Here’s a simple checklist for a digital marketing campaign for selling ebooks, and for selling printed books online.
It’s from my online marketing course at Digital Publishing 101 where you’ll find detailed information on each step in the plan.
Book marketing campaign checklist
There are many variations in online campaigns for ebooks, just as there are for print books. Important differences include how to market fiction versus non-fiction, or sell to consumers versus business or education. And, of course, there are big differences if you’re marketing a digital-only publication rather than digital and print editions.
If you’re starting from scratch without an existing digital marketing ‘platform’, it can seem like a big mountain to climb. But it’s the ultimate democratic process. Anyone with an internet connection can succeed, and individual commitment and excellence plays a large part compared to money or organisational size.
Jobs to be done: A checklist for a digital-only book launch campaign
So here’s a checklist of jobs to be done. It’s been designed as a start-up campaign for an ebook edition — but it also applies to a printed edition that’s being sold online.
Note that, if you’re adding a new title to an existing marketing platform, some of these tasks will be reduced or unnecessary — showing the value of building a platform that can be used for future projects.
Platform-building: Part 1. Find the influencers in your chosen market
- Influential social networkers
- Influential members of reading community sites
- Special-interest sites
- Influential reviewers on ebookseller sites
- Online media
Platform-building: Part 2. Connect to these influencers and build your network
- Set up a blog
- Set up a social-network presence – Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn
- Build an email database
- Self-promote: Market your content and make connections
Discoverability: Make your ebooks stand out online
- Great covers that works online
- Excellent metadata
- Search optimisation
- Web presence (website, blog or other online hub)
Launch: Build buzz, build demand … launch
- Give away full copies and samples
- Obtain advance reviews
- Teasers, mentions in social media
- Testimonials and endorsements
- Generate pre-orders
- Post articles and news releases online
- Guest blogs and blog tours
Merchandise: Boost your ebook presence in ebookstores
- Pick the right categories
- Experiment with pricing and deals
- Encourage user reviews and ratings
- Provide samplers
- Fine-tune metadata
- Get on bestseller lists
- Build and maintain author pages
Maintenance: Keep it alive
- Work and expand your networks
- Open new niches
- Fresh offers
- Competitions and incentives
- Write articles and news tie-ins to continually revitalise your book/author profile
- Performance-based online advertising
- Sell directly
- Sell through affiliate marketing
- Produce more ebooks and cross-promote
Measure: Test, analyse and improve
- Test — offers, prices, metadata, keywords, ads, etc.
- Measure and compare results
- Fine-tune and improve
- Test again