Saturday, 23 April 2011


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Christian Book Marketing 101: A Crash Course in Five Crucial Elements for Your Marketing Plan

While some Christian authors plan to give their book to only friends and family, we know that many Christian authors hope to share their book and message with the masses. To make this dream a reality, you'll need a plan of action - a marketing plan.

Without an effective marketing plan, you might end up wasting a lot of time, money and effort in a frenzied, unorganized attempt to sell books.

Now, that's not what you want to happen at all, is it? And we want to help you avoid that. So, sharpen your pencils and open your notebook because here comes your crash course in book marketing 101: how to create a marketing plan to successfully launch your Christian book.


A marketing plan spells out the actions needed to achieve your marketing goals. Before you start planning how to get somewhere, you should first know where you're trying to go. So, let's start with your goals.

Now, you may have lofty dreams and aspirations about your book, such as appearing on Oprah or hitting the top of the bestseller's list. These aspirations are yours to have - we're not suggesting that you give up your dreams.

But it's time to think about a realistic, attainable and definable goal, such as selling X number of copies, or making X amount of money - it's fine to set the bar high, just make sure that they are goals you can realistically achieve.

Once you know what goals you're shooting for, you then know where you're headed, but now you'll need a plan if you want to get there. The marketing plan encompasses all aspects in the life of your book, from the first inspirational idea for your book to the last promotional effort you'll make. A marketing plan is all encompassing, so it's best to start with the basics, including defining your market, identifying your customers or target audience, identifying your competitors and outlining a strategy to attract customers. You've got to start somewhere, right? Starting with the basics will not only help define these traits for you personally, but they will help define your book for your audience as well as focus your marketing efforts later.


It's never too early to begin thinking about your marketing plan. Before you even type the first sentence of your book, you can begin the first step to developing a marketing plan, which is to conduct market research. This research will help you become familiarized with the condition of the market and plan your approach. Check out the types of Christian books that are currently selling well. Visit bookstores to see which books receive the best shelf space and decide into what markets your book fits. Start networking and making connections with other authors to gain knowledge and advice. Connect with media members and begin compiling a list of contacts for future promotional opportunities.

If you've already written your book, don't worry; Wordclay has a slew of marketing resources to help you jump into the game prepared. Plus, even though you've already written your manuscript, you can still conduct research as well as analyze and define your manuscript from a marketing perspective. Start by making a few basic decisions regarding your book regardless of the stage of writing.


1. First, clearly identify your target audience. If your first thought is, "Well, that's easy: Christians!" then you might need to reevaluate your approach. Really get specific: Christian mothers? Grieving Christians? Disabled Christians? Christians who love healthy cooking? Christians who are teachers? Perhaps there are multiple groups of people that would be interested in your book, but it's best to narrow your focus from the start so you have a clear target.

Consider characteristics such as age, gender, career, income, residence/location and education. By clarifying your targeted audience, you're finding a niche audience, which will make marketing much easier and effective later down the line.

No matter your writing style, there's undoubtedly an audience for your work, an audience just waiting for your new, rich and inspirational material. All in all, once you have your target audience(s) defined, you can then search out the means of reaching them and begin your marketing endeavors.

2. Second, identify the competition. The Christian book market is large and thus, highly competitive; but you can use this to your advantage. Find out what kinds of Christian books are selling the best. Identify experts or leaders in the field. Scrutinize your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. Record the selling price of other books based on the subject, binding type, book size and page count. Determine the market demand for specific types of books within your genre.

Take some time to browse through bookstores and note how Christian books are marketed on secular bookstores. Now, how are different styles of Christian books marketed within the Christian genre? For example, what is the topic of top selling Christian book? Are they fiction? Non-fiction? Christian lifestyle? This research will help you better understand the current trends in the book selling marketplace and how your book can fit within it.

3. Third, research how best to reach your targeted audience(s), whether it is through a particular magazine, Web site or geographic location. Search online for blogs, forums and other social networks through which you can reach your audience. Does your audience listen to a particular radio station? Attend particular events? Does your book have a direct connection to a particular city or region? Are there cultural ties that map directly with a certain cultural areas? Do members of your targeted audience represent a higher percentage of the demographic in particular cities?

For example, if you're targeting young-adult Christians, you could research the location of the largest Christian colleges in the United States. Or, perhaps your book relates more specifically to Catholic teachings, in which case you can narrow your search to Catholic schools. If your book is more general in location, not tied to a specific region, then it's best to start locally, and then expand outward as you saturate the market.

4. Fourth, develop a statement to position your book within your targeted audience. This statement should highlight your book's unique selling position, or what separates your book from the crowd in a bustling book market. If you're not sure exactly how to answer, consider this situation: a reader is browsing a shelf of Christian books and has the chance to ask you directly, "Why should I buy your book? Why should I take the time and spend the money to read your book in particular over all of these other books on the shelf?" Try to answer thoroughly yet briefly. Be persuasive and engaging.

5. Fifth, develop a budget for your marketing plan. How much can you realistically spend on marketing over the next year? Over the next two years? Consider the type of media you will use, promotional services and all other costs associated with marketing. Some marketing efforts are extremely affordable, while others are outrageously expensive. Your budget will ultimately affect which promotional strategies you can afford, but remember: a higher price tagged promotional strategy does not always produce a better result.

Once you have examined these important broad-based fundamental distinctions, the next step is to really narrow in and develop your marketing strategy. Using the "Four P's of Marketing," you can create a detailed marketing plan along with the specific steps needed to meet your particular marketing goals. Just remember to always keep these five essential aspects in mind, and you'll be sure to reach your readers with success.

Research into how to market christian book

Tips From Users Like You

How to Market Your Non-fiction Christian Book

How to Market Your Non-fiction Christian Bookthumbnail
Market your book.

If you have an inspirational story to tell, a spiritual self-help book, a doctrinal point to make, targeting a Christian book publisher might be right for you. Thirty years ago when I began writing, it was possible to submit a proposal directly to a book publisher and receive a personal reply. Those days are all but gone. It's difficult for a new writer without an agent to get a reading from any publisher, not just Christian. The situation is not hopeless, however. How does one go about breaking into the world of Christian non-fiction book publishing? Here are some tips.



things you'll need:

  • "Writer's Market"
  • Sally Stuart's, "Christian Writers Market"
  • Internet connection
    • 1
      write your proposal

      First, write a really great book proposal. Many authors, especially first-timers, write the book first, then attempt to market it. While it's all right to do that, and maybe the only way to get your first book out, it's preferable to create a detailed, well-thought-out book proposal to submit to publishers. Once you have a commitment from a publisher, you can write your book with the knowledge it will be published once you deliver an acceptable manuscript.

    • 2
      Get an agent.

      Consider getting an agent. Lists of agents who might handle your subject matter can be found in "Writer's Market," or "Christian Writers' Market," or online. If you attend Christian writer's conferences, you can usually meet agents in person. Attend a conference that allows for one-on-one appointments with editors and agents, and bring your proposal. Also, talk to any writing friends you have. They many know or have an agent, and be able to steer you in the right direction, or even put in a good word.

    • 3
      Query publishers.

      Admittedly it is difficult for an unpublished writer to land an agent. If getting an agent seems improbable, try checking the market listings to find a publisher that accepts non-agented submissions. While scarce, they are actually more common among small Christian publishers than in the world at large. You might well connect with someone, especially if your proposal is compelling.

    • 4
      Submit online.

      Finally, and perhaps the best choice for unagented writers, try one of the Christian manuscript submission sites. This is one of the best ways to get your proposal before the right publishers. Many Christian publishers will state in their listings that they only accept proposals through The Writer's Edge or ChristianManuscriptSubmissions. These sites have templates that allow you to submit a brief proposal that is made available to interested publishers. There is a fee for each proposal ($95-98), but the exposure is certainly worthwhile. Now, get going on that proposal! The world needs more inspiration!

Read more: How to Market Your Non-fiction Christian Book |

Project Plan

2000 words in total...

Project Brief


Project Title

IRL enterprise

Project Value

100% of 15 credits

Unit Title

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship – Making it Happen

Unit Code



Level 3 Term 1

Date of Issue

April 2011

Submission Date

Project plan submission deadline 28th of April

Formative assessment 17th of May

Summative assessment presentation 10th June

Completion of project report 13th June

Unit Leader

L T Dimitriou, Jared Taylor

Project Leader and Other Staff

L T Dimitriou, Jared Taylor, Robert Chapman-Ames

If you are unable to make it to a session, or have problems with Moodle please let us know by e-mailing Carole Mallett AND Sarah Mark

Unit Introduction

In the Level 1 and Level 2 units of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, we have focused on:

- spotting opportunities,

- generating ideas and turning them into wealth creating opportunities

- developing market insight and communication as key components of creative entrepreneurial endeavour.

Now, in Level 3, attention turns to ‘making things happen’. This means taking a holistic view of creative entrepreneurial endeavour and the many factors that need to be organised and managed for successful creative enterprise. A key feature of the Level 3 unit will be to give you the opportunity to experience, as closely as possible, the ‘reality’ of entrepreneurial endeavour and the entrepreneurial way of life, deploying the entrepreneurial attributes, skills and behaviours cultivated during the previous two units. These include:

- emotional intelligence, persistence, adaptability, resilience to failure;

- the ability to make decisions and take calculated risks;

- persuasive communication, particularly intelligent use of evidence, both financial and market related, in support of ideas;

- confidence to cross boundaries into unfamiliar worlds to get the resources you need to make things happen.

Through a mixture of lectures, talks by visiting experts, practical workshops, discussions and seminars, you will extend and consolidate your entrepreneurial knowledge and skill, and put it into practice via the unit project. The project will set a creative entrepreneurial challenge that reflects the complexity, buzz, highs and lows of the real entrepreneurial experience and way of life. On successful completion of the unit, you should feel confident in describing yourself as a creative entrepreneur. This means you will have learnt to:

- Identify and understand relationships between the key elements which need to be considered, prioritised and managed to bring an idea to market, notably product or service; target market audience; people; resources (financial and physical);

- Manage complexity, making judgements and decisions with incomplete data;

- Build and utilise networks purposefully;

- Conduct research, build evidence and construct a convincing case in support of an idea;

- Plan the steps required to establish an entrepreneurial enterprise;

- Communicate an idea, product/service concept and/or business case persuasively to a diverse range of audiences.

Project Brief

In the Level 3 project, you will come up with a business idea and carry out an enterprise. The enterprise can be based on a hobby / interest, based on a business opportunity you have stumbled upon or related to your course.

· There has to be actual trade- money switching hands or procurement agreement (/contract) signed- before summative assessment

· You are responsible for making sure you have the appropriate licenses, that your enterprise is legal, morally acceptable and in line with college regulations.

· Any monetary investments need to be discussed with a tutor and an exit strategy devised.

You will choose whether to work on your own or in a group, and whether to work with members of your own discipline or potentially to bring more varied expertise into the project by collaborating with people from different subject areas. You may choose to collaborate with someone outside of Ravensbourne.

There will be some suggestions of types of ventures you could pursue on Moodle (these have been supplied by your main tutors).

You will come up with an initial project plan including budget and action plan (Gantt chart) that will be handed in by the 28th of April. Throughout the unit you will be using your online learning (b)log to describe your research and learning, covering the process of launching your business including acquisition of skills, contacts and other resources. At the end of the unit you will analyse and review the project’s outcome and result in financial and other terms (we encourage using the ‘triple bottom line’ model). You are expected to analyse why there may be disparity between your initial forecast and the actual results and to tell us what lessons have been learned.

There will be a template on Moodle to use as a guide for writing the project plan and the end report.

AS mentioned above, each student will keep an online learning log and is required to submit a report and analysis of the learning journey (see below under assessable elements). Examples of what you should record in your learning (b)log:

- Any interesting material you stumble upon which has to do with your enterprise or topics covered in E&E

- Lecture notes

- Notes from independent learning on the VLE (Moodle)

- Research: findings along with critical evaluation of sources and methods used

- Motivation for or reasoning behind decisions made throughout the process

- Feedback: from friends, tutors, customers or whoever

- Visual: Sketches, storyboards, visualization of ideas, photographs of your progress


Be aware of IP (copyright) and plagiarism. Do not cut and paste text into your blog other than as short citations clearly marked as such and make sure to reference where text and images are taken from. If using online material, there is generally no need to republish the material: instead write a description/summary and link to the original page.

We are working in compliance with the institution's group working policy. Guidelines for how to manage group work can be found on Moodle.

Teaching and Learning Strategies and E-Learning

Values, attitudes, knowledge and skills are gained primarily through lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, and self directed study as well as project based learning. The project will however be the main vehicle for knowledge and understanding, giving you an intensive and an ‘as close to real as possible’ experience of entrepreneurial endeavour. Visiting speakers, including entrepreneurs, are deployed both to inspire and relate your learning to the real world.

Traditional modes of delivery are supported by the VLE. Changes to curriculum are live fed and there are resources, forums and areas in which to upload work online through Moodle.

For project updates you are required to regularly check your emails and unit specific content in Moodle.

Learning Outcomes

In order to pass this unit, students must demonstrate the following learning outcomes have been achieved:

A1 Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the key characteristics of entrepreneurial endeavour and the entrepreneurial way of life

B1 Demonstrate an ‘I can’ attitude that facilitates exploration of uncharted territory, overcoming obstacles and learning from failures to make a project work

C1 Demonstrate ability to identify and overcome issues inherent in working with people with different mental models and knowledge sets

C2 Demonstrate ability to identify and analyse strategic and market factors and synthesise data to develop viable solutions

E1 Demonstrate the ability to communicate an entrepreneurial idea, or complex data, simply and persuasively, using appropriate media

E2 Develop an action plan in support of development or realisation of entrepreneurial endeavour

D1 Identify, build and use professional networks in support of a proposition

Assessment Criteria

  • Ability to identify the key elements in entrepreneurial endeavour and apply the attitudes, skills and behaviours of entrepreneurial people (A1, B1, D1)

  • Ability to identify and develop appropriate strategies for dealing with key issues inherent in working and communicating effectively with diverse stakeholders who may have different mental models and knowledge sets (C1, D1, E1)

  • Evidence of capacity to think strategically, gather strategic and market intelligence from a wide range of sources and synthesise data to develop viable propositions/solutions (C2)

  • Evidence of ability to identify, build and utilise professional networks (D1)

  • Ability to develop a comprehensive action plan in support of entrepreneurial endeavour (E2)

Assessable Elements and Submission Requirements

Assessable Elements

Percentage of Final Grade



Students are required to keep an online learning log or blog throughout the project.

For all submissions:

All hand-ins need to be uploadable to Moodle for assessment. Therefore students MUST keep back up of all their work on external media until it has been marked – just in case there are problems.

Please note that conduct and engagement in organised activities are noted and may be taken into consideration in the assessment.

If you are unable to make it to a session, please let us know by e-mailing Carole Mallett AND Sarah Mark

Formative assessment

You will discuss your project plan with a tutor and/or visiting entrepreneur. Feedback received should be added by the student to his/her learning log or blog.

Summative assessment

Report on enterprise, discussion with tutor. Upload project report to Moodle. Peer assessment.

For further details and guidance, students are directed to Moodle.

Key Dates

Students are required to regularly check Moodle and e-mail for live updates and changes to curriculum and schedule.

19th of April 1.30-4: Introduction to unit and project

T.B.C: Seminars on FREELANCING including: budgeting, finding work, contracts. Visiting entrepreneur/ freelancers.

28th of April: Deadline for project plan hand-in

10th of May 9.30-12, 1.30-4: Consumer Behavior, Negotiation Tactics, Securing investment, Business Strategy

17th of May 9.30-12, 1.30-4
Formative Assessments/Tutorials

10th of June 9.30-12, 1.30-4

Summative Assessments/Tutorials

13th June Deadline final submissions of project report

Extensions and Mitigating Circumstances

If you have any other unforeseen and serious difficulties during this unit you may apply for an extension, or mitigating circumstances. Full details of how to do this are available from the Registry intranet site at

Grading and Marking

All projects at Ravensbourne College are assessed against the College Grading Descriptors. (

Reading List

Further recommended items for reading and viewing are continually added to the unit page on Moodle.


Don Tapscott & Anthony D Williams, (2007) Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Atlantic Books

John Mullins, (2006) The New Business Road Test: What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing A Business Plan, Times/Prentice Hall 2nd ed

Mary and Andrew Bragg, Developing New Business Ideas: A Step-by-step Guide to Creating New Business Ideas Worth Backing, Financial Times Series/Prentice Hall

Richard Stutely, The Definitive Business Plan: The Fast Track to Intelligent Business Planning for Executives and Entrepreneurs (Financial Times Series)

Cheryl D. Rickman and Dame Anita Roddick, (2005) The Small Business Start-up Workbook: A Step-by-step Guide to Starting the Business You've Dreamed of, How To Books

Gary Hamel, The Future of Management, Harvard Business School Press

Peter F Drucker, (2008) The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, JB Leader to Leader Institute/PF Drucker Foundation 3rd ed

Peter F Drucker, (2008) Managing Oneself, Harvard Business School Classics

Web, Sections: Fostering a Creative Culture; Teams

Chartered Institute of Marketing

British Venture Capital Assocation

British Business Angel Association

School for Social Entrepreneurs

New business trends:

Stanford entrepreneurship corner:

Judge Business School Podcasts:

Bloomberg Businessweek

Free grant search service for small companies, charities and community groups:


University of Oxford- Building a business (basic business knowhow series- talks on how to raise funding, the importance of good accountancy, how to write and sell a business plan)

Open University- Winning Resources and Support (Fundraising and campaigning for social enterprise and charities)

All references must be written in the Harvard style of referencing. Refer to the LRC Booklet ‘How to … Reference your work’.

Learning Support

Learning Support is available through Student Services and includes – English as a second language, academic writing support and dyslexia support.

For more information on the type of support you can access, either visit the Student Services Team, or see the Support for Learning brochure which can be downloaded from –

Alternative assessment arrangements may be made or additional learning support arranged for students with disabilities or medical conditions which would impair their performance in meeting the above requirements and who have registered in advance with Student Support. This must be discussed and agreed in advance with the Subject Leader and will be reported to the Board of Examiners.

Re-Submission Requirements

Students who fail this project, or parts thereof, will be required to complete a resubmission project which demonstrates that they have achieved the learning outcomes.

Students should be aware that resubmissions are capped at an E grade (for University of Sussex Validation) or a bare pass grade (for City University London Validation) unless the mitigating circumstances panel uphold an evidenced application.

The deadline for re-submission is 27th of June 2011