“I have just gotten my first magazine from the printer and I’m looking for places to sell it. Can you help me?”
If I had been given money every time someone has asked me this question, I would be rich.
I have said this many, many times before, and I will probably have to say this many times in the future. Listen up!
Marketing a publication (book, magazine, CD, DVD, etc.) begins—not when the publication is published and in your hands—but when you decide to compose or produce the publication.
In other words, don’t wait until you get your books from the printer to look for places to sell them. Know where you will sell your books before you get them printed.
Marketing starts at the conception of a project, not at the completion of a project.
Authors and publishers should be asking the following questions at the beginning of a project:
- Who is this book written for?
- What qualifications does the author have to write on this subject?
- How is this book different from other books on the same topic?
- What unique message does this book carry?
- Why will people care?
- How do we reach the people this book is written for?
- What is our marketing plan?
A marketing plan is basically a list of the ways you plan to market and advertise your book. If you are not sure what resources are out there, or if you need help getting ideas of how to market your Christian books, check out my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. It is full of ideas on how and where to market.
If you wait until your book is printed to start marketing, you have missed many opportunities to develop a platform to reach potential customers and have missed out on having a community of readers ready to purchase your book.
I believe that marketing is the hardest work involved of publishing books. However, it takes marketing to sell books.