Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tooting Your Own Horn 101

In yesterday's post about my experience at the book signing, my friend Jimmy Clark made this observation:

Good start Sid. I'm sure when word about your book gets out you will sell more copies. I am sure that publicity is the most important thing in selling books.

That made me think about publicity. I used to know something about it, but with the Internet, the rules have changed. CreateSpace sent out more than five-thousand press releases, but no one has been calling or writing me about review copies or books. The only activity I saw on the Internet was in the press release sites. I put an ad in the local paper about the book signing, but only a couple of people noticed it.

The profit margin on a book is small so you can't do too much advertising without losing money. So what's the answer?

I've been reading about selling on the Internet. One of the suggestions was to review books similar to your own, especially those of authors who are well known and selling. That way your name is out there and there is a link back to you. I've only done 20 reviews so far and I can already see an increase in my Internet search standing. Also, my blogs are being picked up in many places including a library in Canada, Carbonite's Facebook page, and even a German website for librarians.

Another suggestion is to do what are called virtual tours. That means I find blogs that have followers who might be interested in my book and talk to the blogger about posting a review and/or interview of me and my book. I've done some of this already and have some reviews and interviews scheduled. I need to do more.

I learned today how to check the competition. The article said to use your favorite search engine and type in link:competitor.com where competitor.com is the website for someone with a similar book. Doing so will list all websites that link to the competitor's site. The idea being to get some of those sites to link to mine as well.

I also found a place on the web where you can post articles that can be used free by bloggers and ezines needing content. Within the article, you include information about your book and links to your website.

So, there is much to be done. And these marketing techniques are necessary for books published in the traditional way or by print on demand such as mine. However, I have the advantage over traditional published books in that I can continue to market for much longer.

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