Selling books online is cheaper and more effective than traditional book selling
Selling books online involves a complex array of techniques to promote and sell your book. It is a fascinating process that is constantly evolving as inovation mixes with the ever changing environment of the web.
Your Signature is essential to selling books online
Selling books online begins with your signature. A signature on the internet is not just a name tag. It is a statement about you, and, or your presence on the internet. For example, if you have a Website, your signature might be just your name above your site’s address:
Or it might be more elaborate:
David Griffiths, http://www.self-publishing-solutions.com
Publish your book for free, and sell it on Amazon.com.
You can have more than one signature; I still use:
David Griffiths, author of, The Misadventures of Russell Quigley a hilarious collection of sea stories woven into the fabric of Russell's life as a Navy photographer.
When your book shows up on Amazon.com, send an email to everyone in your address book with your new “signature.” The book’s title should, of course, be a link to your book’s detail page on Amazon.com or to your website or blog.
It is generally acceptable to use this type of signature in e-mails, forums, group discussions and on some blogs. Always read the rules before posting. If it is not clear if a signature is welcome, ask the moderator directly.
Your signature is very important, and should be used everywhere. Do not be afraid of repetition. You want your book to be the first thing people think of when they think of you. That way, they are more apt to tell others about it.
Twitter is essential to selling books online
Twitter is the easiest social network to use. It is also the most powerful. It is powerful because it allows you to focus on your target audience. I started by searching on self-publishers and then on indie authors. I read their bios, checked out their blogs and websites, and then clicked to follow them.
I am tweeting to an audience of people who are interested in what I have to say, and I am receiving tweets from people who share my passion for self-publishing. We learn from each other and we earn from each other.
My goal is to entice them to visit my website. Your goal would be to entice them to visit your blog or website, or wherever you are promoting your book. There are several ways to do this.
Your profile page has a 200 character biography and a live link to a website or a blog. What makes this profile page different from other social websites is that a lot of people actually check you out before they follow you.
Most read your bio and some will visit your blog or website. The more helpful and interesting your tweets, the more people will check you out. The more visitors you get, the more successful you will be at selling books online.
Direct selling is considered spam. People do announce new blog posts and new additions to their websites. As stated earlier, the goal is to entice them to your blog or website. Sometimes, you can slip in a plug that doesn’t look like spam, such as, "Publish your book for free and sell it on Amazon.com. Http://www.self-publishing-solutions.com."
You hit the jackpot when you say something worthy of being retweeted to other groups. The person who retweets your tweet may have 50 followers or 500 or more followers.
Some examples of my tweets that have been retweeted:
1. FrugalBookPromo RT @David_GRiffiths The average sales for a traditionally published book is 500 copies (BookScan).
2. jcantero RT @David_Griffiths: Easy publishing does to writing what the digital camera did to photography: blur the distinction between amateur and pro.
Some people in the new groups will click on your name to see who is being retweeted. They may even look at your website or read your blog. Twitter is great for driving traffic to your website or blog. It follows then, that you must have a website or a blog, or both if you are serious about selling books online.
A blog is essential to selling books online
A blog makes a great foundation for your authors platform. You can use it to promote and sell your book, and you can use it to build a following. It is also the easiest way to start a presence on the web because they come prepackaged and ready to go. And, in keeping with our goal, some of the best blogging platforms are free, such as http://wordpress.org/ and http://www.blogger.com/home. You can’t beat free and easy for selling books online.
Subject matter experts and other nonfiction writers, have the advantage of knowing what they are going to write about. Fiction writers, on the other hand, are usually more creative and prolific writers. Use www.technorati.com to find sample blogs to emulate.
Every post should end with your signature and its link to your book’s page on Amazon.com or to your website or blog. You can also offer autographed copies of your book, if you are up to purchasing some books, packaging them, labeling them, and carrying them to the post office (ask for media mail; it’s cheaper). I did that for a number of years.
Remember, the books you sell yourself have the greatest profit. For example, a 150 page book under CreateSpace’s Pro Plan costs $2.65. If you set the price at $14.95, you will make $12.30 on each book you sell. Blogs rank high in search engine results because of the links, frequent updates, and interactivity.
A website is essential to selling books online
I had a website for The Misadventures of Russell Quigley for many years. I used Dell Host at the time, but I think I would use BlueHost today for an author’s platform and Solo Build It! for a host that has search engine optimization built in plus everything you need to build an information business including a complete training package.
I used Dell’s version of Trellix, a super easy program, to develop my website pages. The opening page had a 4 X 6 inch picture of my front cover and a thorough description of what the book was about. I had a footer with a link to Amazon.com and an offer for an autographed copy. PayPal didn’t exist yet, so I accepted checks.
I included several sample stories, which I rotated now and then. I collected some great reviews while writing, so I included a section for Reader Reviews. And of course, I had an About Me section complete with a bio and a picture. I also had a press room complete with press releases and the formal reviews form the local press.
I loved my website, but to tell you the truth, I did not know anything about search engine optimization or about driving traffic to my site. And social networking was nowhere to be found. In spite of this, I managed to sell a few books and make a little money.
I recently republished with CreateSpace, and am selling more books without any real effort. I do mention it now and then on Twitter and I have a Facebook page where you can read it for free: My Facebook Page. A website doesn’t have to be expensive to make a great foundation for your author’s platform.
UPDATE: I now have an independent blog where you can read my book for free one story at a time: The Misadventures of Russell Quigley
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