A Specific Marketing Plan for Self-Published Authors

A Specific Marketing Plan for Self-Published Authors

I’ve already published a thorough marketing strategy with a calendar outlining specific deadlines and objectives. Now I want to share with you my overarching Marketing Plan for Jump based on an outline I found on the All Indie Writers website.

The link provided offers great questions and an overall outline to follow, but below, I’m including my very own Marketing Plan for Jump, in hope the hold myself accountable to these goals and to help you, fellow authors, with some specific examples of what you can do for your own books.

So here we go …

Jump Marketing Plan (Christian|Literary Fiction)

Marketing Strategy

With approximately 10 years in media and public relations with the U.S. Army’s public affairs office, I have become proficient in the work of connecting with news media organizations through media advisories, press releases and personal follow-ups. With my last book, Amidst Traffic, I was able to secure interviews with the Pittsburgh City Paper, Word FM and receive reviews from about a dozen other media and independent outlets. Additionally, I scheduled four book signings and three workshops related to writing and self publishing.

With Jump, I plan on tackling the same approach, but also incorporate speaking events at Christian high schools and colleges in addition to book-signing events at libraries, independent bookstores and coffee shops.

I will blend my in-person marketing efforts with online/social media marketing offers that include giveaways, promotional pricing and partnerships with fellow Christian authors.



International Book Awards winning author of Amidst Traffic, Michel Sauret, delivers a bold, human novel confronting the challenges of embracing faith in a world of free-fall.

Christopher took his first leap of faith at the age of five. He jumped off the tree in his backyard, right into his father’s arms. It was only the first branch up, but his father ruffled his hair, held him tight and said he had the faith of a boy twice his age. Each year on his birthday, Christopher takes another jump. Each time, a little higher up that tree. Land safely, and he might earn God’s pleasure. But one year, Christopher breaks his leg, and suddenly it’s his little sister who seems to please their parents best. Distance grows between him and his father, especially as a sexual addiction takes root in his heart, launching him into a dangerous free-fall. Desperate for escape, Christopher looks to college, thinking he might find God on his own terms. Yet as he becomes entrenched in the secular haven of higher education, he discovers the “Cathedral of Learning” is no more of a savior than a tree. He flees once more, hitchhiking with an atheist set on his own spiritual journey. But as they end up in Selma, Alabama, Christopher and his new friend land in a church that won’t let them get away.


Pricing & Returns:

Being priced at $14.95, Jump can stand against its paperback competitors priced between $11.95 and $16.95, but with a 45% discount (available through IngramSpark), it can be priced even lower if desired.

The title is fully returnable and refundable through IngramSpark.



Currently jump is primarily available through online retailers through Create Space and IngramSpark partnerships. I have been contacting independent book stores in my community to set up book signing events prior to the novel’s launch.


Target Market:

Jump is a novel targeting young men and women (ages 17-30) who have grown up in the Church but may not quite understand how important theology, often having to compromise truth for the easy joys of this world. This novel takes a modern-day allegorical approach, much in the same vein as Pilgrim’s Progress, but in the style of Flannery O’Connor and John Irving. Jump confronts the dangers of sexual addiction, promiscuity and secular liberalism: all weighty topics reshaped in a fictional narrative anyone can enjoy reading.

Unfortunately, too much of today’s Christian fiction delivers shallow, predictable stories that lack in theological depth and literary quality. This novel allows readers not only to get lost in the story, but come away with serious questions, promoting a desire to seek out God’s character. Christian readers, both men and women, are hungry for fiction that is emotionally impactful and yet deeply thoughtful.

These readers will be found on college campuses, independent bookstores, coffee shops and especially through social media, trusting the reviews and recommendations of their friends and social circle of influence.

I want Jump to live on as an iconic novel in this generation of young Christian readers.


Competitive Analysis:

When looking at the top selling books in “Christian Literature and Fiction” the list is unfortunately saturated with Amish novels and romance novels, leaving very little selection for readers hungry for God-honoring literary gems. The few, truly literary novelists on this list (John Irving, Charles Martin …) appear more as exceptions than dominant trend setters they deserve to be.


Market Analysis

Jump has the rare opportunity to bridge that literary gap that now exists in Christian fiction. It can succeed in relating to readers at a very personal level, allowing them to find their own frustrations in the faith on the pages of this novel. I think it will also be very popular on Christian college campuses and with independent bookstores.

Via Ingram Book Group, Jump is made available to more than tens of thousands of retailers, libraries, schools, internet commerce companies and other channel partners.


Marketing Objectives

I plan on selling at least 750 print books ($14.95 retail) in the first year of the book’s publication, and at least 2,500 copies digitally ($2.99 retail), using various limited price-drops and online promotions.

I will have to sell at least 700 print books or 990 digital copies to recoup my original production and marketing investment.

I would like to receive at least five (5) book-industry, professional reviews and at least two (2) author endorsements by mid-May.

I would like to receive at least 50 consumer book reviews in the first 12 months with an average rating of 4.5 stars.


Marketing Tactics / Action Plan

Jump has been uploaded to NetGalley and made available to independent book reviewers, and has already been accepted by independent booksellers, librarians, educators and bloggers: http://netgal.ly/pIahWa

I have already printed 50 copies given strategically to book reviewers and readers (details listed below).

I plan on ordering 50 more before the launch date to use as promotional giveaways and to send to additional reviewers.

I have already secured a live radio interview with Word FM in Pittsburgh on April 21 to promote the book.

I plan on sending a news media advisory to at least 150 news outlets (targeting the Baltimore and Pittsburgh areas where I have local ties, as well as international outlets). I plan on securing at least five media interviews.

I have ordered a beautifully-designed sell sheet that I will deliver in person to every independent book seller within a 25-mile radius.

I plan on scheduling at least 3-5 speaking events or workshops at local libraries, Christian high schools and universities in my local community. Events will be geared toward creative writing and publishing, with an opportunity to promote my books at the end.


Online Presence

I currently have a mailing list with 1,300+ recipients, a Twitter account with 2,400 followers, two Facebook pages with 1,600 fans and a blog that receives 1,600-2,000 views a month.


Review Submissions:

Jump has been submitted to the following professional book reviewing agencies by mail (February 2016), and is awaiting reply:

  • BookLife / Publisher’s Weekly (Received response that novel made it through initial entry process)
  • Library Journal Review
  • Booklist
  • Foreword Review
  • Christianity Today / Books and Culture
  • Relevant Magazine
  • RP Witness Magazine
  • Book Reporter / Faithful Reader
  • San Francisco Book Review
  • Pittsburgh Tribune Review
  • Midwest Book Review
  • Independent Publisher
  • Hearts & Minds Bookstore
  • Reader Views

has been delivered to the following authors after making a personal connection either through social media, email or in person (no guarantees made by authors on any endorsements):

  • Rosaria Butterfield, author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
  • Christopher Yuan, author of Out of a Far Country
  • Tim Challies, author of Sexual Detox
  • Robert Godfrey, author of John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor
  • Ed Davis, author of The Psalms of Israel Jones
  • Chris Larons, CEO of Ligonier Ministries
  • Paul Maxwell, writer for Desiring God website
  • Gregory Koukl, author of Tactics
  • Matt Crossman, award winning independent writer and journalist


Finances and Metrics:

My total marketing budget consists of $2,500 with approximately $1,400 already spent on pre-publication book orders and online marketing registration, to include NetGalley. This leaves approximately $1,000 more for additional book orders and a few, strategically chosen marketing campaigns through promotional websites, award submissions and paid reviews. Additionally, I will enroll both Jump and my previous book, Amidst Traffic, into free download promotions on Kindle every 90 days until May 2017.

I expect to earn a profit 6-8 months after the book’s launch date of May 16, 2016.

I will base the success of this marketing plan based on the growth of my online presence, book sales, book reviews and profitability, set by the goals listed above.


About Michel Sauret

I'm a independent and literary fiction author and Pittsburgh-based photographer

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