What to Plan Before Publishing A Book

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Often, new authors spend their time and energy on writing their book. All their efforts go into perfecting the manuscript. Many new authors don’t think about promoting or selling their book until after they've published it, but that's actually a step that needs to begin well before your book is available for purchase.

Readers have millions of books to choose from, and competition for any given book is fierce, which is why figuring out a book marketing strategy and your message are important pieces to understand before publishing a book. You can get a jump on the competition and increase interest in your book by simply doing these five things before publishing a book. 

Identify Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience? I am continually surprised at how many authors have trouble answering this question. So many authors have a burning desire to write a book, yet they fail to identify whom they are writing their book for.

“Everyone” is not a target audience. Neither is “all Christians.” Your target audience is the group of people who will benefit the most from what you have to say. Maybe it’s those Christians who want to start seeing answers to their prayers. Maybe it’s single moms who are weary of fighting the parenting battle alone. 

Know who your target audience is so you can concentrate your book marketing efforts where they will get the most results.

Know Your Unique Spin

Whatever topic you are publishing a book on has already been covered. Readers have numerous reading options. Why should they read your book?

To grab attention in today’s information-rich society, you must tell a unique story. You must handle a topic in a manner different from everyone else. Readers will want to read your book for the spin you put on the subject or storyline. In other words, they will want to read your book for the unique way you solve a problem or tell a story.

Know how your message is remarkable, delightful, and important. Share your unique spin with listeners. Your different take on your book’s subject will draw people in.

Develop an Audience

Simply publishing a book does not ensure that people will read it. People read books by authors they trust. Readers often trust an author because they are already familiar with the author’s message.

You can develop an audience for your book even before it is published. Start by putting your unique message in front of people through a blog, podcast, or video series online as well as sharing it on social media. As people begin to know and trust your message, they become eager to read whatever you produce. 

Enlist Influencers

Seek out those who already have influence with your target audience and partner with them. Influencers can be other authors already writing to your target audience. They can be bloggers speaking to these people. They can also be civic leaders, church leaders, educational leaders, or famous personalities.

Work with influencers to receive endorsements, book reviews, recommendations, and support for your book. Partnering with influencers helps you expand your audience and gives you and your book credibility. 

Offer a Presale

Don’t just release your book and then start telling people to buy it. Run a presale. Offer your book at a discounted price at least one month before it actually becomes available.

Presales help you develop momentum for your book launch. They help get readers interested in your upcoming book, and they reward those who are first responders.


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Sarah Bolme

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishers Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors marketing books to the Christian marketplace. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The fourth edition will be released in February 2019.