How Will You Help Your Book Succeed?

This post is a blogged draft excerpt from The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014). Read the previous blogged excerpt, here.

How promotion worksAn integral part of your business plan involves considering how you actually will help your book succeed—what you will do to promote it once published. That’s what a promotion plan details and what you must produce as you complete Step #9, Gauge if You Make a Good Publishing Partner or Indie Publisher. Your promotion plan is part of the overall business plan for your book. However, it’s a plan in its own right. This step is tied to the previous one, in which you determined if you have done anything to date to build author platform. Author platform serves as prepublication promotion for your book and for you as an author. The promotion plan you create serves as post publication promotion. You need platform to successfully promote your book upon release. However, platform remains important during the book launch and post launch periods and up until your next book has been published—and beyond. It’s an ongoing process that requires an Author Attitude since you must be willing to build it continuously over time. If you recall, in Step #1, you determined what success meant to you. You visualized success in a variety of ways—how it might affect your life, your ability to build a business around your book, and how many books you might sell per year. In the last chapter, you evaluated whether you have done anything to date to help you and your book succeed. Now it’s time to put your platform to use with an action plan consisting of promotional ideas that target your market and sell books to readers. Hold onto your business hat. Promotion equals business big time because it’s all about selling books.

What Is a Promotion Plan…Really?

Your promotion plan represents the crux of your business plan for your book, and publishers take it very seriously. That’s why approaching this step in your Author Training with an Author Attitude is crucial. Even if you hate salespeople, feel marketing is somehow dirty, or swore you would never sell or promote anything, if you want to succeed as an author you must wear a promoter’s hat. When you develop and evaluate your promotion plan, you want to clearly see what an agent or acquisitions editor sees and then evaluate in the same manner. They think “business” (and publishing business revolves around selling books), and so must you. While the Platform section of a book proposal tells an agent or acquisitions editor if you have created an author platform from which you can sell your book, the Promotion section outlines specifically how you will sell that book once it’s released. Remember, the Markets section relates how many potential buyers exist for your book; i.e., the audience for your book. Your business plan (if you are not trying to publish traditionally) does the same thing, but it’s for your benefit, as the self-publisher, alone.Thus, these three pieces work together to form an almost complete picture of the potential sales for your book. If you add the Competing Titles (the research and evaluation you completed in Step #4) into this formula, you form a more complete picture and the basis to make some fairly accurate conclusions about the potential of your book to sell in a particular target market. Your Competing Titles section tells an agent or acquisitions editor—or just you—how well similar books have sold in your target market. As you can see, the work you have done previously in your Author Training now comes into play as you put the final touch on your business plan—as you create and evaluate how you will help promote your book. The way in which you plan to promote your book to potential readers is crucial to your book’s success—more crucial even than the platform you built. Without a strong platform, however, you will find it very hard to succeed. Promotion turns into book sales, which is the name of the publishing game.

The Author Training ManualNote: You can read additional blogged draft excerpts from my new book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, March 2014) here. Only select pieces from the manuscript, a “working draft,” were posted—not the complete manuscript. Read the next post in the The Author Training Manual blogged-book series by clicking here. Purchase the book on, or at

LeaLearn how to become a successful authorrn how to create a successful book—one that sells to publishers and to readers—by developing an AUTHOR ATTITUDE and writing a BUSINESS PLAN for a MARKETABLE BOOK. Register for the AUTHOR TRAINING 101 Home-Study Course, and go from aspiring to successful published author! This course is based on The Author Training Manual. If you like what you’ve read here, you’ll love the course.

Speak Your Mind