Book marketing and book publicity aren’t afterthoughts to writing your book or e-book. You should be thinking about book marketing before you even sit down and begin writing. While pre-launch book marketing efforts are important for all authors, they’re especially vital to indie authors. Because indie publishing means you're going into business and bringing your own product to market, you can't afford to neglect the up front market research involved.
Here are some of the basic things you should focus your preliminary market research around:
- Do other books in your niche exist? What are they?
- Is there any consumer need for your book idea, or is the subject in a saturated market?
- Does your niche have a history of selling well?
- What are the demographics and psychographics of your target market(s)?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the books that would be your primary competition?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses in relation to that competition?
- What kind of shelf space do books in the niche get?
- Is the subject matter of the book something that will still be relevant when it’s written, published, and on the market?
- What kind of marketing budget would you personally have, and for what period of time?
- How are similar books being marketed?
- Are there niche media outlets that would have an interest in your book concept?
- Do you have the contacts you may need to get endorsements or experts to be cited in the book?
- What are the best ways to reach your target market, and what marketing and publicity tactics would have the most influence over them?
To put it simply, know what you’re getting into before you dive in. Make sure you have a viable idea based on solid facts and not just the will to write a specific book. As with any kind of writing, your book sales will be a result of marketing and publicity as much as, and often much more than, a result of the writing of the book itself.