Creating a Book Business Plan Template: For Your Book or Book Series
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The days of posting to Kindle, being discovered by readers “accidentally”, and hitting the top 10 bestseller list with no marketing, ads, or plan ended. Unicorn stories happen every once in a while, but the most successful authors have a pattern and those focused on writing full time as independent or hybrid authors use a plan.
Use these steps to build a template for connecting with your readers for each book or book series. Attempting to squeeze the unique bends, twists, and curves of your story into someone else’s marketing plan isn’t the way to reach your readers. Your book or book series deserves a template built specifically for you.
By the end of this blog post you’ll have the outline to build a book business plan template for each new book or book series. You’ll also have the foundation to add-to or remove the elements you need as your book catalog grows.
Write Down What You Want to Accomplish with Your Book
Your book has a purpose. Romance sci-fy authors may want to mesmerize readers with a fantastical world filled with obstacles to pull lovers apart and push them together. Mystery writers desire a fast paced plot that will increase the readers pulse until the breathtaking resolution at the end.
Authors writing a "how-to" book should be clear about helping the reader resolve a problem. Devotional authors should detail how they desire to share inspiration and faith with a reader looking to deepen their spiritual awareness. Poets will describe how their lyrics, stanzas, and beats make the world a better place or the reader's soul filled with light. (Got a little cheesy, but I did start with poetry. Kanye shrug.)
Make this clear for you and your readers, no matter what kind of book or book series you've written. Making the purpose of what you want to do for readers clear with each book will help you communicate how it will benefit readers in each email, tweet, post, and video.
Create a Slogan or Tagline for Your Book or Book Series
A slogan is defined as a short memorable phrase used in "advertising". When it comes to your book, everything you post is an advertisement for your story. Having an easy to remember description for your book is a sure fire way to connect with readers. Don't dismiss it as something "sleazy" or "hokey". Being able to share the heart or soul of a fiction story in a few short words can be a building block for a solid brand foundation for you as an author.
"LOVE. STRENGTH. SISTERHOOD." is the slogan and tagline for the urban inspirational fiction Wholeness series. Each of the characters and storylines is fused with different examples of the importance of love, strength, and the power of sisterhood.
Make a List of What’s Unique About Your Book or Book Series
Despite the existence of more than 800,000 books on Amazon each story is unique. Each author's personal study, life experiences, and perspective bring something distinctive to the story. So whether you've decided to share a historical western tale of women blazing unexpected trails or want to create a fan fiction about Princess Leia, your story is unique.
Readers combing the catalog of nook books or paperback options want to find something unique in the genre they love. Even during my slow reading periods (I'm a reader first, always) I look for something different in the genres I adore. Make a clear, list of what is special about your book as part of your template so you don't have to "figure it out" on the fly.
Is your character super tall, petite and thick, living in a special fantastical world you've created. Don't be shy about extrapolating every special nuance that is important to the book or book series. The genre organizes what they're looking for but a unique story inside the genre helps readers stop and consider your new tome.
Prepare Your Website to Showcase Your Book or Book Series
If you don't have a website yet, stop... and go build one really quick. Here is a link to some quick tips on doing so with less than $15 for the technologically challenged. Come back and we'll walk through the tips to help you prepare your website to showcase your new book or book series.
“Show” Readers the Story of Your New Book or Book Series
Twelve years ago when I prepared to submit my first novel (which no one will ever see) to the publishing world I followed all the rules. The literary agents wanted the story to be presented in several different lengths and formats. Stress from the former world of literary agents, submissions, and praying for an acceptance letter may be gone, but the habits of days of old can benefit you and your readers.
Habits and preparations to submit to publishing houses and agents can benefit independent, hybrid, or traditional authors in connecting to readers. Showing readers your story from different vantage points offers more opportunities to connect.
Get to Know Readers by Knowing Who They Love Reading
Readers flock to authors for several reasons. They're attracted to covers, the author's voice, character families, and plots. Each best-selling author, popular newsletter, and beloved genre "tells" you something about the readers... if you're willing to take time to "listen." Learn more about your readers by diving into what's popular and loved by the readers you want to connect with through your book or book series.
Once you've researched the genre and sub-genre for your new book series you want to connect with beta readers. This can seem scary, but the truth of the matter is beta readers love reading. Connecting with beta readers in your genre can be a great benefit to your book. Use the list from the last section for the next step in connecting with your readers.
As you build your "author brand" and continue to connect with readers consider creating an author bio for each new book or book series. You'll change over time and your bio should reflect how you benefit readers of a genre. Especially if you're writing nonfiction, be sure to connect with readers in your bio to show them how you're able to benefit them in your book. Everything should be about benefitting or connecting with your readers.
This bio can also be added to blogtours and eBook platforms that allow a new bio with each book or book series.
Social media, and book publishing, all the digital spaces that seemed to be the modern day gold rush in 2014 or 2015 are pay to play. In addition to emailing your readers, if you want to connect with new readers you should plan to invest in online advertising. Using the information you gathered select newsletters and eBook platforms to spend money advertising your new book and book series. Use the information to put together an inviting visual presentation for readers you'd like to connect with using your stories.
Connecting with Readers Using Your Mobile App
Many authors especially Kindle Select authors give free books away while cranking out books at a breakneck speed. Offering flash fiction, short stories, character backstory, and other unique content in your mobile app is another great way to connect with readers. Think about the publications and other brands you love with a mobile app. While a mobile optimized website is an important part of your author brand, a mobile app offers two way communication unparalleled by any other technology including email.
Learn more about building your own mobile app without any coding for less than the average email list service.
Click the link for an sample Blank Book Business Planning Template
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Despite being a marketing professional at my day job, I don't use FUNNELS here at Shawneda.com. They may work for others but aren't the right fit for me. When signing up for this email list you'll only receive notification of a new DIY Indie Author Branding Post. Not unending "repurposed content" disguised as "help" to coax you into purchasing a product. Happy writing, branding, and connecting with readers!