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Back of the Envelope Book Marketing Plan – Inventory, Action, Perspective

In order to carry out a plan it has to be simple enough to understand and remember. That’s what the Back of the Envelope Book Marketing Plan has on its side: downhome basics you’ll never forget.


Every choice you make in marketing your book will flow from your answers to these questions in the inventory section.

1) Motivation. Why are you writing/or why did you write THIS book?

2) Audience. Who are you writing to? Who are you writing for?

3) Results. What do you want to get out of your marketing campaign? Sales? Platform? Social life? Friends? To feel like a real author? What results do you want to see? What do you want to happen? What benchmarks can you use to set up achievable goals and time bound, measurable results?

4) Resource Inventory. How much time, money, and support do you have to carry out your book marketing campaign? Who is there to help you? How much time and energy do you have to swap out for low-cost/no-cost resources?

5) Strength and Preference Inventory.

a) Do you like to speak? Teach?

b) Do you enjoy being on the Internet? Are you a technophobe? What’s your learning quotient?

The best marketing strategy blends the introvert’s and the extrovert’s way; public and private. Sometimes you’ll be out in the world and in your own space at others.


6) Research.

For speaking and teaching, find out what clubs and organizations in your area want to hear about and know more about your work and the topic related to your work. This is your niche.

On the Internet find out what websites and blogs are aligned with your interests and missions. Consider doing a blog book tour or other systematic internet promotion.

7) Marketing Materials/Platform

-Prepare a sell sheet, or sometimes called “one-sheet.”

-Prepare a one-sentence quick description for your book that you can say when folks ask you about what you’ve written. This is sometimes called “the elevator speech” and sometimes called “the hook.”

Mine came from a fan of “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary.” Hal Manogue featured my book on his Short Sleeves website and called it “a down home family love story beyond death” I picked up on this, thankfully, and added “told in accessible story poems and 25 archival photos.”

-If you were running for president of your niche, what would be your election platform?

8) Approach

Call, email, and write personal notes to people on your list you want to be aligned with. Enclose your sell sheet.

9) Action, action, action.

Put on your Nike’s and just get out there and DO IT.

Speak, teach, talk about your book, give your book away to strangers on the plane.

Sort through the tips you’ll be bombarded with and choose the ones that are right for you.

Pace yourself.


Your book is a gift of love to the world.

For “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary” I resolved that I would do my best that my book remain a source of happiness in the world…for others and for myself. So, I leave you with that thought, that wish, that prayer.

May your book and all our books be a source of happiness to readers and the wider world. May we continue writing. May the books we write continue to be read. And, may there be life after book, after book, after book.

Source by Janet Grace Riehl