplation, may you find some of that at your laptop, notebook, or typewriter. Our best wishes for now and into the new year!

This Week’s Amazon Featured Book of the Week is Tempest by Charles Coffin

Now available on Amazon.com!

Tempest by Charles Coffin

(4.8 out of 5 Stars – 19 Customer Reviews)    Price: $19.95

Based on a true story, the following is about human relationships as we journey life’s path. Although set within a military backdrop, similar interpersonal relationships could just as easily have been experienced in a small company, small town, or even within a smaller department of a large corporation. War, over simplified, is a contest of wills. People skills are not common to all of us. We each can react quite differently to the same set of circumstances. Scientists tell us through DNA research that all human beings are 99.9% genetically alike. And yet, one of the things that makes us interesting is that our personalities can be so varied, and we react to the same circumstances quite differently. Tempest offers humor as well as frustration. It demonstrates the manipulation of power and the subtle grooming of people toward the will of those in authority controlling us.

Learn More

Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

Would you like your book featured here? Buy Now