Selling books online is about driving people to your website, blog, or your book's detail page on Amazon.com.
Selling books online is all about using articles, social media, forums, groups, lists, online press releases, and virtual book tours to entice people to your website and or blog.
Writing articles for Ezines is a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog. It works like this. You write an article with your signature block at the end of the article. The signature provides a link to your blog or website. You submit your article to article directories like http://ezinearticles.com/, http://www.goarticles.com, and Article Dazzle.
Article directories are very popular. You can find information on almost any subject in a hurry. You also know that if you are looking for subject matter experts in as given area, you will find lots of links in these articles.
However, the most important reason people come to article directories is to find articles for their blogs and websites. They will republish your article on their blogs and websites spreading links to your website or blog all over the Internet. It is called viral advertising, and it is very effective. It is an effective means of selling books online.
Your Profile. I have a pet peeve about social networks. Some people aren’t very social. They don’t complete their biographies or submit a picture. How can people get to know you without these?
My Navy buddies are spread throughout the country. If I get a friend request from a Don Smith, I want to know if it is the Don Smith I know. So, if you join a social network, be social, tell people about yourself and include a picture. This is especially important if your selling a book.
Tell people about the book you wrote. Make the title a link to your detail page on Amazon.com or your website or blog. Links are what makes selling books online so effective.
For example, I wrote in my profile: A while back I wrote, The Misadventures of Russell Quigley, a hilarious collection of sea stories woven into the fabric of Russell’s life as a Navy photographer.
Friends. You can restrict your friends to people that you really know, but if you are there to promote your book, you need to make as many friends as you can.
Posts. Detail is what keeps comments from being boring. For example: Don’t say, “I am eating breakfast.” Say, “I am eating a four star breakfast at the Waldorf. I’m here for a seminar on Selling Books Online.”
Your goal is to be friendly, helpful, and entertaining. No blatant selling. That will offend people and they will tell you so. Be subtle. You can tell people you have posted to your Notes blog. Provide enough detail so they will know if they want to go there or not.
Pages. By all means, create a Facebook Page for your book. Include the covers and a synopsis of the book. You can include testimonials, reviews, news releases and excerpts. Include anything that will make people desire to read your book.
Facebook Pages include a facility called Notes. It works like a blog. I am posting my book one story at a time. Every time I post a story, I post it on my profile, which shows it to my friends and my friend's friends.
Find a use for this blog that will attract people to your page. Selling books online at Facebook is about getting people to look at your book's Facebook Page and your profile with its links to your book.
You can use your signature in your blog, but don't use it on Facebook Walls. It is redundant because Facebook includes your name and picture with all your comments.
Ask your friends to become Fans of your book. When your friends become fans, a new group of people become exposed to your book. It's called viral advertising, and it is what selling books online is all about. You can also use Facebook’s free classified ads to attract people to your page.
Groups. This is where you can be a little more aggressive, but still no out and out selling. Join groups that interest you, and use your signature. Look for large groups so you will have more exposure.
It is easier to select groups if you write about a specific subject. If I search on self-publishing, I get over 8,000 hits. If I limit the search to groups, I get over 500. I look for and join the larger groups. Commenting in groups related to your book is one of the most effective means of selling books online because you are talking to a targeted audience.
I searched on romance readers. There are over 124 groups for people who like to read romance novels. No matter how general you think your book is, you have to define your target audience. Maybe it will turn out to be several groups. Think about what search terms will find your target audience.
Forums, Groups, and Lists
Use blogsearch.google.com and other blog search engines to find forums, groups, and lists, that relate to your target audience. Be quick to offer help to anyone with a problem. Participate as often as you can. Be as helpful as you can. Every post ends with your signature, which includes a link to your website.
Concentrate on forums and groups with a large following. Make your time count. Put your signature with a link to your book in front of as many people as possible.
Online Press Releases
There are companies, such as http://www.prlog.org/ that will send your press release around the Internet for free. Learn how to format press releases or get a template from http://www.self-pub.net/wizard.html. Your press releases can contain links to your book.
There are also companies, such as http://www.prweb.com/ that charge for sending out online press releases.
Virtual Book Tours
Search for websites and blogs that might interested in your book. Email them with a short description of your book, and ask if they would be interested in an interview, a guest blog, a chat, or a book review. Be prepared to do all of these. That is, have questions and answers ready, know what you want to say in interview or chat session. If you don’t have apropriate interviews available, Prepare a short review of your own.
Record the names, dates, and what your responsibilities are. Notify your friends and followers of the event.
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