Book Marketing for Authors
If you’re ready to make your foray into the 'Net, here are some easy ways you can access your success online.
1) Forget about getting a web site: get an online brochure that sells books. I think one of the biggest problems with web sites is that people think they need to be fancy and colorful and most of all: complicated. While color on a site is not a bad thing, don’t let the design of the web site mar its effectiveness. The best web sites are often the most drab. Let’s take a look at two very successful sites: Google and Craig’s List. Now we all know about the Google site, but have you looked at the Craig’s List site recently? It’s quite possibly one of the worst looking sites in history, but you know what? It does the job and it does it very well. That’s the key: a site needs to do the job and do it well, if that means having a chartreuse web page then that’s what it means.
2) Social networking: you may hate real-time networking, but don’t miss the boat with your online efforts. Sites like MySpace, Eons, Gather and Linkedin are all fantastic places to network *and* they’re additional portals to your book, product, or message. You can be on one or all of these sites, it just depends on how aggressive a marketer you want to be.
3) Craig’s List as a promotional tool: have you ever tried driving traffic to your site from Craig’s List? If you haven’t, you should. Craig’s List is a unique promotional tool and while it can have an impact on your promotion, you need to use it with care. Take a peek at the sight and start reading some of the other ads and blurbs that make the cut. Posting to this site requires a certain casual, maybe even campy language approach. And keep this in mind: Craig’s List is very anti-sale so whatever you do, offer help, a solution, or some other freebie, but don’t sell. Using a loss-leader to get people to your site is often a great idea when it comes to Craig’s List promotion.
4) Article syndication: Online article syndication is the way to go to maximize your online exposure. The thing is, a year ago we were telling you to load your articles onto as many syndication sites as you could - one hundred or more was even better. How has that changed? Well, now loading your articles on more than five sites could be the kiss of death and get your articles sent into oblivion instead of getting exposure.
5) Are you social bookmarking? Here’s how it works: Social bookmarking allows you to generate high quality backlinks to your sites and promote your web presence.
Some of the most popular social bookmarking sites are: Technorati, Del.icio.us, Flickr. In its simplest form, social bookmarking is the collective act of bookmarking (tagging) and sharing Internet links and resources. By sharing, of course we mean promoting. There are different types of social bookmarking services – you can upload, store, bookmark (tag) and share photos, news stories, links. So how does it work? Let’s say you have a book web site that you like, using one of the social bookmarking services like Del.icio.us you can assign that webpage a tag and put it up on your Del.icio.us page, which can be accessed by anyone. Your Del.icio.us page can be used for promotion or to create a resource page or customers. You can also share your page with other people and have them link to it, or put links to your new web sites on your Del.icio.us page to get inbound links.
6) Got a blog? Then try adding your blog to Blogburst. Access to this site could get your blog entries picked up by Reuters, the Associated Press, and USA Today online.
Getting on the 'Net doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be effective. Using tools (most of them free) can really drive some traffic to your site and interest to your book. Remember that when it comes to Internet marketing, more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more. It's easy to get lost in the noise of the 'Net, but the simplest way to bypass the clutter is to stay on message and connect with sites that have good ranking. Why? Because their ranking is your ranking, if you’re getting listed on a high traffic site, guess what? Sooner or later that traffic could find its way to you.
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com