How to Create a Book Marketing Roadmap by Guest @Beth_Barany

Why Market Our Books?

We writers want to be read. Otherwise, why would we publish our work? Well, it is so gratifying to hold the book and see it on the shelf. But it’s the readers’ joy in reading is what it’s all about. Otherwise, why publish?

To be read, we must market our books. How to do that can be overwhelming and feel like a big black box you can’t open because:

  1. There are so many choices out there on how to market
  2. There is so much advice on the “right” way to market that clashes — confusing! and
  3. You may be afraid to actually to do the work because of well, many reasons. (I’ll address this aspect more below.)

To bring some clarity and offer an overview roadmap, let’s start by defining our terms.

What is Book Marketing?

Marketing in the broadest sense is reaching those who you wouldn’t normally connect with and sharing your message with them. Marketing is a relationship. You’re putting a message out there in the hopes that people will see it, connect with it, and take an action or see it and feel something. Ideally both.

In today’s world, we can do this free. All it requires is our time, attention, focus, and desire.

Your marketing message as a writer can be many things specifically (more on that later), but in its essence, you’re inviting potential readers and fans into the experience of your book, and they want that experience — whether they were actively (consciously) searching for it or not (subconscious desire).

As in all relationships, marketing requires that you know who you’re communicating with, why you’re communicating with them, and what the give/take relationship is.

By give and take, I mean that all healthy relationships are in balance. You give; the other receives. They give; you receive. It feels good, reciprocal, and fair.

We want readers to buy (or borrow) our books and read them, but we can’t control that part of the equation. We don’t hit that BUY button; the reader does.

How To Create a Book Marketing Roadmap by Guest @Beth_Barany via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #MarketingRoadmap #marketing #roadmap

Your Marketing Message

Your marketing message requirements:

  • Keep it simple.
  • One experience per message. (Emotions!)
  • One invitation or request per message. (Also known as the Call-to-Action or CTA.)
  • Craft your message for one audience, not everybody.

Types of Marketing Activities

I see marketing as any outreach activity, be it online, in person, involve your presence or just your marketing. These activities can include but are not limited to:

  • blogging
  • ads
  • live presentations
  • press releases
  • webinars
  • social media
  • email list
  • handing out bookmarks at the supermarket

What Book Marketing Is Not

Marketing is not selling or doing sales, though sales can be an end goal of marketing.

What Are Your Goals for Marketing Your Books?

We can market to influence people to buy our books, or we could market to spread awareness, or to invite people to subscribe to our blog or join our mailing list, or just follow us on social media.

Your Roadmap

This is a proposed roadmap and like all maps, it’s only a way to get to where you want to go. It’s not THE way.

Here are the steps you can take:

  1. You want to learn how to market your books, even though it may be hard, challenging, scary.
  2. Know your WHY… know why you want to market your books.
  3. What are your marketing goals? Specific outcomes invite you to create specific marketing messages.
  4. Define your values. What’s truly important to you?
  5. Define the values conveyed through your books.
  6. Know your genre and how your book fits in it and is unique.
  7. Define your Author Branding Statement and make it unique to you.
  8. Know how you like to do outreach/marketing or be willing to explore what you like and what you don’t like.
  9. Define your ideal reader by his or her demographics, and most importantly, psychographics (why people buy).
  10. Decide on a specific marketing message for a specific goal and craft a campaign to make it happen with start and end times.

Next Steps

If you would like to get help going through this roadmap, then check out our core class on marketing and branding for novelists here: This course was built from over a decade of experience both as a novelist and helping authors and will save you a ton of time, frustration, and heartache. And it’s specifically for novelists.

beth barany plan your novel

Plan Your Novel Like a Pro: And Have Fun Doing It!

This book will help you get excited to plan your novel. The tools shared here are designed to spark your muse and give you confidence when you sit down to write your story. Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! is for organic writers and pansters who want a roadmap to follow, so that they can let their creativity loose.



Two one-on-one writing consultations (Value: $350 each!). This is an amazingly generous giveaway.

How To Create a Book Marketing Roadmap by Guest @Beth_Barany via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #MarketingRoadmap #marketing #roadmap

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Friday, May 31st, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Saturday, June 1st.

Good luck!

Beth Barany


Founder of Barany School of Fiction, Beth Barany is an award-winning novelist writing magical tales of romance, adventure, and mystery. She is also an international trainer and workshop leader. Most recently, she taught her “Plan Your Novel” course (now a book!) in Saudi Arabia at Ithra.

Beth loves encouraging writers to share their stories with the world, for together we can vision our future. She specializes in helping writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers.


For a more detailed plan on developing your book marketing, purchase Rachel’s new book,
The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge
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  1. Linda Moran on May 30, 2019 at 6:40 am

    I’m so stuck on who I am and what my novel is. Am I fiction? Am I nonfiction? I know I’m a “Renaissance woman” – finally branded myself that way! But it’s time to look at what I write and get some professional advice. I can only edit myself so many times!

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Yes, Linda, being a writer in a vacuum is no fun and very hard!

  2. Dena Garson on May 30, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Marking is the area I struggle most. I don’t feel like I have a good sense of who my audience is. Probably largely due to the fact that I genre jump (all within romance, but multiple sub-genres).

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      I hear you, Dena! It can be tricky to pinpoint your audience, but not impossible.

  3. McKenna on May 30, 2019 at 11:50 am

    This is definitely something I want to do before my upcoming release. There are bits I think I have a decent handle on and others (like identifying my brand) that need work! I could use help, that’s for sure!

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      McKenna, Cool! Love your logo!

  4. Lexi on May 30, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I’ve really tried but I still tie myself in knots – I’ve split my non fiction (grown up) and fiction (kids), but within kids I’m in several genres and struggle to keep it clear. I think I need some expert input into the next stage 🙂

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Lexi! I bet there is a common thread in your several genres. I’m curious as to what that might be.

  5. Alma Alexander on May 30, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Oh, do I ever always need to learn more about marketing. I”m a natural “writer” and marketing is a foreign country to me, always has been. I’m not very good at it. I desperately need to learn. It honestly doesn’t help that I have a “brand” (the Duchess of Fantasy) but I never write the same book twice so people can’t latch onto “that type of book”. I need to market ALL my stories and it’s HARD…

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Alma! The Duchess of Fantasy sure says a lot and marketing is a skill you can learn, if you’re willing.

  6. BC Brown on May 31, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Even experienced authors and marketers stumble with aspects of their branding and marketing. This article is great at streamlining the basic information and K.I.S.S. (keeping it simple, stupid – lol) that we all need from time to time. Thank you for participating in Rachel’s #NaNoProMo.

    Personally and professionally, I’d love to win the prize associated because I feel that there is nothing in which a person can be a total know-it-all. We are all continuously learning, and I never want me learning to stop.

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      You’re so welcome, BC Brown! And good luck!

  7. Pauline Wiles on May 31, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I’m sure I’m horrible at putting more than one CTA in my email newsletters!

    Thanks for another thought-provoking #NaNoProMo post.

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      You’re welcome, Pauline!

  8. Elsa on May 31, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve had my head down for a few years, creating content and mostly ignoring the marketing/promo side of things except for a few poorly planned spaghetti-at-the-wall spasms. I need to work smarter in 2020! Thanks for these insights and giving me a focus.

    • Beth Barany on May 31, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      You’re so welcome, Elsa! And lol about the spaghetti-at-the-wall spasms. 🙂

  9. Ainsley Wynter on May 31, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    This is so helpful! Promo vs marketing can seem overwhelming. I’d love to feel like I have more of a handle on it. I do much better with a plan than winging it.

  10. […] needs a plan to be most effective. Beth Barany shows how to create a book marketing roadmap, Bonnie Randall explains how to raise your novel’s visibility: blog posts & leveraging […]

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