Create an Awesome Marketing Plan—Part 1: Intro

by Melissa Tagg

Melissa Tagg here. Today and for a few posts to come, I’d like to talk about the components of the marketing plan you include in your novel’s proposal. And make no mistake, you NEED to include one.

The fact is, agents and publishers are looking not just at our writing, but at us. And if they’ve got three or four equally stellar proposals representing equally amazing books sitting in front of them, then at the end of the day, if they can only choose one, they’ll pick the author with the best platform and the best marketing plan.

In other words, they’re going to go with the author who is willing to work the hardest…not just at the writing of the book, but at the marketing of it.
As fiction authors, it’s hard to build a great platform when we’re pre-published, but that doesn’t mean we can’t WOW agents and editors with our marketing expertise. Which is why I’m all about creating a marketing plan that goes beyond a few paragraphs about social media numbers and actually presents a solid marketing strategy that lets your prospective agent or publisher know you mean business.

So for my next five posts, we’re going to look at the various components of a good marketing plan. The goal is to put together a plan that isn’t just impressive—but doable. That reflects both your book and your personality. And that proves you truly want to partner with the publisher when it comes to getting your book out there.

If you follow along and maybe even do the work as we go, by the end you just might find yourself with a robust plan of your own. The pieces we’ll be discussing include:

  • Media
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Internet Presence (social media, website, blog tours, web appearances)
  • Libraries
  • Launch Team
  • Cross-promotional opportunities
  • Book-signing and Events
  • Printed Materials
  • Bonus Material
  • Endorsements

Before we get to all that, though, I’d like to offer some personal encouragement for authors who hear the word “marketing” and instantly shrivel inside. I’m still learning so much about what it means to be an author and participate in an ever-fluctuating industry. In all honesty, in the past couple years, I’ve made a concentrated effort to get back to a place where writing is simply fun…and believe it or not, that’s extended to marketing! I’ve learned to see marketing as relationship-building. Yes, we need and want to sell books. But we also have this wonderful opportunity as authors to not only reach people through our stories, but through our engagement with readers as we interact on social media, put together launch teams, send out e-newsletters, etc. And as I’ve transformed my thinking in that area, it’s given me a whole new appreciation for marketing as an opportunity, not a chore.

I hope that’s encouraging to you! See you next month with more marketing plan talk. 🙂


Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to one of their spring 2016 Top Ten lists. Her most recent releases include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and One Enchanted Eve (Nov 2016). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. Connect with Melissa at or on Facebook and Instagram.

Title Photo Copyright: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo