Marketing for Writers

You may not know it but if you’re a writer, you’re an entrepreneur. Whether you publish traditionally or self-publish you’re a business owner, and every business-owning entrepreneur needs to create and promote their brand along with knowing their market. Marketing can be a complex field from finding a local seo agency to possibly help with attracting attention to your book, to social media traffic, which might reach prospective readers, marketing is arguably a key process. Here are the essentials of marketing every writer should know with actionable items you can implement now.

Key Elements of a Marketing Plan:

Do a SWOT Analysis – know your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Apply this to your personal situation, as a writer and a going business concern. Identify your market, including competition and prospective customers. Understanding your voice as a writer is critical. Don’t be tempted to chase trends. If it’s hot, it’s probably past.

Create a Strategic Vision Statement – from big picture, long term to tactical, short term objectives. Dream big then implement with precision. Knowing why you do what you do will serve you better than knowing every how. The how can be learned. Only you know your why.

Design SMART Goals – your forecasts and objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable (with effort), Relevant and Timely (with deadlines). It’s imperative you be able to qualify and quantify your goals. Intangible goals are unattainable. If you opt for email marketing to showcase your work and other relevant goals, you are going to need to make sure you are reaching the correct people, for example, you may have gathered a few spam accounts on the way which can harm your marketing technique so it might be wise to check out this verification tool that can help with filtering that out to help you reach those goals.

Make a Budget – recognize costs associated with your business. Of course, you might have already formed a budget for your publishing and print equipment (like those made available by Duplo DC range). Besides the inventory cost, knowing all the numbers sets you apart from a scrambling entrepreneur wanna-be. Your revenue and expense records can be simple but identify and understand your cost components – software subscriptions, hardware upgrades, courses, research material, travelling to and from reading events and writing groups, and the promotional pieces you finance, with or without a publisher.

In addition to all the marketing strategies mentioned above, don’t forget to incorporate social media promotional benefits. That is something worth looking into, if you want to create a loyal fan base. Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be utilised to curate the readers, specifically interested in particular genres. You might have to employ additional tools like LinkedIn automation software to analyse data to discover your prospects.

These elements are a primer, the essentials required to ensure you as a writer are a thriving business entity. Even if you have a publishing and distribution team, understanding what you need to do and how to do it will only improve your writing career. Your success is up to you.

A version of Bill’s Marketing for Writers appears in WordWorks Magazine.

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Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of A Season on Vancouver Island, theGone Viking travelogues, andA Perfect Day for a Walk: The History, Cultures, and Communities of Vancouver, on Foot(Arsenal Pulp Press, Fall 2024). Recipient of a Fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society for his expeditions, Bill’s a frequent presenter and contributor to magazines, universities, podcasts, TV and radio. When not trekking with a small pack and journal, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, where he lives near the sea on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land.