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Top 5 Book Selling Tips

Online reviews are paramount in importance when it comes to drawing attention to your book. And the best part is, you're in control of your own destiny!
Views: 2.858 Created 12/04/2006

TIP 1

Online reviews are paramount in importance when it comes to drawing attention to your book. And the best part is, you're in control of your own destiny!

If you haven't yet submitted your own review on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, what are you waiting for? This should be one of the first steps for every published author.

Encourage other family members and friends to review the book, too. They're inclined to be more generous than perfect strangers, but don't underestimate the effect of any honest review. Published reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites demonstrates interest in your book. And that's a good thing! Post a review for your book today, and ask others to do likewise.

TIP 2

Enhance your online listing with Amazon.com by participating in their "Search Inside the Book Program."

Sign up to join this revolutionary new way to merchandise your book on Amazon.com. When customers search for books on Amazon.com, actual words from inside your book - not just the author or title - are engaged to return the best possible matches. With this powerful new search feature, customers can discover books that may never have surfaced in previous search results!

With "Search Inside the Book," customers can also browse sample pages and do additional searches inside a particular book to confirm that the title is just what they're looking for. All of this helps authors like you sell more books.

Once you sign Amazon's Publisher Participation Agreement and are accepted into the program, you will need to provide Amazon.com with a physical copy of each book you would like to include in the program.

TIP 3

Become an "expert" in your field and book sales will follow. It's true that promoting a book requires a great amount of resolve, but it is also true that working smarter, rather than harder, can help reap those rewards.

By projecting yourself as an "expert" in the genre in which you write, you can open new doors for networking, doors that often remain shut without that expertise status.

How does one go about making himself or herself an expert? Easy! You already are one. The name on your published book proves it. Now just use that book as a calling card to line-up speaking engagements, freelance writing gigs, and other opportunities at a variety of venues.

Two good places to begin are AOL and the ABOUT.COM information network. Both have category-specific forums in which you can participate, and by mentioning that you are the "Author of such-and-such" within the scope of your communication, you begin to label yourself as an expert to fellow participants.

Being recognized as an expert in a technical or "non-fiction" category is admittedly easier than the largely subjective category of "fiction expert" but even if you have written a work of fiction, becoming a recognized expert is conceivable.

Whether you've penned poetry, horror, or romance, there is a forum in which to voice your opinion. The Internet is full of chat rooms, use groups, genre-sites, and more -- all thirsty for content from published writers. You just have to know where to look. Start selling books tomorrow by being an expert today.

TIP 4

"Pay For Performance" internet advertising is making big waves lately. While most search engines feature such sponsored links, there are currently only a number of engines providing the back-end technology, and of those, only one serves the majority of search engines used by the public: Overture.

The way pay-for-performance (or p4p) works is simple. You bid on search terms (either words or phrases or a combination of both). Your webpage link then appears in search engine results relative to the price of the bid. If you're the highest bidder, your webpage appears at the absolute TOP of many search engines. Remember the frustration of typing in a search for your webpage and never finding your link? No longer!

But that's not even the best part. The best part is this -- you only pay if someone actually clicks on your link. And since you've defined the search term, the people clicking on your link are already predisposed toward your subject. In essence, they're already pre-sold.

Let's look at an example. Say you've published a mystery novel about the death of a land baron in Louisiana. Not exactly a new plot, and yet millions of "whodunit" readers would be anxious to read it. Your solution? Open an Overture account and bid on search terms like "Louisiana Mystery Novel" and "Mystery Book Plantation" and similar terms. Counter-intuitively, the more vague the term, the better, since very specific searches deliver very motivated buyers to your page, and since you're paying for each click, you want those people to buy!

That brings us to the down-side. You have to be very careful managing your bids, or it can be expensive. Do not bid on ridiculously vague and popular words like "book" because you will never recoup your money. Instead, focus your search terms as specifically as possible.

TIP 5

Use ebooks to help promote and sell your paperback or hardback edition.

Think of e-books as a teaser. With a lower purchase price and more immediate gratification, many people are inclined to give an e-book a try when they might pass on a traditional paperback. Furthermore, if they like the e-book, 80 of people end up purchasing the "real" book, too!

There are three schools of thought concerning the way in which e-books should be sold.

1 - Some believe that e-books should have a very low purchase price, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.00 for the entire book.

2 - Other believe that e-books should only contain excerpts, or sample chapters of the full book, and that they should be provided for free.

3 - Still others believe that e-books best serve their purpose when the entire e-book is given away. This encourages word of mouth about the author and the book, which in turn helps support additional book sales and really shows dividends when a subsequent book is published by the same author.

Whichever course you follow, there is little doubt that e-books are beneficial to your promotion efforts. If you don't yet have an e-book, what are you waiting for?

Short note about the author

Brent Sampson is the President & CEO of Outskirts Press Publishing at http://www.outskirtspress.com.

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