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What is an Author business plan?

A business plan for an author is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and tactics that an author will use to market and sell their book(s). It is a roadmap that helps authors to achieve their objectives, such as reaching a wider audience, increasing sales, and building their brand.

The business plan typically includes a summary of the author's background and writing experience, a description of the target market for the book, an analysis of the competition, and a marketing plan that outlines how the author will promote and sell their book(s). This may include strategies such as social media marketing, email campaigns, book signings, and media appearances.

The plan may also include financial projections, such as estimated sales and expenses, and a timeline for achieving the author's goals. This information can be useful for securing funding, such as a book advance or a loan, or for attracting potential publishing partners or investors.

Creating a business plan for an author requires careful research and planning, and it is important for the author to regularly review and update their plan as they progress towards their goals. By having a clear strategy and direction, authors can maximize their chances of success and achieve their dreams of sharing their writing with the world.

Business Plan outlined

Step 1: Identify your goals

As an author, it is important to have a marketing and sales plan to help you achieve your goals. The first step in creating a successful plan is to identify your goals. Here are some common goals for authors to consider:

  • Increasing Book Sales: The primary goal of many authors is to sell more books. To achieve this, you will need to develop effective marketing and sales strategies that reach your target audience and motivate them to purchase your book.

  • Building a Loyal Fan Base: Developing a loyal fan base is important for generating long-term success as an author. By engaging with your readers and providing them with compelling content and experiences, you can build a community of loyal fans who will support your work and help spread the word about your books.

  • Reaching a Wider Audience: Another important goal for many authors is to reach a wider audience. This may involve expanding your marketing efforts to new geographic regions or demographic groups, or leveraging new distribution channels to make your book more widely available.

  • Establishing a Strong Brand: Your author brand is a key element of your success. By developing a unique author persona, creating a strong visual identity, and consistently delivering high-quality content and experiences, you can establish a strong brand that resonates with your target audience.

To achieve your goals, it is important to develop a comprehensive marketing and sales plan that outlines the specific strategies and tactics you will use to reach your target audience and achieve your objectives. This may include online marketing efforts, such as social media marketing and email campaigns, as well as offline marketing tactics, such as book signings and speaking engagements. By consistently executing your plan and tracking your results, you can fine-tune your approach and achieve your goals as an author.

Step 2: Marketing and Sales plan

As an author, it is important to have a marketing and sales plan to help you achieve your goals. The first step in creating a successful plan is to identify your goals. Here are some common goals for authors to consider:

  • Increasing Book Sales: The primary goal of many authors is to sell more books. To achieve this, you will need to develop effective marketing and sales strategies that reach your target audience and motivate them to purchase your book.

  • Building a Loyal Fan Base: Developing a loyal fan base is important for generating long-term success as an author. By engaging with your readers and providing them with compelling content and experiences, you can build a community of loyal fans who will support your work and help spread the word about your books.

  • Reaching a Wider Audience: Another important goal for many authors is to reach a wider audience. This may involve expanding your marketing efforts to new geographic regions or demographic groups, or leveraging new distribution channels to make your book more widely available.

  • Establishing a Strong Brand: Your author brand is a key element of your success. By developing a unique author persona, creating a strong visual identity, and consistently delivering high-quality content and experiences, you can establish a strong brand that resonates with your target audience.

To achieve your goals, it is important to develop a comprehensive marketing and sales plan that outlines the specific strategies and tactics you will use to reach your target audience and achieve your objectives. This may include online marketing efforts, such as social media marketing and email campaigns, as well as offline marketing tactics, such as book signings and speaking engagements. By consistently executing your plan and tracking your results, you can fine-tune your approach and achieve your goals as an author.

Step 3: Identify your target audience

Identifying your target audience is an essential part of creating a successful marketing and sales plan for your book as an author. Understanding who your ideal reader is can help you tailor your messaging, promotions, and other marketing strategies to best reach and connect with them. Here are some tips for identifying your target audience:

  • Look at the genre and subject matter of your book. If you’ve written a romance novel, your target audience will likely be women. If you’ve written a business book, your target audience will likely be professionals in the business world.

  • Think about the age group of your readers. Is your book written for children, young adults, or adults? This will help you determine the appropriate marketing channels and messaging.

  • Consider the interests and lifestyle of your target audience. What do they enjoy doing in their free time? What kind of activities do they participate in? This information can help you create targeted marketing campaigns that appeal to their interests.

  • Determine the geographic location of your target audience. Are they mostly located in one area or spread out across multiple regions? This can help you identify the most effective channels to reach them.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your marketing strategies to better appeal to them. For example, if your target audience is young adults who love science fiction, you may want to focus on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to promote your book. You could also consider partnering with popular sci-fi bloggers or influencers to promote your book and reach a wider audience.

Overall, identifying your target audience is critical to your success as an author. By understanding their interests, needs, and preferences, you can create a marketing and sales plan that effectively reaches and connects with them, helping you sell more books and achieve your goals as an author.

Step 4: Perform a competitive analysis

In the highly competitive book market, it's important for authors to perform a competitive analysis to understand how their book fits within the larger industry and how it compares to other books in their genre. Here are some steps to help you conduct a competitive analysis:

  • Identify your direct competitors: Start by identifying books that are in the same genre or category as your book. Look for books that have a similar target audience or theme.

  • Analyze their strengths and weaknesses: Once you have identified your competitors, it’s important to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Consider factors such as their marketing strategies, pricing, cover design, content, and author reputation.

  • Determine your unique value proposition: After analyzing your competition, determine your unique value proposition. What makes your book different and more compelling than your competitors' books? Identify your strengths and the areas where you can differentiate your book.

  • Develop strategies to differentiate your book: Use the information gathered in the analysis to develop a unique selling proposition that sets your book apart from the competition. For example, if you notice that your competitors are focusing on a particular theme or storyline, you can differentiate yourself by developing a unique story or perspective.

  • Identify potential readers: Use your competitive analysis to identify potential readers who may be interested in your book. Study the target audiences of your competitors and look for patterns to see where you can fit in and appeal to new readers.

A competitive analysis can provide valuable insights and help authors create a more effective marketing and sales plan. By analyzing the competition, authors can understand how their book compares to others in the market and develop strategies to differentiate their work and appeal to potential readers.

Step 5: Establishing a brand

Branding is an essential part of creating a successful author platform and increasing visibility in the book market. Here are some steps to help you establish a strong brand as an author:

  • Create a unique author persona: Your author persona is the image and personality that you project to your readers. It should be consistent with your writing style and genre, as well as your personality and values. Consider your writing style, personality, and the themes and values that you explore in your books to create a unique author persona that resonates with your readers.

  • Design eye-catching book covers: Book covers are the first thing that potential readers see, and they play a critical role in attracting readers to your work. Invest in professional book cover design that is eye-catching, visually appealing, and consistent with your author persona.

  • Develop a consistent online presence: Your online presence is an important part of your brand as an author. This includes your website, blog, social media accounts, and other online platforms where you interact with your readers. Make sure your online presence is consistent with your author persona and book covers. Consistency across all platforms can help build trust with your readers and increase brand recognition.

  • Establish a brand message: Your brand message is the core idea that you want to communicate to your readers. It should be consistent with your author persona and the themes and values in your books. Your brand message should be reflected in your marketing materials, website, and social media accounts.

  • Engage with your audience: Engaging with your audience is an essential part of building your brand as an author. Respond to comments, engage in conversations on social media, and participate in book clubs and author events. This helps build relationships with your readers and can increase the visibility of your brand.

Overall, establishing a strong brand is essential for building your author platform and increasing your visibility in the book market. By creating a unique author persona, designing eye-catching book covers, and developing a consistent online presence, you can build a strong brand that resonates with your readers and sets you apart from other authors in your genre.

Step 5: Online Marketing

In today's digital age, online marketing has become an essential component of any book marketing strategy. Here are some ways to leverage online marketing to promote your book:

  • Create an author website: An author website is a crucial component of your online marketing strategy. It serves as a central hub for your books, your brand, and your online presence. Make sure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate, with information about your books, author bio, and contact information.

  • Leverage social media platforms: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are powerful tools for promoting your book and engaging with your audience. Use these platforms to share updates about your writing, book launches, and events. You can also share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your writing process, interviews, and book reviews.

  • Develop email marketing campaigns: Email marketing is an effective way to keep your readers informed about your book launches, upcoming events, and promotions. Use email marketing tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact to create email campaigns and newsletters that provide value to your readers.

  • Use book promotion sites: There are a number of book promotion sites, such as BookBub, Goodreads, and LibraryThing, that can help you reach a wider audience. These sites allow you to promote your book to readers who are interested in your genre, and can be a great way to get your book in front of new readers.

  • Collaborate with influencers: Influencers are social media users with a large following who can help you promote your book to a wider audience. Consider collaborating with influencers who are in your genre or who have an interest in your book's themes. You can offer them a free copy of your book or other incentives to help promote your book to their followers.

Overall, online marketing is a crucial component of any book marketing strategy. By creating an author website, leveraging social media platforms, developing email marketing campaigns, using book promotion sites, and collaborating with influencers, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience for your book.

Step 6: Offline Marketing

While online marketing is essential in today's digital age, offline marketing can also be a valuable way to promote your book and connect with readers. Here are some effective offline marketing tactics to consider:

  • Book signings: Book signings are a classic way to promote your book and meet your readers in person. You can partner with local bookstores, libraries, or other community organizations to organize book signings and other events. Make sure to promote your event online and offline to attract a larger crowd.

  • Speaking engagements: Speaking engagements can be a great way to connect with readers and promote your book. You can speak at book clubs, literary festivals, conferences, or other events that are relevant to your genre or themes. You can also contact local schools and universities to offer to speak to their students.

  • Book club appearances: Book clubs can be a valuable way to connect with readers and generate buzz around your book. Reach out to book clubs in your area and offer to attend their meetings or even host a virtual Q&A session. This can help you build relationships with readers and generate valuable word-of-mouth buzz.

  • Giveaways and contests: Hosting giveaways and contests can help you generate excitement and buzz around your book. You can offer free copies of your book, signed copies, or other incentives to readers who participate in your giveaway or contest.

  • Media appearances: Media appearances can be a valuable way to promote your book and reach a wider audience. Consider reaching out to local newspapers, radio shows, and TV programs to see if they are interested in featuring you and your book. This can help you generate valuable publicity and raise your profile as an author.

Overall, offline marketing tactics can be a valuable way to promote your book and connect with readers in person. By hosting book signings, speaking engagements, and book club appearances, and offering giveaways and contests, you can generate buzz around your book and build a loyal fan base.

Step 7: Pricing and Distribution

When it comes to marketing and selling your book, pricing and distribution are two critical factors that can greatly impact your success as an author. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Pricing:

  • Research your market: Before setting a price for your book, it's important to research the market and see what other authors in your genre are charging for their books. This can help you identify a competitive price point and ensure that you are not over- or under-pricing your book.

  • Consider your production costs: In addition to market research, you should also consider the production costs of your book when setting a price. This includes the cost of editing, cover design, printing, and distribution. You'll want to set a price that covers these costs while still providing a reasonable profit margin.

  • Experiment with pricing: Don't be afraid to experiment with pricing to see what works best for your book. You can try offering promotions, discounts, or bundled packages to encourage readers to purchase your book.

Distribution:

  • Choose the right distribution channels: There are many distribution channels available for authors, including Amazon, traditional bookstores, and online retailers. Consider the pros and cons of each option and choose the distribution channels that will best serve your goals and target audience.

  • Work with a distributor: Working with a distributor can help you reach a wider audience and ensure that your book is available in multiple formats, such as print, ebook, and audiobook. Distributors can also help you manage your inventory and handle shipping and returns.

  • Focus on discoverability: No matter which distribution channels you choose, it's important to focus on discoverability. This includes optimizing your book metadata, using keywords and categories that will help readers find your book, and leveraging social media and other marketing tactics to drive traffic to your book page.

Overall, pricing and distribution are key components of any book marketing and sales plan. By doing your research, experimenting with pricing, and choosing the right distribution channels, you can maximize your sales and reach a wider audience as an author.

Step 8: Publicity

Publicity is an important aspect of marketing and promoting your book. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Consider working with a publicist: A publicist can help you identify media opportunities, create press materials, and pitch your book to journalists and bloggers. They can also help you manage your media relationships and ensure that your publicity efforts are aligned with your overall marketing and sales goals.

  • Identify potential media opportunities: In addition to working with a publicist, there are many ways to identify potential media opportunities on your own. This includes reaching out to book bloggers, pitching your book to local newspapers and radio stations, and leveraging social media to connect with journalists and influencers in your niche.

  • Leverage book reviews: Book reviews are a great way to build credibility and encourage readers to purchase your book. Reach out to book bloggers, influencers, and other media outlets to request reviews of your book. Be sure to provide them with a review copy of your book and any relevant press materials.

  • Pursue interviews and guest posts: Interviews and guest posts can help you reach a wider audience and build your authority as an author. Identify relevant podcasts, blogs, and other media outlets in your niche and pitch them on why you would make a great guest or interviewee.

  • Be prepared for media opportunities: When you do have the opportunity to be interviewed or featured in the media, be sure to prepare in advance. This includes practicing your talking points, developing a clear message, and being responsive and professional in all your interactions with the media.

Overall, publicity is a critical component of any book marketing and sales plan. By working with a publicist, identifying potential media opportunities, and leveraging book reviews and interviews, you can increase your exposure and build your credibility as an author.

SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN

Here is a sample business plan for an author:

Executive Summary: [Your Name] is a published author with [number of books] books in print. The goal of this business plan is to increase sales of existing books and prepare for the release of a new book. The target audience is readers interested in [book genre] literature. The marketing plan includes social media and email marketing, book signings and appearances, and collaborations with book bloggers and reviewers. The sales plan includes distribution through Amazon and local bookstores. The budget includes expenses for marketing, printing, and distribution.

Business Overview: [Your Name] is an established author with a proven track record of successful book releases. The target audience is readers interested in [book genre] literature. The goal of this business plan is to increase sales of existing books and prepare for the release of a new book. The company will operate as a sole proprietorship.

Market Analysis: The book industry is highly competitive, with new authors and titles released daily. To stand out in this market, it is important to have a strong brand and targeted marketing strategy. The target audience for [Your Name] is readers interested in [book genre] literature. This includes both male and female readers of all ages. The competition includes established authors in the genre, as well as new and emerging authors.

Marketing and Sales Strategies: The marketing plan includes a combination of online and offline marketing tactics. Online marketing includes social media marketing, email marketing, and collaborations with book bloggers and reviewers. Offline marketing includes book signings and appearances at local bookstores, speaking engagements, and book club appearances. The sales plan includes distribution through Amazon and local bookstores.

Branding: The author brand is built on [Your Name]'s unique author persona, which is characterized by [brand attributes]. This brand will be consistently applied across all marketing and promotional materials, including book covers, author website, and social media profiles.

Online Marketing: The author website will be a key component of the online marketing strategy. The website will include information about the author, book synopses, and links to purchase books. Social media marketing will be focused on platforms popular with [book genre] readers, such as Twitter and Instagram. Email marketing campaigns will be developed to promote book releases and other important events.

Offline Marketing: Offline marketing tactics will include book signings and appearances at local bookstores, speaking engagements, and book club appearances. These events will be promoted through local media outlets and social media platforms.

Pricing and Distribution: Pricing for books will be competitive with similar titles in the genre. Books will be distributed through Amazon and local bookstores.

Publicity: Publicity efforts will include working with a publicist to identify media opportunities, creating press materials, and pitching the book to journalists and bloggers. Book reviews, interviews, and guest posts will be pursued to increase exposure and build credibility.

Budget: The budget for this business plan includes expenses for editorial services, graphic design, printing, marketing and distribution. The total budget for the first year is [$X], with the majority of expenses allocated to editorial services and design.

Conclusion: This business plan outlines a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy for an established author with a target audience interested in [book genre] literature. By leveraging a combination of online and offline marketing tactics, building a strong author brand, and pursuing media opportunities, the author can increase book sales and prepare for the release of a new book.

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