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Create A Marketing Plan For Your Writing
Copyright © 2003 by Angela Booth
What marketing works best? All marketing works. But you need to
keep at it, even when you seem to be getting zero results.
Let's imagine a couple of scenarios. Writer A wants to be a
fulltime writer. She knows that in order to do this, she needs to
sell X number of articles, and sell a book proposal a year.
Writer A knows that in addition to writing the works, she will
need to market them. Writer A creates a marketing plan. It takes
her 30 minutes on her computer. She decides that she will send
out five article proposals a week, and she will research and
write a book proposal.
She slots the time to do those things into her daily schedule.
She knows that these tasks are non-negotiable. No matter what
happens, she will perform those tasks every day. Even on her
worst day, when her car breaks down, her child needs to go to the
hospital, and she has a killer migraine.
Writer B wants to be a fulltime writer too. Like Writer A, she
knows that she will have to sell X articles, and sell a book
proposal. Writer B doesn’t make a plan. She gets started writing
an article proposal. She realizes that she needs to gather
research resources, and sends out five emails.
Next morning, she downloads her emails and is instantly
depressed. No one has answered. She decides she'll give her
prospective sources a few more days to reply. She goes on with
her life. She'll get around to the writing when her sources
A week later, one of the sources gets back to Writer B, who
suddenly remembers that she was researching an article proposal.
She rereads her notes. The idea has gone flat. She's no longer
interested in writing it.
The point of these two scenarios is that real life is messy. It's
easy to lose track of what you're doing if you don't have the
process written down somewhere. This means, create a plan, and
then create checklists and check them off every day to make sure
that you keep working the plan.
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN YOUR MARKETING PLAN
=> Q: What kind of writing do you want to do and sell?
Make a list: copywriting, magazine feature articles, novels,
nonfiction books, etc
=> Q: What's the market for each type of writing?
This section will take you the longest, especially if you're a
new writer. It doesn't help that many writers' online discussion
groups actively discourage talk about how much writers get paid.
However, you CAN find out. Here are some URLs which help:
Earnings for romance genre novelists:
When all else fails, ask someone who's doing the kind of writing
that you want to do.
=> Q: What makes your writing unique?
This is a "know yourself" kind of question.
=> Q: How much can you produce?
You must make production goals part of your marketing plan. If
you're a part-time writer, how many saleable words can you
produce a week? 2000?
If you’re a full-time writer, set a goal of saleable words
produced for each day. Make this a goal which is easily
=> Q: Create a list of target markets
This is self-explanatory. It's a marketing database.
=> Q: How will you reach your target markets?
Email, mail, fax?
=> Q: What's your long-term monetary goal? How will you reach
Please set a goal for three years from now, a year from now, for
this month, for this week, and for today.
You're less likely to waste time if you know that the hour you
spent on the phone cost you $90.
=> Q: How much are you making from your writing now?
If you've yet to make your first sale, that's fine.
If you've been making the same amount for the past two years,
that's a danger sign: you've hit a level that's too comfortable
for you. You'll need to make a concerted effort to get out of
your comfort zone.
There you have it. A basic marketing plan that will work for you.
Good luck. :-)
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