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!


Warren Baldwin said...

Good post, helpful suggestions.

An idea that has worked for me - contacting Rotary clubs and letting them know I am available for a program. I don't talk about my book (although the program chairman knows I have it, and usually announces it), but about things related to it. Don't want them to think I just came to sell them something. But, I always do sell some, so it works.


Carol said...

Great tip Warren! Thank you! Never let them think you came "just" to sell them a book.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

My blog about my dad has been my biggest marketing tool in selling "My Funny Dad, Harry."

Anonymous said...

Friends working with children's books have worked with the illustrator to create dedicated fan pages either on FaceBook or a specially created blog with free to download colourins from the blog and a link to where the book an be bought.

Elizabeth Bennett said...

Thanks Carol for this information. I am going to be converting my book into an ebook this fall and some of this may help. Thxs for sharing!

Take Care,

Patricia Rockwell said...

I'd love to interview you on "Subjective Soup." My writing partner Diane and I just appeared this weekend at our town library's Local Author Fair. It was fabulous! We not only sold books, we also met lots of fellow authors and got a bunch of great marketing ideas.

Michael N. Marcus said...

>>Just for fun, Google me and see how much exposure I have accumulated—“Carol Denbow.”<<

It can be fun to see if you out-Google a rival from junior high school, but beating that evil kid does not necessarily translate to books being sold.

"Carol Denbow" is distinctive (maybe unique), and you have nearly 13,000 Google links.

My name, Michael N. Marcus, has about 176,000 links. Apparently there are just two of us. I'm the writer. He's a shrink. The vast majority of our links (about 154,000) are mine.

However, a Google link to an author's name is useful only if a searcher already knows the name and wants to find it.

For a new author selling books, it's much more important that someone Googling "bread baking," "Lousiana Purchase," or "bicycle repair" will find a link to a book title attached to the author's name and a bookseller's website.

It's extremely difficult to use Google to sell novels or poetry by new authors, but web searches can work very well for most nonfiction.

Michael N. Marcus
-- Independent Self-Publishers Alliance,
-- "Become a Real Self-Publisher: Don't be a Victim of a Vanity Press,"
-- "Get the Most out of a Self-Publishing Company: Make a better deal. Make a better book,"
-- "Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults),"

Joanne Olivieri said...

It takes a conscious effort each day to advertise and promote. For me it's been social networking sites that have brought the most traffic and buyers.

Glynis Peters said...

Great tips and ideas. I have a blog where authors can promote their books free. No catch.

Although the title is New Book Blogger, I will accept any book of any age. :) (I keep the title in memory of my blog partner). I think it is important to help each other.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I also give programs about my adventures in the outdoors (the topic of most of my books). I make the most sales in connection with these programs.

Sr Crystal Mary said...

Hello Carol, How nice of you to be so kind and care. It takes so long to have your book editored and then as mine is now, be assessed by a couple of other authors. How long does it generally take once the book has gone from the editor to the assessor? Some times I almost loose heart, it is such a drawn out process.
blessings Crystal Mary.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Great article and comments above.

Marketing a book is very difficult and time consuming, especially if the author just cannot attend events such as giving talks and book signings. Or if the subject of the book is not a "popular" read!

Having your own website is a must:

Also having a Blog.

I have tried writing a book in E Format and giving it away FREE to download - the first page advertises my other book. A free sample as it were.

Try it on my website or Blog.

God bless.

Sheila Deeth said...

My first publication is so recent I don't know what my most successful tool has been, or even if I've had any success, but I'm looking forward to finding out:)

Bippi said...

useful information for me...thanks for your sharing

carrie pena said...

The topic that your blog deals with demands loads of research. Thanks to you who has provided the intricate information in simple words.

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Publish Your Book said...

Connecting to readers through social media helps authors in several ways. Keeping readers updated and engaged, creates a bond between the author and his readers.

Unknown said...

Though not yet a published author (I'm working on it) I am blogging about the quest to become a published author, and also doing reviews of independently published books on my site.

If any of you are interested in a review, drop me a line.