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.

Self-Publishing + Crowdfunding = Everybody Wins!

Self-Publishing + Crowdfunding = Everybody Wins!

There is no doubt that self-publishing your book with a self-publishing company that charges fees in exchange for quality, service, and customization will result in a better book, statistically speaking, than publishing with a DIY online platform. So, why do so many authors gravitate toward the latter? Cost.

But imagine if there were a way to self-publish your book with a high-quality self-publisher WITHOUT spending a dime of your own money . . .

Enter crowdfunding. Wikipedia describes crowdfunding as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. In 2021, it is reported that over $17.2 billion was raised in North America alone by crowdfunding. This modern crowdfunding model is generally based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea or project to be funded (that would be you, the author), individuals or groups who support the idea (friends, family, and even strangers who like your idea), and a moderating organization (the ‘platform’).

There are several popular platforms that you can use: Kickstarter, Indiegogo,  and GoFundMe. As of this writing, exploring the “publishing” subcategory on these sites reveals thousands of active projects seeking funding. And that’s the rub. While it’s easy to post a new project on a crowdfunding site, it can be challenging to secure the necessary funding.

There are several ways to increase your chance for success though. One is to set your investment needs relatively low. Many of the publishing projects have investment requirements in the tens of thousands of dollars, while self-publishing packages with Outskirts Press, for instance, begin at just $999.

Another tactic is to market your crowdfunding campaign just as aggressively as you plan on marketing your book. Tell your friends and family before, during, and after the project posts on your crowdfunding site of choice. Market and promote your project heavily during its entire run. Communicate with backers before and after, and especially during your actual publication process. Keep them informed of your progress as your book nears publication. They’ve just invested money in your book—they’ll be excited to read it! Which is to say, you already have a built-in audience demanding your book. To say that puts you a leg (or two) up when the marketing phase kicks in would be an understatement.

Once you’ve secured your crowdfunding money, it’s time to self-publish your book! Again, Outskirts Press can help you. We look forward to seeing your book published in 2022.

Author Spotlight: Jane Gandolfo

About the Author

E. J. Gandolfo is a former advertising agency copywriter and sales executive. She is an artist and antique dealer and resides in the Boston area. Gandolfo is the author of the EVVY CIPA award winning book, To Paint A Murder and the EVVY CIPA nominated book, A Tale of Deceit, both Veronica Howard Vintage Mysteries.

Testimonial About Outskirt Press

Several years ago, when I decided to write my first book, I searched diligently for a company that offered the quality options and support that I felt I required.  Coming from a background in advertising and public relations as well as being the owner of an antique business, I knew from personal experience and from the trade that a lot of the outfits calling themselves “experts” to self-published authors were anything but.  The horror stories were abundant! 

I decided on Outskirts Press partly as a leap of faith and partly from their excellent track record.  I’m delighted to say that my decision to trust Outskirts with “my baby” has paid off many times over.  I am currently writing my fifth novel and will once again put my manuscript into their hands.  The customer service is excellent and I have never doubted the skills of the editors, proofreaders, cover artists and author representatives that I have been assigned to work with.

I have won two CIPA EVVY Awards which would not have been possible without Outskirt Press.

Am I happy with Outskirts Press?  You’d better believe it!     


  • To Paint a Murder, 1st place in the mystery/crime/detective fiction category at the 25th annual EVVY CIPA Awards for 2019.
  • A Tale of Deceit, EVVY CIPA nominated book

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:

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.

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How Local Media Marketing Can Make Your Book Skyrocket

How Local Media Marketing Can Make Your Book Skyrocket

If you’ve done any sort of local media marketing yourself, you know it is often easier said than done.

Success typically comes down to perseverance. But success also depends upon contacting the right people at the right time.

Every city has its share of radio stations, and each of those radio stations have on-air personalities for designated blocks of time. Some radio programs are geared exclusively to music. Others, exclusively to news. And still others exclusively to a mash-up of music, entertainment, and listener engagement. Media marketing involves identifying the appropriate people to contact and making those in-roads.

Since you’re a local author in their area, they’re exponentially more likely to be interested than if you send an unsolicited pitch to a national or global program.

Other than radio, every major city also has its fair share of local newscasts and entertainment programs on television. These program producers are constantly on the prowl for unique, original programming featuring someone, or something, of local interest. In much the same manner you located and pitched the radio stations, you’ll identify and pitch the television producers, too.

Do you want more than radio and television exposure? How about city-wide newspapers and/or community leaflets or fliers. Almost all commercial areas from the suburbs to the major cities harbor newsletters, newspapers, coupon periodicals, and the like. And what do you think the chances are that your local community newspaper will write an article about a local author with a published book? We’re betting pretty good! In fact, your local community newspapers should also be one of your very first steps on the road to marketing, but the success rate is so high.

If you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. But the results can make it worthwhile if you have the patience to do it right. And nowadays, much (if not all of this) can be done remotely via email, chat, and the telephone, making it an effective and safe method of marketing your book, even during COVID-19.

Want even more good news? Outskirts Press offers a Media Marketing Blitz option that does all this for you, and more. Throughout December our authors can receive an instant 10% savings with promo code: mediamarket