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A Marketing Plan for Self-Published Indie Authors

May 18, 2021 (Last Updated May 19, 2021)

Marcy G.

No author wants to be in a situation where they put a significant amount of energy into writing a book, then don’t plan how to market it. When you go into self-publishing without a plan, you end up playing catch-up in learning proper book marketing efforts. There is a tendency for self-published indie authors to stay away from sales and marketing for the sake of artistic credibility, but it’s very crucial to have a plan for selling your book.


Here are a few tips on making a solid marketing plan to sell your books successfully.


Understanding Marketing as an Indie or Self-Published Author

The most skilled self-published authors start making a marketing plan before they even begin to write their book. It’s helpful for authors to determine their marketing strategy before writing the book to best understand how to market it to their readers. Start with these questions:

·      Who is your book for?

·      What does your audience want from your book? What will they walk away with?

·      What is the end goal for your book?


Your 5-Step Marketing Plan

The main key to having a successful marketing plan is knowing who the is. Here is how you can break down marketing to your audience.


1. Separate Your Market Into Groups

As an author, you can’t be all things for every reader. If you’re writing young adult fiction, own it and work your market! But if you are writing young adult fiction that also ties in sci-fi, then you need to find a way to work both of those audience groups. Connect with other authors that write in the same genre as you to help connect to their audience and share a network.


2. Choose The Right Market To Target

Once you’ve determined which market groups you can connect to, you can then decide on which group to focus your marketing efforts on. It would be too much time, money, and resources to just work all the market audiences that your book would fit in. Once you choose your target audience, then you can focus your attention on those groups. This also means tuning into which brokers would also like your book.


3. Understand All The Ins and Outs of Why Someone Would Buy Your Book

It’s important to understand where your book is most likely to sell, how people like to buy your book, when people are most likely to buy your book, and why people would want to buy your book. You don’t want to decide to sell your book on a specific site that most of your audience doesn’t use to buy books of your genre. To know your audience is to know how they will get access to your book so that it’s there once published.


4. Create A Special Marketing Plan For Each Group

From pricing to distribution and the final look of your book, it needs to be marketed specifically for each group. Each audience is not the same with what will capture their attention and get them to spend money on a book. Take the time to understand which plan works best for each group and create a detailed plan on the steps you will take in the process. Research cover design trends for your genre to see what kind of book cover grabs the intended audience’s attention.


5. Make A To-Do List

This is the final step before throwing yourself into your creative process and it’s the one that will assist with that process the most. It’s important to decide on a timeline for when you want your book to be finished. From there, you will want to outline your marketing campaigns, targeted at specific times before and after the book is released. This will include a marketing strategy with content ideas for your social media, blog, and personal website. You will also need to determine a budget and plan where to allocate the money based on your marketing strategy and goals. Many creative types don’t like the idea of having to make a schedule and stick to it, but it’s the best way to market your book and see real results.



While you may not enjoy the process of marketing your own book, as an indie and self-published author, it will be helpful to plan out what you’re trying to achieve for your personal book goals. Without a proper marketing plan, you have a very small audience and all the work you put into your book isn’t able to be shared with other people.


Once you’re ready to print your books, contact us! 48 Hour Books will be there for you every step of the way.

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