Yesterday, I covered how to sell your book online using Amazon.com, Scribd.com, Barnes and Noble.com. We discussed how to get ISBN numbers and bar codes online.
Today, we’ll market your book. There’s a lot of internet information on this subject, so I’ll focus on FREE tools that will boost your sales. I like Free. When you’re a new writer, with no revenue stream, that’s important.
This is a great invention for a writer. You get to introduce yourself to the reader, and s/he gets to experience your authorial skills first hand. Along the way, you market your book.
According to one blogger I’ve talked to, since she started this marketing tool, her books sales have tripled. this would come as no surprise to salespeople. They know that people like doing business with friends. Why? They know what to expect. They trust them. A blog makes you a friend of your reader, one they trust to provide good information because you’ve done it in the blog. Here’s one that promotes K-8 technology books, and here’s a how-to book on getting into the Naval Academy.
This is the search giant’s effort to make books available to the public free of charge. Much like a library would. You as an author can opt out, but I’ve chosen to participate, but limit access to my books to about a third of the entire volume. As a result, it operates like Amazon’s Look Inside feature, where readers can check out my writing style and content to be sure it is what they want.
Besides offering a peek into your writing skills, Google Books tells readers where they can purchase it and sends you as the author a weekly summary of activity on your account telling you how many visitors your book received and how many clicked through to one of the resellers listed.
PayPal isn’t a stand-alone marketing tool, rather an add-on. It is an e-commerce business which allows buyers to pay you using their checking, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal. PayPal is free to set up, though they take a .percent for their trouble.
Let’s say you’ve set up a website to sell your book. You install a PayPal button (free from PayPal’s site) as your preferred method of payment. When customers purchase your book, PayPal transfers their money into your account, notifies you and allows you to print a packing slip to include in the shipment. This is a similar arrangement to Amazon who takes your books on consignment, charges an annual fee and a percent of each sale.
Twitter/Facebook/Stumble On/Digg and other
The social networks sites are a great way to promote your books. You set up an account with any/all of these. Every time you post a blog, be sure to add it to your favorites. And, from your Scribd.com account (see my post about selling ebooks on Scribd), you can post your ebooks to a whole list of social network accounts. Don’t miss this method. It’s free and it works.
There are hundreds of these. You can get lists from places like Poets and Writers, under their Grants and Awards tab. Some charge an entry fee. Others, like Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award, are free. If you’re hoping to find an agent, it makes a big difference to them if you’ve received an award from a reputable competition.