Have you ever come up with an idea you think could make a lot of money? You have an idea and a goal, but there is something missing in between.

For example, you may want to write and sell your book (point A) in hopes of raking in a tidy profit (point C). For others, point C might involve gaining a reputation as an expert or thought leader.

But before you get to point C, take a moment to devise a plan for point B. What details need to be executed to ensure that you will achieve your big-picture goals?

The danger in not having a plan is that you end up wasting time, energy and resources (in this case, money).

Meanwhile, a well-thought out marketing strategy can save you time and money by ensuring that you have a framework for selling your copies and making a profit. Here are few points to consider when creating such a plan:


Audience/ Platform

First think of who would most likely be interested in reading your book. Does it appeal to teenage girls? Young professionals? Parents? Then more importantly, is there a market for it?



Come up with a viable timeframe for the entire process. Does the timing of the release matter? It may be beneficial to have the launch coincide with a public appearance you will be making. Or, if you think your book would make a great gift, it might be wise to release it around the holidays. Be sure to map out timeframes for each segment of the process (writing, cover design, editing, proofreading, etc.).



What other authors and books will you be going up against? Can you measure up to that competition?


Method of Publishing

Will you publish your book yourself or seek out a major publishing company to sign on? Weigh the pros and cons of each option.



If you don’t decide from the get-go how much you can spend on production and marketing you may find yourself up a creek without a paddle halfway through your process. Think honestly about how much you can justify spending and plan ahead for unexpected circumstances.



Will your book be sold in traditional or electronic form? Or both? With the rise of devices like the Kindle and iPad, the electronic format is becoming increasingly popular. Your audience can also come into play here. Are they a tech-savvy bunch or do you think they would be more likely to stick to a traditional book format?



If you’re working with a publisher, will they take care of distributing the book? If you’re self-publishing what outlets will you use? There are multiple options to consider between sites like Amazon, the iBookstore or Smashwords.


Series or Multiple Books

It is often said that the money is in the backlist. If someone likes one of your books, they’ll often want to read other things you’ve written, and it can be a missed opportunity if you don’t have multiple books to sell to them. Think of all of the trilogies and series that have become wildly popular in recent decades!


About the author

Rachel Rachel Brownlow is founder and CEO of Your Written Word LLC, a ghostwriting company that helps successful and aspiring business leaders take their ideas from conception to publication. She has written, edited, proofread, consulted and/or created publishing proposals for more than a dozen nonfiction books. She also contributes to a variety of magazines and publications, including the Austin Business Journal, Austin Monthly, NSIDE Magazine and Georgetown View Magazine. You can find more of her work at rachelbrownlow.com/portfolio.