the marketing plan for my self-published novel

I'm in marketing by trade, so, frankly, writing the marketing plan for my novel was really fun.  I love what I do.  

Writing my own plan wasn't as much fun as spending someone else's money, mind you.  That's the best!  Spending my own money makes me like all the miserly clients I secretly resent for not using all my ideas.  (The shoe's on the other foot, now!) 

So, based on a very limited budget because I'm not crazy and this is my first novel and I'm probably wasting my time BUT also because I am crazy and this is my first novel and it's my brain's baby that I'm giving to the world and because like eight friends and family members said they thought it was pretty good... it's worth the investment!  

This is my marketing plan to-date.  I'll update my blog with the various success of different pieces as I learn what works and what doesn't.

Amazon KDP

My intention is to use Amazon KDP's (Kindle Direct Publishing) exclusivity offer for a few months and see if anything sells.  I've read a lot about pricing, mostly very confident and very conflicting opinions from "experts."  But I'm going with $0.99 for the Kindle book.  

Cost: Percentage of sales


Again, my career is in marketing, so obviously I bought a domain and designed a website (which you are currently visiting, oh, reader).  This included buying a domain, setting up a CMS and hosting, and in my case, licensing the Philly skyline stock photo.

Cost: $20 for domain from DirectNIC, $144 for annual hosting package from SquareSpace, $15 stock photo

Book Layout and Design

I used the most amazing designer I've ever met to create the book cover because I can see pretty things in my head and she can make incredible things happen magically before my eyes.  (  She also did the setup for the Kindle .mobi format (no small feat, trust me) and the layout for the printed book.

Cost: Forever indebted to my sister minus a few brain trades for work I did for her

ON-DEMAND Paperback Copies

(I always think of the Beatles and how I want to be a paperback writer...)  I'm going to use Create Space for this.  I bought my own ISBN because I read some more confident but conflicting opinions and then trusted my awesome friend Adam to just make the decision for me, so I bought my own ISBN.

Cost: ISBN was $99 from Create Space's recommended place, plus percentage of sales

Google Ad Words

It took me a long time to select keywords that I believe will pay off, because books and fiction and ebooks online are a ridiculously competitive market for adwords.  HOW can anyone make a profit if first-page for some terms costs $7.50!?!  

I was really cheap, setting my budget to start at $1/day.  Most of my bids are about 7¢ and I think the highest is 12¢.  Remember, though, that even if every fifth person who clicks on my PPC ad buys the book (which would be great ROI!), that means I've spent 35¢ to earn maybe 60¢.  So... you gotta be cheap and smart.

Cost: $1/day budget so $30/month to start


I started a separate page for myself as an author with my book as the profile image.  That's as far as I've gotten with FB so far, but more is in the works.

Cost: About an hour so far

Online Promoters

I did a lot of research on various online promoters and read reviews.  Personally, I settled on three, but then one of the websites wouldn't take my info after two tries (crappy news for you,, so I'm hoping to use Free Kindle Books & Tips and Indie Book Promo.

Cost: $35 for IDP's middle-grade package + $25 for FKBT's new release package

Like I said, I'll update this once I see how things are working...