Tag | Book Marketing
Squidoo is an excellent and free way to promote yourself as an author, as well as the books that you’ve written. Create by Seth Godin in 2005, Squidoo is a social community that allows users to build lenses, or single online pages, to showcase a particular subject. Squidoo is like having a one-page website that will share images, links and other details on just about anything that you can think that’s worth promoting.
Getting started is easy. Sign-up for a free account and you’re off to the races. Squidoo recognizes that the majority of its audience aren’t tech-savvy and a simple content management system has been implemented to walk you through the ‘lens’ set-up process. If you’re new to the community, it might be in your best interest to take a look at other lenses to get a sense on how they’re used and built. This will make it easier to determine how to create our own.
So, what’s the point of having a Squidoo lens? First, Google loves Squidoo and values it as a highly credible source of content and information. This means that even if your personal website is buried somewhere on page 25 of the Google search engine results pages, you still have an opportunity to nab a piece of the limelight via Squidoo. Most lenses appear in the top 10 of Google searches and that’s a great thing for those of us who are just starting out.
You can build a Squidoo lens for each one of your books and even for yourself and then link them altogether for a collection of lenses that are all about your body of work and expertise. Pretty snazzy. Many authors feature downloadable ebooks, upcoming book signings, future speaking events and other details about where they’ll be and what they’re doing. You can even use your lens to help drive traffic back to your blog and website.
There are plenty of Squidoo resources available to help you get things going. The best sources tend to be from the Squidoo lensmasters themselves. Explore and enjoy.
There are an enormous amount of books available on the book marketing for authors. Just like most products and brands, some are great and some are not so great. The one thing that holds true for all of them is that you can always glean at least a useful tidbit or two from each of them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choices these selections will make a great starting point for your collection.
Because marketing in general has shifted from traditional to technical it’s imperative to understand how to navigate the static online and focus your promotional efforts accordingly. Weber unveils a bundle of excellent tips and strategies that make it easy to learn about syndication, pay per click, social networking and much more. There’s a reason why this book has received stellar reviews, but you’ll have to buy a copy if you want to find out why for yourself.
1001 Ways To Market Your Books: For Authors And Publishers, by John Kremer.
Kremer is the owner of Open Horizons and editor-at-large of Book Marketing Update newsletter. Using his success as a consultant and publisher of more than 1,000 titles, as well a list of clients who have achieved multi-million dollar book sales, Kremer pulls together a collection of ideas and suggestions to help you market your book. What makes this book unique is that real-life author examples have been used to demonstrate how to successfully apply Kremer’s practices.
Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, by Dan Poynter.
Often referred to as the bible on self-publishing, this book is essential to have for any author who is interested in producing a commercially-successful book. In essence, Poynter has compiled a book publishing course that walks the reader through writing, publishing, marketing, promoting and distributing their book. An overview of the industry and publishing techniques are revealed for an in-depth look at what to do and what to avoid.
Also, The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard Johnson has some great ideas too.
Who are your favorites? Any dog-eared marketing manuals that you can’t live without?
One of the biggest challenges when you’re an author or writer is getting your book published. If you pursue a traditional route and try to land a deal with a literary agent and a publishing house you’ll quickly discover that the idea is much easier than the chances of it actually happening. Fortunately, technology has made it much simpler to produce and distribute a book without having to depend on conventional methods.
Self-publishing is very appealing because you have complete control over the process from start to finish. You get to decide what to print, when to print and how to print. Plus, you can distribute the final product through a variety of mediums, such as ebooks, audio or print.
Another bonus to self-publishing is that at the end of the process there’s more money in your pocket because you’ve eliminated the bevy of middle men and you also own all rights to your material.
Maybe self-publishing isn’t so much ‘bad’ as it is demanding. For instance, all costs need to be paid up front to cover actual production and distribution. Depending on how extensive your public relations campaign is you’ll need to also factor in costs associated with publicity to get the word out and create some buzz about your new publication.
Without the backing of a major literary establishment you’ll be doing a tremendous amount of work to create momentum, including marketing, interviewing, coordinating inventory, managing budget, monitoring reviews and feedback, as well as processing order fulfillment. Be prepared to wear many hats and to get down and dirty if you decide to self-publish.
The truth is that it really doesn’t matter what pathway you choose to get your book published. Whether it’s traditional or self-publishing, each has it’s own set of pros and cons. The bottom line is that it takes hard work, patience and resourcefulness. Setting yourself apart from the masses is key to being stand out in front of literary agents and also your audience. Remember that both groups have thousands of choices so it’s important to demonstrate why you’re the best one.
Decide what you want to do and stick with it. Think like a business professional and you’ll be on your way to getting what you need to get your book into the hands of readers.
The vast majority of authors aren’t creating content and experiencing levels of success that transform them into overnight phenomenons with multi-million dollar book deals. For this reason it’s a good idea to consider other avenues that you can use to expand the reach and profitability of your book. Making your book available in other formats and through other outlets can make a positive contribution to your bottom line. Here are some additional ways to transform your book into a bag-o-cash.
Electronic formatting is the way to go if you’re an author. Print is great, but don’t forget to create digital versions and audio version of your book too. People want access to instant information and ebooks and podcasts are the perfect way to fulfill that need. With products like the iPad, Kindle and Nook, you have an opportunity to instantaneously reach thousands of readers and receive a generous royalty rate in the process.
Another way to generate revenue is through merchandise. This might not be a mainstream approach, but that in itself is advantageous to an author. By selling book branded t-shirts to your fans you’ll be pulling in some extra greenbacks and you’ll also turn your readers into your own army of walking marketers. Every time someone wears your shirt out in public they’re becoming a human outdoor board that promotes you and your publication.
One of the most simple way to build your income is through speaking and seminars. If you’re a published author you have something that non-published authors don’t have – experience. Sharing your challenges, successes and tips is a fantastic way to give others a leg up on in the book world. People appreciate honesty and how to from credible resources and by showcasing that you’re a blend of both is a win for you as an author.
A bonus to speaking and coaching is that you can show-off and sell your existing product. Bring copies of your books to sell and autograph. People who know who you are and enjoy your previous work will have no problem shelling out for copy of your latest. They also won’t mind paying for your services to gain insight into learning more about tackling the industry from author’s perspective.
When people hear the word ‘content’ as it applies to the web, people immediately think that it pertains only to what’s written. However, that’s not entirely accurate. Content actually encompasses quite few things, such as webinars, podcasts, PowerPoints and other various elements. For authors and writers, all of these various pieces can come together to create a substantial marketing presence.
Authors can use content marketing to develop PDF versions of select chapters from their current work, or even upcoming and in progress pieces, and make them available on their website for fans to download. Using available social media strategies like Twitter, forums and other platforms, authors can promote the availability of new content.
Beyond promoting their current books, authors can also develop content that can be positioned as a resource for other struggling novelists and writers. If you’re an author that has had great success in getting your book published my a major firm you might consider putting together an e-book that passes on your knowledge and experience to other writers. You’ll position yourself as someone who’s willing to help and who has hands-on experience. People value and respect both of these characteristics.
As an author, try to keep your content marketing efforts sincere. In other words, don’t get caught up in sounding too much like someone with a sales pitch. Sincerity will take you much further if you introduce your content as something that you feel could actually benefit others.
When you begin creating your content, think about putting it together in much the same way that you would write a book. Get organized, create a plan and begin assembling. Make your content shareable, show that it value, optimize it with keywords and don’t forget to set-up analytics so that you can track how many people are downloading what you’re giving them.
Authors may find that building good content might take some time, but the end-result is well-worth it.
Famous micro-blogging site Twitter is a social networking goldmine. Authors can easily connect with their audience and other key players like media contacts, literary agents and publishers to get the word out on their latest masterpiece. Like any social media tool, authors need to apply some strategy to their Twitter outreach in order to use it effectively.
Find Your Tweeps
Recent stats estimate that nearly 26 million people are using Twitter. Your job as an author is to try an find your niche within the mass. Search for other well-known authors and writers in your genre and follow them. More than likely you’ll begin to build a following of similar individuals who are interested in what you have to share.
Make Your Tweets Relevant
As you’re developing your follower base, make sure to stay on topic when you construct your tweets. Although it may be tempting to give a play-by-play on cooking scrambled eggs for breakfast you’re much better off sticking with book-related tweets. Save the personal aspects for later after you’ve built up a considerable following.
Hashtags are a fantastic way to organize and stream your tweets into a searchable category that people can find and read. Consider creating your own personalized hashtag or using some of the more popular ones like #book, #authors or #mysteries. Try not to use them for every single tweet that you send out so that you don’t appear to spammy. Use them sparingly and for tweets that you want to make a bigger impact with.
Twitter Requires Patience
Unless your last name is Kutcher or Spears, you’re not going to end up with millions of followers overnight. Slow and steady wins the race for the rest of us. Take the time to build relationships and engage in conversations with your followers. Tweeting takes time and dedication. If you’re only sending out a single tweet once every month then you’re not likely to see a rapid increase. Participate daily and stay on topic to reap the benefits of Twitter.
If Twitter is new for you, spend some time following others to get a sense of the flow of conversation and interaction. Once you’re ready, get ready for fun and launch your own account.
Using a press release to alert the media, bloggers and the search engines about business news and happenings is a fantastic way to drum up some interest and exposure. The thing about press releases is that their content is structured very differently from a blog post or article. By following a few simple guidelines you’ll be able to create a solid press release that can work to your advantage.
For all the authors out there this next mention will sound familiar. Just like a query letter, your press release needs to have a great headline. The purpose is to hook the interest of the reader, but also be succinct and direct at the same time. The headline should summarize what the press release about, but be catchy enough to entice further reading. Important: don’t include jargon or slang in your headline.
When you begin writing the body, or content of your press release, remember to stick to the facts. Press releases should contain a who, what, where, when and why. Additionally, they need to be written in a third-person voice and should be kept free of opinion. Editorializing should be avoided. Think of the release just like a news reporter would approach a story. Personal opinion is pushed aside so that people can make conclusions on their own. This is true with how your present the content in your release.
There are many different press release distribution sites on the Internet. To get a good sense of the style and tone of a release do some browsing on the web. Soon enough you’ll be able to distinguish between good and not so good, plus you’ll get a better understanding of how the components work synergistically to develop an informative piece.
The last part of your press release should be your boilerplate. The boilerplate is standard on every release and once you’ve written yours you will use it on all your releases going forward. It should contain a four to five sentences about who you are, your website and any other relevant information, such as a social media address or blog site. Boilerplates aren’t fancy, they simply summarize who the press release pertains to.
Visit corporate newsrooms to see good press release examples and to get inspired to write your own.
Self-published authors have some amazing tools and resources available to help them get their books sold and delivered to their reading audience. One of the more recognizable outlets is Amazon.com. As one of the leading book sales sites on the web, Amazon makes it easy for authors to control how their book is printed and sold.
One of the great features of Amazon is that is has a self-publishing company known as BookSurge. Through BookSurge authors can use features like print-on-demand and get organized with inventory management and distribution assistance. What’s really nice about BookSurge is that it offers scalable options to meet the needs of each author. If you want to be guided through the process step-by-step or if you’re looking for a more self-guided approach, BookSurge is the perfect solution.
Here’s a short breakdown on how the process comes together. The first step an author needs to take is to upload their completed manuscript in a PDF format. Don’t forget to include the cover for your book too. Next, you’ll develop your sales page which will feature price, tax and how royalties will be paid.
After you’ve assembled this first stage you’ll want to actually order one of your books so that you can confirm that everything is in order from the time that you add the book to your shopping cart, submit your credit card information and receive the final product. Once you’re satisfied with the outcome you’re ready to authorize distribution.
Head on over to Amazon to build your book’s page. Upload images and try to include reviews, testimonials and other relevant information that will help drive books sales among consumers. It might be a good idea to research how some well-known author have built their Amazon book pages and then borrow and customize your own ideas.
Although this is one method for getting your book printed and loaded onto Amazon, keep in mind that you have many other options to choose from. Self-publishing is as unique as the author and subject of the book itself. Do some research and find out what will best fit your needs before making a final decision.
So you’ve written your book and you’ve laid out out your social media marketing plan to help promote it. Things look good and you’re ready to dig in, but the one area that you’re struggling with is advertising. Should you advertise online and how can you tie it in with your book’s social media efforts? Is it even possible? Good news! These two marketing components work very well together and incorporating internet ads with your social media platform has the potential to yield solid results.
The question that many authors ask is whether social media advertising actually works? Sure it’s great to set-up your Facebook Page, but will promoting it with pay per click ads do anything for you and your novel? Actually, it can. It’s important to understand your social media channel that you’re using. This means if you’re going to advertise on Facebook, educate yourself on the process. Same thing goes for LinkedIn DirectAds. Know the channel before you dive in.
As an author, keep in mind that social media is about connecting with people who want to read your book and who enjoy what you’ve written so far. They’re your target audience. Advertising via social media should be focused on bringing more of those same potential fans to your book’s social media profile. Target these users with advertising messages that will resonate with them, not with the general populace.
You’ll also want to make sure that the social media ads that you’re creating build on the social media content that you’re creating. For instance, if you’re sharing a chapter from your upcoming book on your blog then make sure that you’re teasing readers about it through your ads. As buzz is generated don’t forget to take part in the conversations. Traditional advertising methods no longer work in new media. It requires interaction on your part so be prepared to jump in and discuss what you’re promoting.
Advertising and social media can work well together as long as you’re taking a planned approach rather than haphazardly throwing dollars into a random click campaign. Take the time to get learn about your audience and how they typically respond to ads on each channel. Your diligence will pay off.
One of the more popular business models that websites utilize is the freemium model. The freemium concept is very simple. You basically allow your basic website members to use, or access, certain areas of your website for free, but if they upgrade their membership to a paid version they unlock extra features and areas that were previously off limits. Pretty straightforward.
For authors, the freemium model is a fantastic way to give loyal fans and readers incentive to become paid members of your online site. This can be accomplished by sharing a white paper, ebook or even a report. Knowing what the difference is among each of these will help you develop content accordingly and make it available to win over interested individuals.
A white paper is a great tool that can be used to sell your services. Typically, a white paper contains quite a bit of copy and a few graphics that are assembled in a persuasive way. The purpose of the white paper is to sell your point of view and usually argue from a specific position. Think of a white paper as written form of opinion that uses facts to support what it is you’re boasting about.
Sometimes, people confuse white papers with reports, but they’re not the same. A report is more along the lines of an article. It’s purpose isn’t to sell, but to convey, or educate. For many writers, a white paper or report won’t be as frequently used as an ebook. Ebooks are electronic versions of a book and they can be written on just about anything you can think of.
Now that we have a better understanding on what these three items are we can use them with the freemium website model. Consider creating a white paper, report or ebook that can be downloaded for free to entice your audience to learn more about your written body of work and you as an author. These free ‘teasers’ can demonstrate your experience, credibility and even highlight your accomplishments. All of these things are contributing factors to who you are as an author and why someone would want to read more of what you’ve written.
Once you’ve hooked your reader, turn them into paying fans and site members by providing them with access to content and material that basic members can’t receive. It’s an exclusive way to say thank you for their support.