Indie Life: Crafting or Rafting out a Book Marketing Plan


For the last couple of weeks I’ve been intensely writing – writing a book, and writing a book marketing plan. I’m IndieLifenot quite sure which is hardest. My money’s on the marketing plan. Without it, my book will sink.

I was fortunate enough to notice that Laura Pepper Wu, of was offering her Skillshare Course, Crafting Your Book Marketing Plan with 21 Fun and Effective Ways to Promote Your Book at a discount last week, so I joined up.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have, as all that work choosing book marketing areas to work on is impacting the writing of the book I want to market. Then again, what writer doesn’t like to muck around with stuff like:-

  • Um, slightly doctored quote via Standoutbooks.
    Um, slightly doctored quote via Standoutbooks.

    Author bios (can never get this right)

  • Covers and titles and subtitles (I mocked one up, kewl bananas. I also used it as an excuse to purchase the latest upgrade for my photo editing program, because – just, because).
  • Book Descriptions – oh, the dreaded competitor analysis. I came away from Amazon having bought several new books.
  • Ideal Readers – well, I’m writing a technical guide on Evernote for Writers. But pinpointing one singular writer…um…

That’s the first three of ten areas I chose. Easy enough, right? But then I got bogged down in the technicalities of what makes a good ebook cover. Three iterations later (a whole week) and I’d found that people were concentrating on the tiny thumbnail image that Amazon allows for, rather than a larger cover.

Larger covers let you have subtitles and all, but people were looking at my cover as an ebook only, and at only what could be seen at 160 pixels high.

Do traditionally published authors have the same issues with designing covers to meet Amazon’s expectations nowadays? Perhaps we realise that the way Amazon Kindle books are setup – all that front matter, table of contents, thanks, and lovely cover shot go missing – Kindle apps stick you straight to Chapter One.

After spending far too much time on designing (a mock up, no less), I wanted to get on with other points – book descriptions, author bios, oh – more book descriptions. So, moving on, I’ve put up a poll here for you in a previous post – please vote for your favourite cover design for the ebook.

If anything, it’s worth the look just to show how much work and iterations go into every basic element of a book – it’s no longer just about managing to write and complete a manuscript.

After moving through our 10 book marketing areas for the class mentioned above, we have to make one up of our own. I haven’t decided yet. But I do know what it won’t be – it won’t be endlessly spamming my author buddies on Twitter with “Buy my book” messages. Just Facebook.


The Indie Life is full of new knowledge and learnings. When we start out, we really have no idea what is required to just get a book out there. This is my trial to see if I’ve got what it takes, and make it into the publishing river. Throw me a life-vest if you see me sinking. (Yes, I’m done with the river metaphors now, thanks).

This post is participating in the monthly Indie Life blogathon, run from the Indelibles blog. Indie Life bloggers provide a post every second Wednesday of the month, on – guess what – Indie Life.

One thought on “Indie Life: Crafting or Rafting out a Book Marketing Plan

  1. Man, I find all this marketing stuff SO intimidating. Love your humor! I think that is another thing to keep in mind–all this is easier if we can sort of laugh about it.

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