Sunday, September 19, 2010

How to Promote Your Book Online

Since I’ve recently been on the topic of book promotion, I think I’ll go one more. It’s a trying ordeal to compose and publish a book, but selling it can be the biggest and most frustrating part of the journey. So I believe this topic to be the most relevant to authors, especially those newly published.

The key to selling books is exposure; if no one knows about your book, they won’t buy it. So how do we get noticed in this competitive field? Statistically, most books are not sold through traditional brick and mortar book stores. 52 percent of all book sold are sold via mail order, online, book clubs, discount stores, and nontraditional retail outlets. Since 2008, online sales have nearly doubled and are expected to increase steadily year after year.

Realizing this, I suggest authors focus on strengthening their online presence. Personally, I’ve been working this method of marketing for more than four years. Just for fun, Google me and see how much exposure I have accumulated—“Carol Denbow.” Now hold the chuckles, some of my search results are for recent news unrelated to books (I’m a golfer in a small town, always makes the news!). But for the most part, you’ll see a massive number of links to my books and marketing articles, interviews, etc.

I have found the best means to gain online exposure is through author interviews and submitting book related articles to article sites such as and EzineArticles.

Join sites like Author & Book Event Center or get in the “Author Spotlight” for great front page exposure.

The restaurant business is one of the toughest out there. Even as a competitive business (as we are), there is a saying amongst restaurant owners which is, “where there’s a restaurant, build another and they will come; ever heard the expression, “restaurant row?” Authorship is a tough business as well and we must work together. How about swapping author interviews on Blogs? I, as an author, will interview you this week on my Blog, and you interview me on your Blog next week. Surely you know an author with a Blog? No? Google one! Do the same with book reviews.

So with that in mind, I’d like to ask that all published authors add a comment to this post and tell us what your most successful marketing tool has been. Let’s share our ideas and get some books sold! Don't forget to leave a link to your Website or Blog!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Your Book's Audience

The following is an excerpt from A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story. It is crucial you recognize and make plans to target your specific audience before you sit down to write your book. Please read on.

Before you decide exactly what to write, figure out who will be buying and reading your book. If you’re writing a family history for instance, your audience may be limited to your friends and family members. In that case, book market statistics won’t be a concern to you. But if your plan is to sell your book to the public and make a profit, you’ll need to research the market to determine what your audience will want to buy.

People generally buy nonfiction books to learn about something and they purchase fiction books for the pleasure of reading. You might want to consider nonfiction for your first book. It’s easier to write and considerably more nonfiction books are published than fiction. In fact, nonfiction generally outsells fiction by two to one.

Half of all books sold in 2006 were sold to people over age 45. Women buy 68 percent of all books sold, so it might be wise to consider targeting your book idea to include a more mature and primarily female audience as well. The highest percentage of books sold was mass-market paperbacks and college textbooks.

The following are statistics on what age groups purchase which type of books. Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,001 adults, aged 18 and older.

Ages 18–29:
• 72% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Self-improvement books
• 58% — Thriller or suspense novels

Ages 30–49:
• 72% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Religion and theology
• 60% — Self-improvement books

Ages 50–64:
• 74% — Biographies or books about history
• 60% — Self-improvement books
• 59% — Current literary fiction

Ages 65 and over:
• 76% — Biographies and books about history
• 58% — Religion and theology
• 53% — Current events books and mystery novels (tie)

Aside from those listed, the genre choices in the poll included business management and leadership books, classic literature, horror novels, personal finance books, science fiction, and romance novels. All rated between 7 and 48 percent.

Lou Aronica, Publishers Weekly (March 22, 1999).
Gallup, Inc., Gallup Poll, Do Reading Tastes Age? (February 4, 2003). To learn more about this study, visit