Welcome current or prospective Ooligan authors! Thank you for entrusting our press with your manuscript. I know that you have poured your heart into your book and now the marketing department at Ooligan is here to help get that book into the hands of readers. The following blog post is meant to outline some of the steps in the marketing process so you feel informed and in the loop. [Note: Book marketing is complex and too extensive to cover in one blog post. If you have more marketing-specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.]
In this post, I am going to talk about one important document that helps us shape the marketing process for your book: the marketing plan.
At Ooligan, the marketing plan for a book is a lengthy document that outlines the following, which I will define below.
The target audience for a book is who we think will buy, read, and enjoy our book. At Ooligan we do something we call a “persona exercise” in which we come up with a primary audience and secondary audience for the book based upon our ideas of who would enjoy the book. We often start by asking our team members to think of two friends to whom they would recommend the book. What are some of their friends’ other hobbies? Where do they spend their time? Are they single, married, etc.? We brainstorm and then consolidate this information in the persona exercise section as a way to help us get a better idea of who our readers are so that we can more effectively work to find and appeal to them.
The sales hook, book description, and author biography can all typically be found on the back cover of a book. The sales hook is one to two sentences that will captivate the buyer and give them a taste of the book. The book description is the longer paragraph that tells the buyer what the book is about and the author biography is a short paragraph about the author in order to introduce them to readers. All three pieces are valuable tools used to entice readers and we often take several weeks to write, edit, and refine them. As the author, you will also have a chance to review and edit these sections.
As it sounds, the key selling points for a book is a bulleted list of what we consider to be the main reasons why someone would be interested in the book and why it will stick out from other books on the market. We will eventually share this list with our sales representatives to help them pick out the highlights of your book. Speaking of highlights, the marketing and publicity highlights section is where we list ideas for how else to promote your book. This could include acquiring blurbs from other renowned authors or experts, attending book fairs, running a specifically themed social media campaign, and much more. We also ask you about ideas you have for ways in which you can promote the book and leverage your individual talents or connections.
In the marketing plan, we list out about one hundred SEO keywords—or search engine optimization keywords—which are words that relate to the topic or content of your book so that anyone searching online will find it. For instance, for a book about local native plants I would include the words “botany” or “horticulture” or I might include a full list of the plants the book details. All of this will help make sure the book pops up for people searching the internet for a book on the subject.
Finally, comparison titles are three to five books that are similar in content (genre, topic, etc.) and nature (year published, size of publisher, length, etc.) to your book. These titles help our sales representatives get a better idea of how to position your book in the market.
All of these things—Target Audience, Sales Hook, Book Description, Author Biography, Key Selling Points, Marketing and Publicity Highlights, SEO Keywords, and Comparison Titles—make up the components of the marketing plan for your book. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully it will help you better understand the marketing process!