If you're an author writing and producing your work, one of your most significant considerations is how to market a book. Traditional publishers provide an array of support services to their writers, and you need to cover those bases on your own when working independently. Long before you publish, begin building a social media following. As you write, engage the needed content preparation services, including editing, cover design, and formatting. A couple of months before you finish, begin planning your marketing effort. You can try to handle it DIY or hire a professional book publicity firm ideally.

If you plan to get stores to carry your book, you'll need to convince them of its salability, and having a marketing plan is one way to do it. Demonstrating that you'll be working to earn reviews and media coverage goes a long way. You can also include your social media following and plan a calendar of posts to reach them. Events, blogger outreach, media pitches, and many other elements can round out your plan, and all will be impressive to retailers considering carrying your book. With so many books sold online, you'll want to go after digital customers with well-rounded information online.

In every channel where you market your book, you need to consider audience targeting. Promotion is most effective when it reaches people with a natural interest in your book. It's also routine in today's competitive marketing to identify more than one target audience. For example, if you've written a book about environmentally conscious gardening, you may have two distinct audiences: gardeners and environmentalists. Deciding on the audience(s) while writing your book is a wise idea and something you can carry through in your marketing. Benchmark against the competition and explain why you're better.

Marketing materials also need to be consistent and clear. Decide on your messaging and craft it to appeal to your target audience. Uniqueness and creativity help set your work apart, but don't get too far ahead of your audience. People need to understand your messaging and connect it to your book quickly – and why it's helpful to read. When you are clear and compelling, you'll make a strong case for reading it. Be sure to use keywords to help your work appear in search results in your online promotion. Today, they can be important drivers of book sales, and you want them working for you.