Chip MacGregor

March 16, 2016

What’s the eighth step in marketing your book?


At this point, you’re probably wondering what else there is to do with a marketing plan. Take heart — we’re almost to the end of the process…

Once you’ve written down everything you want to do, you need to tie each activity to a calendar and a budget and a person — or, as I like to say, every activity has a date and a dollar sign and a do-er. So, for example, if you are planning to send out a bunch of copies to a “big mouth” list in order to get people talking about your book, you pick a day when you’re going to write the notes, address the envelopes, and get them in the mail. Then you figure out the cost of envelopes, mailing labels, and postage. If you’re planning to write several freelance articles to support your book, you mark down the days you’re going to write them, the days you’re going to query and send them, and the days you’re going to check back on them. If you’re going to hire a freelance marketing consultant to help you schedule radio interviews, you pick the days you’re going to be available for the interviews, you mark the dates you’re going to talk with the consultant, and you write down the costs involved with hiring him or her.

Again, for EVERY activity, you choose a date and, if applicable, the dollar amount it will cost you, then figure out who is going to do it. So if you’re going to try and schedule a blog tour, you write down on your calendar the dates you plan to fill up with blogging conversations, as well as the dates you plan to contact bloggers in order to schedule those visits. If you’re hiring or getting a volunteer to do this, you make sure they have clear instructions, and a script, and a plan to follow. There may not be any dollar amount tied to this activity — that’s fine, but you want to make sure to track EVERY date and EVERY dollar, so that you have a record of what you’ve done to market your book.

Why write out a calendar and budget? Because this assures you that you’ll actually do the work. Lots of authors make plans — most don’t follow through. By scheduling a date for each activity, and by keeping track of the costs involved, you put yourself in charge of your marketing plan, rather than waiting for someone else to be in charge. It helps you stay on track, so you can see how much time you’re spending on marketing. It gives you a budget, so you can track the amount of money you’re investing in your marketing plan. And it assigns each task to a person, so it’s not just one of those nebulous activities that you “hope to do someday when you have the time.”

This part is the nitty gritty aspect of marketing. The fact is, you won’t want to do it. After all, you didn’t get into this business to do marketing, but to do writing. It may not be fun, but it’s necessary. So do it anyway. If you need to, get a friend to hold you accountable, or a fellow writing buddy to do this with you (and commiserate with you). Don’t just have marketing plans in your head — have them on your calendar in and in your checkbook. That way you’re much more apt to get done all the things you need to get done.


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  • Jackie Layton says:

    This has been a great series. I’m definitely keeping it and taking notes.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve enjoyed this series Chip, very helpful and tiring to think about if I’m honest. I’m not intimidated about marketing a bit, just realistic about the work involved.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Nice of you to come on and comment, Shelly. Thanks. Glad you’re enjoying the series.

  • This has been a great series, Chip. Like many writers, I find marketing to be intimidating and grueling. These informative posts provide a helpful roadmap. Thanks!

    • chipmacgregor says:

      I really appreciate that, Johnnie. You’re right — it can seem intimidating. Knowledge is the way to get through the process without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Joe says:

    I usually check your blog every couple weeks, and am seldom disappointed, but this marketing stuff has me coming back more often. Interesting that your last post – on writing it down – got no comments. No one, including me, likes that part and thanks for the reminder, most of this is learning from those experienced, like you, then implementing it – its just hard work and having a good product. Joe.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Ha! You know what, Joe? I thought the same thing… “Why is nobody responding on this point?!” Guess all the writers would rather be working on their novels than on writing a marketing plan. :o)

  • Ron Estrada says:

    Great advice. If I may, Chip, I like the AwesomeNote app, which works in conjuction with Evernote. It allows me to schedule tasks in various folders and syncs with all my devices and desktop. Great series! The nature of marketing is constantly changing and we need all the latest info we can get.

    • chipmacgregor says:

      Thanks, Ron. I’m unfamiliar with AwesomeNote, so I’ll check it out. Glad you liked the series.

    • Jackie Layton says:

      Ron, I just checked out AwesomeNote. Very interesting and it doesn’t look too hard to figure out. Thanks!

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