Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not Selling Books? Get Carded!

As an author, whether self or traditionally published, it is your responsibility to promote and market your book. I’m reminded of this because yesterday I met a wonderful lady with 9 published books (all traditionally published) who handed me not one, but three business cards; she had it covered.

When you meet someone, give them a card, When you mail a bill or letter, include a card. When you’re at the market, post one on the bulletin board. Leave your card anywhere you go. I drop at least three business cards per day somewhere!

Include on your cards, at minimum, your name and Website. DO NOT include your home address or personal phone number. For multi-published authors, I suggest, if possible, getting a separate card made for each of your books.

Think you can’t afford that many business cards? Just pay a small shipping fee and get 250 cards made FREE at Vista Print online. CLICK HERE to get started. Remember, book sales are your responsibility. No action, no sales!

Get your book Website or Blog seen by signing up for Blog Jog Day at

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to Write a Great and Effective Title

While a catchy book title will attract the eye of a potential buyer, for non-fiction it may not be your books’ strongest selling asset. The words themselves may hold more than you may realize.

According to Google, fifty percent of all books are now sold over the Internet. sales accounted for 5.96 billion dollars of those sales last year; these numbers are expected to rise in the upcoming years. Although this may be bad news for the traditional brick and mortar book stores, it’s good news for online sellers. Knowing how to have your book found through search inquiries on sites such as Google and Yahoo has become crucial to selling books. Online visibility begins with your book’s title.

Title Search
When a person is looking for specific information on the World Wide Web, they enter words related to their interests in the search box online. Each word they type in is called a “keyword” or “key phrase.” The Search Engines use these words or phrases to find the most relevant list of related Websites. These sites are then displayed for the user.

When deciding on your books title, one important thing to consider is the incorporation of good keywords. For instance, if you’re writing a book on golf tips for beginners, a title such as Golf Is Fun may not return as many Search Engine results for your book as the title Golf Tips for the Beginner.

Before you write your book title, make a list of all related keywords and perform a search on Google to see what comes up in the results. Also, when you do your search, the first page shown should have a short list of other suggested keywords or phrases (usually at the very top or bottom of the page). Incorporating as many of these words into your book title as is possible will help your book be seen better in the future.

Fiction books may not be as specifically searchable online as non-fiction, but fiction book writers can benefit from good keyword titles as well. One or two related words in a title can make a big improvement in Search Engine results. Again, what will end users be looking for when they search for a book like yours?

The Letter A
Once again, most books are sold online; making your online presence and visibility very important to selling your books. It’s likely, as a writer, you will be networking with others online.

As silly as it may sound, books with titles beginning with the letter “A” may be more visible than a book which begins with the letter “Z.” Many Websites and Blogs have sidebar lists of the books they enjoy or recommend to their Website visitors. Some of these create their lists in alphabetical order; placing your book which begins with the letter A at the top of the list. Top listings receive 17% more hits than lower placed listings.

These same Website and Blog editors often “swap” URL links with the editors of other related sites and list those links on their Web page. If and when you create your own Website and/or Blog, you might consider doing the same with your site’s title, that is, begin the title with the letter A (example: A Book Inside). These link lists are also posted by Blogger automatically in alphabetical order as well.

Keep in mind; starting with the letter A is not mandatory for higher placements in listings online. For instance, starting with the letter D is good, C is better, B is great, but A is the best. Also, numbers generally precede letters in Web listings. 101 Ways to Learn the Game of Golf would be listed before An Easy Way to Learn the Game of Golf.

As always, I respect and appreciate readers comments to this post.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Google Really Changing its Name?

So is Google really called "Topeka" now? According to the search box, yes. Why? They say they like the name and quoted, “all roads lead to Kansas.” When you click on the Google logo, there is a long explanation for the change. This is big news and may take some time to get used to. Personally, I don’t see it as a smart move, but then again, I’m not as in-tune as the Google promotional team is.

So what is Google and how did they originate? Here’s the story from Wikipedia.

Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships between websites. They called this new technology PageRank, where a website's relevance was determined by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site. A small search engine called Rankdex was already exploring a similar strategy. Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine "BackRub," because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word "googol", the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was meant to signify the amount of information the search engine was to handle. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domain The domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, at a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California.

Article link:

So the next time you want to say to someone “Google it,” remember, it’s “Topeka it” now! Or could it be April 1st?