So you’ve written your book, self-published it, and now you want to start making sales. Once each of your friends, family, and perhaps a few other interested parties have purchased your book, what next? How do you get the word out that you have a potential best-seller?
The internet has been shown to be an excellent way to promote self-published books. It allows you to reach people that you would never meet otherwise. Here are some suggested online book marketing strategies to get you started.
- Create a web presence — This can be done by setting up a regular website or a blog. Choose a site name that will grow with you. For example, if you’ve written a picture book for children, you might be tempted to call your website “PictureBooksforChildren.com”. But what if your next book is for young adults? Some authors choose to use the name of their book, but again, this can limit you in the future if/when you write other books. Wouldn’t you rather be seen as an author of more than one book? Many authors choose to ‘brand’ themselves by using their own name.
- Increase visibility — If you choose to use a blog platform (e.g., WordPress, Blogger, Typepad) for your web presence, it’s important to write regular postings. When you provide interesting, informative, and/or entertaining content, it prompts your visitors to come back to read more, plus it helps your placement in the search engines.
- Draw traffic to your site — A good way to draw traffic to your site is to promote yourself (and your postings) through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Article marketing is also a great tool for bringing in more traffic. You might also want to consider writing a short e-book about your subject matter and offering it for free from your website. (Be sure to include links to your website throughout the book.) Free offers are an excellent way to funnel visitors to your site.
- Develop a relationship with your readers — Did you know that only 1% of first-time visitors will buy your book? This is why it’s so important to develop a relationship with potential buyers. An excellent way to do this is by offering a newsletter in which you provide valuable information about your book’s topic. If you’ve written a fiction book, you might want to consider publishing chapter snippets to entice people to buy and read the entire book.
- And last, but not least — ALWAYS be sure to include a BUY NOW button on your website. Sign up with a payment service like Paypal so buyers can easily make their purchase. Also be sure to post a Privacy Statement on your website to allay any fears about spamming.