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Book Marketing Milestones

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I'm a huge fan of the Novel Marketing Podcast, and the latest episode has been one of my favourites so far. They were answering a listener's question about what to prioritise as you build your writing career/business, and what milestones you should focus on as you progress in your journey towards publication.


Maybe one reason I loved it so much is that they confirmed what I've long suspected: platform building looks different for fiction vs. non-fiction writers. You'll do many of the same things, but in a different order. Here are their recommended milestones for fiction:




Marketing Milestones for Fiction

• Discover and define who you are
Build your website (debate)
• Write a short story
• Write your first book
• Write another short story
• Refine who you are
Refine/Build your website
• Start an Email List
• Build a Landing Page for your short story Reader Magnet
• Promote the short story one on one and send people to the landing page.
• Write the second book.
• Advertise/PR
• Experiment



James Rubart and Thomas Ummstadt disagreed on when exactly a fiction writer ought to build their website, which is why I've emphasised it in bold italic: James thought a website should be the second milestone, while Thomas believes it should be done after at least one novel and a couple of short stories. I'm in agreement Thomas here. Secure the domain name, but no need to focus on building the website and email list until you have some fiction material to show.


Their recommendations for non-fiction look rather different:



Marketing Milestones for Non-Fiction

• Discover and define who you are
• Build your website and blog
• Blog/Podcast/video on your topic.
• Promote posts one on one.
• Getting feedback from your listeners!

• Start an email list. Connect it to your blog so new posts go out as emails.
• Create a Reader Magnet (Tip Sheet, Printable, Guide, Etc.)
• Write the book
• Advertise
• Experiment



Here, the platform comes long before the book. I hear so many people telling novelists to follow a path that looks much more like this non-fiction plan.

Edited by EBraten
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I have begin researching on marketing. There was a thread not so long ago where some recommended a book which was centre around BUILD & GROW strategy. I am reading it at the moment and beginning to think about a website.


Discover and define who you are? - Working In Progress I think.😀

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With my first nonfiction book, I did everything backwards. I wrote the book and thought, “Now what?”  I’m writing my second book and still have much to grow in this area. Building a platform is a lot more work than writing the actual book!

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Tuppence from the Goober Galleria:


Since my website is only incidentally about books and writing (as it should be when I haven't published anything) I don't think it's necessary to wait until I have something to promote.

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