How to market a new book

So you’ve written or illustrated a book/manga. Your job is not done. Yet. In fact, it’s far from over. Why? Coz there’s still that little thing called “convincing people to buy your book” aka marketing. Thanks to Gail Martin for this post!

Believe it or not, before you create a marketing plan for your book, you need to have a business plan. Yes, you will need a business plan for your book.

Why? Because what you want out of your writing career will impact how you market yourself and your book. Remember what we talked about in Chapter One. We discussed how there were different reasons to write a book, and different definitions of success. In order to create a marketing plan that achieves your definition of success, you will need to think about why you’re writing your book, and what you want out of your writing career.

Scenario 1: You’ve always wanted to be a writer. Your stories are alive for you, whether they are fiction or non-fiction. Writing puts you in the “zone” where you feel most alive. You want to share your stories with others. For you, writing and the story itself are the key goal.

Scenario 2: You write as a means to an end. You have subject matter expertise that is in demand, and you have back-end products or services you want to sell. For you, a book is a way to expand your professional credentials, to land bigger and more lucrative publishing and speaking contracts, and to attract more clients to buy more profitable products from you.

Scenario 3: You write about a cause to change the world. Your book could be inspirational, a “how-to” book, or even an expose. You are an advocate first and a writer second. Your book is a way to change hearts and minds and hopefully, policy or individual actions.

Scenario 4: You are passionate about a subject in which you’ve gained expertise, and you want to share that passion with others. Or, you may wish to gain credibility among others who already share your passion. Your book might be a family history or a biography, or perhaps it’s a book about Shakespeare, origami, or re-enacting Revolutionary War battles. You already know it’s not a book for the masses, but you want to be known and respected among your peers, and to contribute to the body of knowledge about your topic.

We have seen four different scenarios with four different goals, and four vastly different marketing plans. All books are not created equal. As you see with the scenarios above, the goal and the intended audience will make a big difference in the type of media you target, the pitch you create, and the coverage you can expect. Your goal and audience also impact your distribution decisions, ultimate income, and business objectives. In addition, they affect the kind of book promotion that is likely to be effective.

Excerpted from The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book Without Losing Your Mind by Gail Z. Martin. Available on and other online retailers, and in select bookstores.