Posted On January 5, 2012 by Print This Post

The 7 Components of Book Marketing Strategy by Jennifer Fusco

I heard Jennifer Fusco give a workshop at RWA Nationals and I knew I wanted her to come to RU.  Then, I “met” her on FB and discovered that she’s not only smart and savvy but one of the nicest people you’ll ever talk to. Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not – this post is chockful of info to get ou started off right.

I’m thrilled to be a part of Romance University during the first week of the new year and I hope all of you guys enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. Now that we’re all rested and have eaten waaaay to much, I hope you’re as excited to get back to work as I am!
On January 19th, Market or Die will launch its third book in the series titled, “Market or Die: Integrated Marketing Plans for Writers.” In this book, I’ll go into detail on how a writer should market using an integrated strategy. For those who can’t wait for the release, here’s a sneak peek.
There are 7 key components to constructing a successful book marketing strategy. Hopefully, all of you have thought about one or all of them, somewhere along the way to marketing greatness. With marketing now resting in the author’s hands, it’s important to have a strategy before you release your book.

#1 – List your goals. So, you have a book to market, what’s your goal? To sell $1000 worth of books? To make it an bestseller? To have your e-books out sell your print copies 3 to 1?

Whatever your goal is, write it down. Writing down your goal(s) will keep your marketing strategy focused. When you see your goals on paper, you work harder to find a way to achieve them.

#2 – Research Social Media Sites. Make a determination of which social media sites are right for you. You’ll probably start with Facebook, Twitter and a Blog. Make a note to monitor these sites with what is being said about you and your work using an application like Google Alerts. Knowing what is being said about you online, helps you stay in the know without spending countless hours online.

#3- Build a list of connections and content. Play the who do you know game. Write down all the connections you have in the industry and how they can help you achieve your goal. Do you need marketing help? A book review? An endorsement? If so, who do you know that can help you achieve those things…write it down and reach out to the people on your list and ask for their help. You have a book to sell and a goal to achieve. Now isn’t the time to be shy.

#4- Join in. Whether you belong to an in person writers group, or online. Get involved and start making new connections. Meet new people and start networking. Post thoughtful comments on industry-related blogs or topics relevant to your books. Confident, secure people in the industry LOVE helping others.

#5- Strengthen and build on existing relationships – Now, isn’t the time to get lazy with the friends you’ve already made in the industry either. Work to get to know them more closely. Meet them in person if you can. You’ll not only learn more about your industry, you’ll build stronger advocacy connections within your existing group.

#6 – Measure your results. You will need to be able to make sure that you can measure your goal. List out how you plan to do that? Maybe it is via sales numbers? Numbers of Facebook Fans? rankings? Knowing how you will succeed is just as important as succeeding.

# 7 – Analyze, test and change. No matter if you achieve your goal or not, it’s important that you look at what happened during the marketing phase of your book. Do you have the right connections? Was your goal realistic? What, if anything, did you fail to consider? Change up your plan for the next release in order to position yourself for greater success.


Jennifer would like to hear from you. What is your greatest marketing challenge?

Tomorrow, the fabulous and prolific M/M romance author, Andrew Grey, helps us with our writing goals.



Jennifer Fusco is the Creative and Brand Manager for the General Electric Company, North America and the author of the bestselling series, MARKET OR DIE, marketing books for writers.

A two time winner of the Advertising Excellence Award for 2010, Jennifer has launched successful national print and digital ad campaigns. Currently, she is a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believes brand building is a key to professional success.

Due to the overwhelming response Market or Die received from writers, Ms. Fusco launched a website and blog designed to educate writers of all genres.

In her writing life, Ms. Fusco is a member of RWA’s PRO network and serves as the President of the Connecticut Romance Writers. She is represented by Eric Ruben of The Ruben Agency. Jennifer has also completed two paranormal romance manuscripts and will be a monthly contributor to the Romance Writers of America’s RWR Report, beginning in 2012.

Born in North Carolina, Jennifer currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and young son.

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36 Responses to “The 7 Components of Book Marketing Strategy by Jennifer Fusco”

  1. Jennifer – Thanks for being with us today.As a pre-published author, I obviously don’t have a book to market but I’m already trying to market me.

    I have FB, Twitter and a blog and I volunteer at RWA and the local level. Is there anything that I should be doing differently?


    Posted by Robin Covington | January 5, 2012, 5:30 am
    • You’re doing all the right things, Robin. When my agent signed me this past fall, one of the things he liked the most about me (or so he said) was that I’d already started building a platform and a name for myself eventhough my fiction isn’t yet published.

      The only other thing you may want to consider is building a workshop and taking it around to different conferences and so on-this help get your name out there in the network.

      Good luck!!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 8:55 am
      • Jennifer – great idea. A buddy and I tossed around the idea of creating a workshop on entering contests and covering topics ranging from choosing the right one to formatting your entries. It fits perfectly since I am such a contest slut!

        Posted by Robin Covington | January 5, 2012, 10:06 am
        • I think it’s right up your alley. Also, partnering with a published author friend and doing stuff together helps build credibility among writers. I owe a lot to Jessica Andersen for partnering with me for the workshop I did at RWA National last year.

          Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 1:22 pm
  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Welcome to RU! Thanks for the timely blog. My book releases April 1. After reading your seven steps, I realized I need to get to work on #1. So much of what you list there is ultimately out of the author’s control, though. Can working on connections help one achieve items in #1? Is there anything else I should be considering?


    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | January 5, 2012, 5:42 am
    • Hi Tracy,
      Congrats on your new release. I think what is in your control is how much you participate in your own success and how will that participation affect your goal.

      If your goal is to sell 180,000 copies then where (in the seven steps) can you influence that? You can’t control the outcome persay, but you can influence it heavily with the amount of time you put into your marketing.

      I also assume you have a book trailer to put on You Tube, a blog tour set up and a whole host of author friends signed on to help you promote your new release. If not, that’s where I’d start.
      Good Luck!!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 9:04 am
  3. Hi Jennifer,

    I’m a list person, but not a so organized person. Focus is a top goal. Plus networking.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | January 5, 2012, 6:49 am
  4. Hi Jennifer!

    Great post! =) We’ve all read about the importance of networking, whether via groups or social media etc. But WHEN in an author’s career should they start? I blog and FB and tweet, and have made some great new friends, but wonder if I’m pushing too hard for the stage I’m at as a writer? (totally unpublished!) or if I’m at a good spot – just in case a publishing contract should happen to land in my lap. And then do I punch up the level of social media?

    ok, that was totally like 5 questions in a row. =)


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | January 5, 2012, 8:22 am
    • Hi Carrie,
      The truth is its never to late or early to begin networking. Here’s an example, hand to God!

      Last spring I was an unpublished writer and a big supporter and board member of my RWA chapter, CTRWA. I was VP last year and that job is responsible for planning the annual conference. Our keynote speaker was Eloisa James (yes, I nearly peed my pants)I mean, its Eloisa.

      So, long story short–it ends up that Eloisa James and I spend most of the weekend riding around town together getting to know each other and we really hit it off. Now, we are on a first name basis. She knows who I am and we trade friendly emails back and forth. She’s even endorsed Market or Die. (her endorsements on the back cover)—-

      Long story short – networking isn’t necessarily about the BUY MY BOOK message. Its about meeting people and connecting with them, whether that be in social media or in person.

      There’s always time to ramp things up as your publishing career develops.

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 9:14 am
  5. Great stuff. As always!!

    Posted by Pj Schott | January 5, 2012, 9:34 am
  6. I am unpublished in romance. I always assumed that it was too early to have a web site or blog or tweet as a romance author since I don’t have a book published. But it sounds like maybe that’s not the case? What should an unpublished author put on a web site or Facebook or a blog, since there’s no book news or book to buy?

    Posted by Julia Thomas | January 5, 2012, 9:45 am
    • Hi Julia,

      If you’re serious about a career as a romance author, I’d recommend a landing page. Go ahead and reserve your domain name and create a one website about you and what you write. You can use this to refer potential agents to who want to learn more about you.

      Plus, you will already have a domain name established and a web presence when you hit the big time.
      Good Luck!!

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 10:08 am
  7. Just tweeted this…it’s too important for authors to miss!

    Posted by Toni Andrews | January 5, 2012, 10:00 am
  8. Great post, Jen.

    There’s so much I have to work on, like that whole FaceBook thing. You’re one of the few people who makes me think it might be worth the headache!


    Posted by Laura Moore | January 5, 2012, 10:23 am
  9. Laura Moore, my friend, one day you will follow me, like the pied piper into Facebook land. Don’t worry. I’ll hold your hand. It’ll be fine!

    Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 10:35 am
  10. Hi Jennifer. This is a great list. I wish I’d had it a year ago! LOL.

    I think networking can really pay off for pre-pubbed writers. In the month’s leading up to my debut release, I felt lost in terms of where to start with marketing. Then I realized I had a whole group of recently pubbed friends who’d been down this road and I started bombarding them with questions. From there, I was able to work with my publisher on a marketing plan.

    Thaks for a great post!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | January 5, 2012, 11:02 am
  11. You’re more than welcom, Adrienne. Good luck with your writing career. If you are on Facebook, and would like to “like” Market or Die, I post my marketing blog there and other helpful tips for writers, published and unpublished.

    Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 11:19 am
  12. Great list. I agree with all of the above. I try to think of marketing as relationship building to create a win-win-win. A win for the author with sales/reviews/bigger and better contracts. A win for the blogger with more hits/more fans/more influence. A win for the reader with more authors to love/more books to read/more information about what books to pick up and what to leave on the shelf.

    Posted by Avery Flynn | January 5, 2012, 11:21 am
  13. Hi Jennifer!

    Great checklist! I believe networking with other writers/authors really pays off in the long run. Also, blogging regularly, not so much about writing, but about your interests may garner readers in the future because it’s another way of connecting with someone.

    Goal setting is important, but I think many new authors get discouraged when their first book doesn’t sell well, especially when they see big sales numbers from new authors who’ve hit the Amazon top 100. Self-publishing allows anyone to publish a book. Reading blogs about how Author X made oodles of money has some newbies setting unrealistic goals. It’s so tempting to jump the gun and put out a book out when it’s not ready. But it’s not just about making the sale. When someone buys a book, they’re making an investment of their time.

    I can’t remember which famous writer coined the phrase, “It’s easier to get published than read.”

    Thanks for being with us today!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | January 5, 2012, 11:23 am
  14. Im so excited to see Jen Fusco here at RU. Her books are full of great advice and she writes them in an easy to undertand, down to earth manner. I am looking forward to getting book #3. Jennifer, where will you take us from here? What’s next for MOD?

    Posted by Gerri Brousseau | January 5, 2012, 11:52 am
    • Hi Gerri,
      What’s next for MOD…a nap. If I don’t get some fiction over to my agent he’s gonna have my head!

      Seriously, MOD will probably put out something this summer to address whethering market changes and trends and what to do with all the data we gather as marketers. Or, Brand building, or pricing, or I don’t know…there’s so many avenues.

      Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 1:17 pm
  15. Always a wealth of knowledge you are! Can’t wait for your third book. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. And I am looking forward to your online class next month too!

    Posted by Katy Lee | January 5, 2012, 12:23 pm
  16. Thanks for stopping by Katy Lee, my star student!

    Posted by Jennifer Fusco | January 5, 2012, 1:18 pm
  17. Great stuff, as always, Jennifer. I learn something new and useful with every interview you do. Please keep it coming!

    Posted by Susannah Hardy | January 5, 2012, 2:27 pm
  18. Hi Jennifer,

    This was a great article. I really enjoyed reading it.


    Posted by Anna James | January 5, 2012, 5:14 pm
  19. Jennifer *patting myself on the back* I knew having you heree would be a great idea! Thank so much for the great info and discussion.


    Posted by Robin Covington | January 5, 2012, 7:14 pm
  20. Hi Jen, your suggestions are productive and congratulations on your column in RWA. Fabulous. I have a couple of questions. I do not tweet, cannot figure it out, how do you tweet? And, I get some comments in my blog that go into spam. Some sound liget, but my webmaster said to delete anything that gets into spam. Others have signed up as new user registration, but I am leary about emailing. Any advice in this area?

    Posted by Gail Ingis | January 5, 2012, 9:46 pm
  21. Great blog – sorry I’m late to the party!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | January 6, 2012, 8:24 am
  22. I’m working on a marketing plan for a Literary Agent interested in my first manuscript, and a possible series.

    Oh my… I have been building my social media presence for years, but I have so much more to do. Thank you so much for your expertise and guidance. I will start with my list of goals.

    Posted by Jodi James | January 19, 2016, 9:36 am


  1. […] posts and ideas here to help you no matter what genre you might be working in. My favs include the 7 Components of Book Marketing Strategy and What To Do When Your WIP Turns Against […]

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