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How to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part II): Boot-Strapping It — Putting Together a Low-Cost/No-Cost Plan

by Halona Black

Part I of this series focused on some of my own mistakes I made when I wrote, self published, and began marketing my first ebook a little over one year ago. This post will focus on the process of creating a marketing plan using as many free tactics as possible.

Note: Read Parts I, III and IV of this series.

What Is an Ebook Marketing Plan?

Many writers can become overwhelmed at the thought of having to create their own marketing plan because it seems like too big of a project. However, all a marketing plan really is, at its core, is a list of strategic actions that will influence your target readers to purchase your ebook.

I looked online for ebook marketing plans and many of them were highly complicated. I like to make things as simple as possible, so I decided to create my own. I break my marketing plan into three parts: (i) research, (ii) actions, and (iii) evaluation.

Ebook Marketing Plan Step 1: Research

Ideally, you would create a marketing plan for your ebook before you write a word. Why? Because you want to make sure you are writing an ebook that people want to read.

Most of us want to write ebooks that make money, so ensuring that there is an audience out there for your product will save you lots of time and frustration.

However, if you already have an ebook, you can certainly use these steps to get you started.

Create a marketing goal. What are the biggest marketing milestones that you would like to achieve? Some of my goals for my ebook are to generate at least 20 recommendations on Amazon and sell a minimum of 30 copies per month.

What’s your timeline? My marketing plan will last for 3 months. Once the 3 months are over, I intend to review what worked, what hasn’t worked, then adjust accordingly. You can plan yours according to your needs.How to Put Together an Ebook Marketing Plan

How many hours will you commit to marketing? Most of us have other responsibilities besides marketing an ebook.

Think about how many hours a week you can realistically devote to your marketing and note that time in your calendar.

Who are your readers? Be able to pinpoint who you are writing your ebook for. It’s not enough to say you are writing a book about health, for example.

You must have a niche that speaks specifically to a target population. You want to make sure you focus your marketing plan on a group of people you already know are interested.

Where do your readers hang out? Knowing where to find your audience is key to having a successful marketing plan. If you already have a blog like I did when I wrote my book, then you have an audience to start with.

For those of you that are starting from scratch, you can go to social media to get you started. Check out relevant Facebook groups, Google+ communities, Linkedin groups, Twitter hashtags, related blogs and podcasts, etc. Become a regular part of these communities by offering valuable information and people will be more interested in connecting with you online.

What is new or different about your ebook? How is your ebook different from others in a similar category? Think about how you can put a new spin on what has already been published.

Who do you know that can help you? Collaborating with people you already know and trust can help you get in front of audiences you would not be able to approach alone.

Do you know other bloggers, podcast show hosts, or people with popular YouTube channels that have an audience that may be interested in your ebook? You don’t have to always know them personally (although this helps). A quick email letting them know that you love their brand and how your new ebook will benefit their audience will give you a great introduction. Offer to write a valuable guest post or to be a guest on their show.

Ebook Marketing Plan Step 2: Actions

Now that you have gathered some important background information, it’s time to identify the actions that will start attracting your target audience to your ebook.

Passive ebook marketing tactics

I like to start with passive marketing tactics because they are the easiest to complete. You can start by mentioning your new ebook in your social media profiles, email signatures, your blog author box, the sidebar of your website, and any other online space you control.

Get your website ready for show! Is your website clean, professional, and ready to be seen by the world? If not, clean it up. You don’t have to pay to rebrand your site, but if your blog looks abandoned, it may deter people from purchasing your book. Don’t have a blog? I suggest making a small investment into a self hosted WordPress website.

Aggressive ebook marketing tactics

Since an ebook is a digital product, I decided to focus only on the following online marketing activities:

  • Guest blogging
  • Interviews (Blog Talk, podcasts, blogs, etc.)
  • Online events

I created a spreadsheet with three separate tabs for each activity. I made a list of each blog I plan to approach, who may be interested in interviewing me, and what online events I can create. Online events can include giveaways, Twitter chats, and contests.

Ebook Marketing Plan Step 3: Evaluation

The final step in your marketing plan after implementing your actions over your specified period of time is to evaluate your results. Look back at the marketing goals you created in step one. Did you miss, meet, or exceed your goals? Decide how you can improve your plan during the next phase.

Creating a marketing plan for your ebook can be daunting. However this short guide will help you to approach your marketing plan in an organized fashion.

Share Your Self-Publishing Insight? Ask Your Self-Publishing Questions?

Have you written an ebook, or plan to write one? What part of this guide is most helpful to you? Please share in the comments below.

About the Author: Halona Black is Freelance Health Writer and Content Marketing Consultant in Orlando, FL. If you have questions about how to build your business through self-publishing ebooks, connect with her on her website or Google+.

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You’ll learn how to:
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