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Nine Questions To Ask Before Submitting A Manuscript


Originally written by Keith Ogorek on Indie Book Writers

The time to start thinking about your marketing plan is before you even submit your manuscript for publication. Having clear answers to these questions is the key to building an effective marketing plan. Here are some essential questions for you to consider:

1.) WHAT ARE YOUR BOOK MARKETING GOALS?
Identifying some goals that are observable, measurable and attainable is the foundation of a solid marketing plan. Selling a million copies may be an aspiration but perhaps not a realistic goal. Set some targets you can hit, so that you can measure progress and celebrate successes.

2.) WHO ARE YOUR IDEAL READERS?
A good marketing plan has clear goals and a clear picture of who your potential readers will be. A book for the whole world” is ambitious but not realistic. Create a prototype of your ideal reader by considering age, gender and other demographics. Getting a picture of who you are targeting will help you develop your marketing strategy.

3.) WHAT ARE OTHER COMPETING TITLES FOR YOUR BOOK?
Go to a bookstore or search online, and look for books that might focus on a similar topic or have a similar title to your proposed book. Your list of potential titles for your book should appeal to readers who are drawn to these topics, but with a unique spin that helps differentiate your special vision as it relates to the subject.

4.) WHAT’S YOUR TITLE?
Short and memorable is always best. Also, consider adding a subtitle if it helps add important detail about your book’s topic.

As with any good book, a good marketing plan has an effective beginning, an engaging middle and a powerful end.

5.) WHAT WILL YOUR COVER DESIGN LOOK LIKE?
The saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but readers do. That’s why it’s important to give serious consideration to your cover design. Go to your local bookstore or library and look for book covers that jump out at you. Notice the color, layout, image and typography. These are all elements that contribute to an effective cover.

6.) WHAT CAN YOU DO TO POSITION YOURSELF AS AN AUTHOR?
Think about how you can give yourself credibility as an author. Depending on the book, you may be able to cite particular experiences, professional accreditations or other compelling factors that lend authority to your status as a writer. You will also need this information when it comes time to pitch your story to the media.

7.) WHAT ARE YOUR KEY SELLING POINTS?
When you speak to book buyers, potential readers or media representatives, you want to have a short, crisp and compelling reason why someone should buy your book. This selling sound bite is key to gaining the initial attention of your target audiences.

8.) ARE THERE ANY ENDORSEMENTS YOU CAN SECURE?
Having quotes from well-known or respected people can give your book added credibility in the eyes of potential book buyers. Think about who might be willing to endorse your book, and then use their quotes on your back cover as well as in other sales materials.

9.) WHAT WILL YOUR BACK COVER COPY SAY?
Watch people at a bookstore. If a cover attracts their attention, they will pick up the book, flip it over and read the back cover. You’ll want to give careful attention to the messages on your book’s back cover. It could mean the difference between a “pass” and a purchase.

If you think about these questions even before you submit your manuscript, you will be on your way to putting together an effective marketing plan for you book.

For the complete post, visit Indie Book Writers.

[Image and Content via indiebookwriters.com]

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