Alright, in our previous post, we talked about Marketing Plan Development and you did Goals and the Environmental Analysis. 

Next step – putting it together.

Using the Information & Some Cavaets

This is  kind of put together because your goals are going to have to change a little based off your budget and your analysis. Again, a lot of this is going to be fuzzy if you are a new writer – and getting ‘good’ data is going to be hard. That’s because one of the biggest question marks (your product) is very, very hard to evaluate as a new writer.

Heck, even experienced writers have a hard time judging their own work. So, you won’t know very well how you do in terms of writing and ability and how it compares until you publish. Which means understanding how fast you can generate revenue is going to be hard.

Which is why, again, I asked that you don’t spend TOO much time on environmental analysis and the like. It’s good to know what’s going on, but until you publish and start marketing, it’s hard to know what you’re doing. 

We’ll talk about reiteration and adaptation of the marketing plan later, but realise you’ll probably need to revise numbers.

Marketing Plan KPIs

That being said, assuming you have a 3 year goal, you should break your financial goals up now. In addition, it’s time to start measuring – and considering how you measure – other Key Performance Indices (KPIs).

Some things you can measure:

– Organic Facebook fan page likes (please don’t buy likes. Nothing from Fiverr or any of those mass purchases work).

– Newsletter subscribers (organic and swapped / promoed)

– Number of books released & types 

– Number of short stories published

– Earned revenue 

I’m sure you can think of it. Remember, make sure the KPIs are measurable and make sense for the business. Measuring Twitter followers might make sense, but measuring how many retweets a meme that has nothing to do with your writing probably doesn’t. Unless you can measurably track back sales from those retweets, it might not be the way to go.

Note – I’m not measuring words written. Just published. 

You can’t earn money if you don’t publish. Then again, this goal is to earn 50k. Your goals might be different. So… adjust accordingly.


Now that you have an idea of the environment, it’s time to play around with your budget. In an ideal world, you’d write your budget based off what you need to make, and then find the money to spend it.

It’s not an ideal world. It also, in many ways, not a good idea to spend limited marketing dollars on advertising a single book.  Better to wait for more books to spread your ROI.

Another thing to note is that your marketing budget is going to be dependent on your entire budget. If you have $5000 to spend in a year and need to release 4 books, that money is likely better off spent in the most part in cover design and editing.

If you have $6000, you might be able to break off a $1000 to do FB advertising and AMS ad testing.

Or you could decide to put that money into an audiobook instead. Which you choose will depend on your marketing goals, your current KPIs (including unit sales of your ebook) and your timeframe. Can you wait till get your audiobooks out? Are your sales so low that you are missing the majority of readers with your ebook? Do you need to expand to a new market because you are ‘reaching’ the majority of your low-hanging fruit in ebooks?

Or maybe you just want your books in libraries. Which means you need hardcovers and paperbacks. And for Americans, that means paying for ISBNs.

Producing more products (of your own book) is a valid strategy. It’ll just affect your budget – and whether you decide to call it a production cost or a marketing cost, as a small business, it’s all coming out of the same pot. So, it’s worth working your marketing budget in view of your entire budget for the business. 

Another thing to consider. Once you’ve created the budget, you might realise:

– you don’t have enough money to cover basic production;

– you don’t have money to cover marketing;

– you have enough money, but that’s only because it’s based off high sales.

In those cases, you might want to readjust either your cost (can you release without an edit? Can you swap services?), you can increae your budget (can you sell your blood / plasma? Can you take a 2nd job or run errands? Kill your cable subscription so you can save money?) or you are over-optimistic and should plan to have the capital outside of sales that might not show up.

Anyway, at this point, you have a budget. Most of that budget will be a bunch of made-up numbers (expenses should be firm, revenue is all guesstimates until you produce and sell book 1); but at least you’ve got something. Now…

Let’s figure out the 4 P’s of your marketing plan in the next post. Probably only one P; but we’ll see.

Random Sample Marketing Budget

Here’s a random marketing budget that I pulled out of the air. This is just to give you an idea of what you could be doing and what your money could be spent on.

$200 in year 1 – Domain, website hosting, website creation, mailing list integration, some minor dollars thrown into AMS ads to increase visibility without breaking the bank. 

End of year 1 – 4 books out, money from year 1 has hit the bank including book 3

$5000 in year 2 – Regular FB ads at a few dollars a day. AMS ads for first in series’ and latest release.  Newsletter marketing (Bookbub, Book Barbarian, etc.).  Giveaways and contests on FB page. Produce book 1 or 2 of your series in audiobook. Produce paperback copies.

End of year 2 – 8 books out. 

$10,000 in year 3 – Regular FB ads at $10-20 a day, AMS ads for multiple series.  Regular newsletter marketing. Paying for newsletter subscribers now.  Payment to go to a local con and sit at a table to meet fans. Put entire series into audiobook. Put entire series into hardcover.

End of year 3 – 12 books out.

Like the business blog post? Want to support me writing more of them? Want to read ahead (2 weeks) of others? Become a Patron and choose the $2-tier to be able to read the business posts only and ask questions about the business side of writing.

Become a Patron!