I am going to shift gears today and move back into how to get your book noticed. It takes serious book marketing strategies, to be sure, to use the writing skills you have – to promote yourself and your book. It is all about increased visibility. Today, I want to focus on one little slice of that visibility – what you can do to take advantage – should you choose to take the challenge – of using online marketing as your primary outlet for nationwide visibility for your book!
Every reader in the nation is aware of Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com – not only are they the standard resource for the reader, they are quickly becoming a valued opportunity for the writer. It is simply so convenient… fast forward and imagine that you have been invited as a guest on a radio or television talk show and your host has given you that magical moment to share with the world where your book can be purchased. Nothing can be simpler than noting your book can EASILY be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Do I need to mention the hike in credibility you suddenly gain from being available through the big boys in book distribution? You suddenly become a player of importance…
Where your learning curve might be tested, however, is in how you manage this opportunity to your greatest benefit. Do you know how to create larger numbers of positive reviews? Do you know how to generate the best possible listings in order to capture the attention of your “Ideal Reader?” Are you aware of how to promote your book to other online booksellers?
Ready, Set, Go
As a first time author you may not know how many marketing collateral items you must have prepared BEFORE you can take step one with any bookseller. The need is NOT lessened when you go online. This quick little list will help you put together the primary items you simply MUST have available before you engage in promoting your book online. It is the short list, but sufficient enough to get you engaged in the process.
- The author’s bio. Write it so you reflect credibility as an expert in your field – or at least the topic of your book.
- Front and back cover images must be readily available in an up-loadable format such as JPG or TIF. If you have paid to have your cover created by a third party source, make sure they give you multiple formats; not all online booksellers require the same format.
- A detailed description of your book. Put sufficient creativity into this! You have limited space and words to clearly “sell” your reader on your book. It will also be re-purposed as part of your Press Kit and on other marketing collateral so put your best efforts into this project.
- A “sample chapter” of your book in PDF format is always a good idea. It can be used a an opt-in in order for your future readers to sample your work. Media hosts love these short reads as well, so you will want to have one prepared for your media page. Notice all the re-purposing of creative energies!
- Excerpts from any positive book reviews you have received. There is no one better to promote your book than those who have already read it! Give out a baker’s dozen of your early galley copies to friends and peers – in exchange for a timely book review. I use the word timely so that you are mindful to create the sense of urgency in their reading the book and getting that valuable book review back to you – post haste!
Tips for Creating Your Listing
An interesting long-term observation of how people search for a book reflects the wisdom of writing your listing to make sure you target your readers according to HOW they will complete an online search. Covering the following five tips should give you the edge on your competition.
- The Browser: Some avid readers don’t stick to a particular genre; they go online browsing for something of interest; nothing in particular. How you describe your book for that listing is critical for catching their attention – make them WANT to read your book!
- Those who have HEARD about your book: If you have done a good job with your pre-publication buzz, there will be a certain number of people who will have heard about your book, and will have a certain curiosity remaining in their mind and will expect search terms, etc. to make it easy for them to find it. Make sure your book promotion efforts are supported by keyword search terms you know interested readers will use.
- The Subject Matter Reader: Fortunately, if you have done a good job of writing your book for a particular audience, you will be able to craft your book description in such a manner that there will be little doubt the reader looking for books on a particular subject matter will be lead directly to your book. Some of the online booksellers require that you post your book to a particular topic category. Be prepared to be very clear about which you will select.
- Some people KNOW what book they want! Exact title, ISBN, author name… these are all pretty obvious, but I have seen some authors so intent on describing the book’s content they actually forget to include these three key items in that oh, so important book description.
- No one enjoys BABBLE! Ouch! No, this isn’t intended to hurt; just a word of caution that you must spend sufficient time on writing your book description that it is informative, comprehensive and concise. Web browsers have short attention spans so you must learn to (in as few words as possible) focus on what the book includes, identify the intended reader, and state what makes your book unique so the reader recognizes what they will benefit in the reading.
The next post will focus more on the techniques necessary to submit your listings. While I am writing that – your job is to sit down and using your best, up-lifting, creative style of writing, describe for future readers what they can expect of your book in a way that will get them excited and ready to push that “buy now” button. Note: The effort you extend here can serve dual-purpose on the back cover!
Have a great day – discovering the words that will compel readers to choose your book! More on book marketing strategies can be found by subscribing (see in that upper left hand corner there!) so that these information rich little tidbits can float right into your email!
… always encouraging you to engage in positive, life-altering actions that will ultimately provide you with long-term, sustainable benefit!