Read these 21 Selling Online Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Self Publishing tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you are planning to set up a website to sell your book online, you need to choose a domain name - or web address - very carefully. The web address should relate to the subject of your book and should be easy to spell and remember. Consider using short excerpts of your book as some of the content. If people like it, they will want to buy your book. Make it easy for people to buy your book with an online shopping cart. You should have a link to this on every page. Behind the scenes, you also need access to web statistics so you can see what people find most interesting. This will help you to focus future web site development. Remember to submit your website to the search engines to increase its visibility and your book sales.
Keyword research is essential if you are to sell your book online. This is because search engines rank web pages according to relevance and your web page content will only be relevant if the page content relates to the product you are selling. If your book is about dog breeding, then you can use a number of free online tools to discover the phrases people are using to find out about this topic. These tools include Overture, Wordtracker and the Google Keyword Analyzer. These tools are intended for advertisers but they work just as well for web marketers. Once you have identified your keywords, you can use these to write promotional copy for your book. When people search for their phrases as usual, your book may come up in the results.
E-books are a good way of creating interest in your book. You can choose to have a short version of your book, sample chapters or excerpts to make readers want to get the full product. There are several sites which offer e-book self-publishing and make e-books available at a low price that is attractive to potential buyers. Another way to use an e-book to create a buzz about your self published book is to give it away for free to newsletter subscribers. You can also make it available to other newsletter publishers to give away to their subscribers, reaching a wider audience of people who might buy your book.
As a self publisher, you can join Amazon's Publisher Participation program and supply them with a copy of your book (either physical or electronic). They will index the book and visitors to Amazon's site will be able to look at selected pages of your book based on the search keywords they have typed in. This is an excellent way to sell your book online as web users will be able to see how relevant your content is to their search. Amazon also has another program called Amazon Upgrade, which gives web users digital access to a book that they have already purchased. This means they can search and annotate the book, but they must have purchased it first. These two programs provide a way to reach a new online audience for your book.
An email newsletter is an ideal way to create a buzz about your self published book. The advantages of an email newsletter is that it is an easy way to collect the email addresses of people who have already shown that they're interested in what you have to sell. Starting an email newsletter is very easy.
There are several online services that offer free email newsletters up to a certain number of subscribers. These sites usually have templates for newsletter design and tracking mechanisms so you can see what your subscribers have found interesting. To have a successful newsletter you have to have content that people find interesting. If you are promoting your book, you can relate this content to the subject of your book and link back to a page where your book is available for sale.
This method of promotion works well with both niche and general subjects. If you know another author with a book to promote, offer to mention that book to your subscribers in exchange for a mention in the other author's email newsletter. That means word of your book will reach a new audience of potential buyers.
Online reviews can help someone decide whether to buy your book or not. Once they have found your book, many web users look to see what other purchasers have said about it. You can set the ball rolling by reviewing your own book on book sales sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others. You can also post reviews on consumer reviews sites such as Epinions and you can contribute opinions on the book to book blogs and forums. But you don't have to do it all alone. Encourage your friends and family to submit honest reviews of your book, too. The more reviews that appear, the more popular your book will seem, with a corresponding increase in sales.
Online book preview videos can be an effective way of getting your book in front of people who might not normally see it. A book preview video may cost in the region of $4,000 to produce if you hire a professional. However, some people cut costs by making the preview themselves with the help of friends. Once your video book preview is made, you will then be able to reach a worldwide audience by distributing it through sites such as Google Video, iTunes and YouTube. Some people send book previews to bloggers so they can be featured on their blogs. This is another way of reaching a different online audience.
Book Trailers are digital book previews shown in move theaters before the main film. They are mini-films that use narration from the book and live action to create interest in the book. Book Teasers, based on the same principle, which are shown on television and the Internet. Other types of book preview can feature author interviews, author narration and comic book style graphics to bring a book to life. This is an innovative way of marketing your self published book online and offline.
Web marketing is a popular marketing tool which is used to promote products or create links to particular websites. To use it effectively, write a few articles related to the subject of your self published book. Remember to use the keywords you want people to use to find you. The article should be short; no more than 500 words. At the end of the article, write a bio box which says a little bit about you and uses your chosen keywords with a link to your promotional web site or web page.
Submit the article to online article directories, taking care to choose the ones with the widest reach. The articles will be reprinted on dozens or hundreds of web sites, all with a link to your promotional page. This will help your book's site to be more prominent in search results and will also get new potential buyers to your website.
An ISBN is a key tool for selling your book online. The ISBN is a unique identifier for your book and some online book stores will not sell a book without it. Most self-publishing companies offer ISBNs when you publish through them. It is important to establish whether the ISBN belongs to them or to you. You can also obtain your own ISBNs, which might be useful if you intend to publish more than one book. ISBNs are sold in blocks through offices in different countries. You can visit the ISBN website to find out where you can get them.
No author or self publisher should be without a personal web site for his or her book. It is one of the few areas in marketing your book where you compete for the millions of Internet surfers on a level playing field with the "Big Guys." There are many companies that offer affordable web sites, and your own Internet Service Provider (ISP) may offer personal web sites, where you can promote your book and link to booksellers who carry it.
As long as a book or ebook has an ISBN it can be listed on Amazon. The online retailer has a number of programs to choose from. For people who are still looking for a publisher, Amazon provides self publishing services through Booksurge. Booksurge includes manuscript development services, marketing and publishing. Publishing through Booksurge makes it easy to sell your self-published book through Amazon and other large online retailers.
Another smart book marketing tip is to utilize the Internet. The Internet is a wonderful communication channel and a wonderful marketing tool. Publishers often use the web to display their catalog of books and to sell those books in both paper editions and in electronic versions online.
*Customers can also unlock and access an online edition instantly after paying a set fee.
Amazon has always worked with small, independent book publishers and self publishers to help you promote and market your book. The only problem is that they want to make all the money. Working directly with Amazon
Get a helping hand. A book marketing service that is extremely helpful is Bowker. It's a great idea to make sure that your self published book title is listed in the Bowker "Books in Print" database because many online bookstores, including BN.com rely on this database for their ordering and searching for available books.
*You can easily submit your book to the database at Bowker.com.
Give them a taste! Submitting a sample chapter or a few sample pages to Amazon can help with your book marketing in many ways.
Go to the exclusive online bookstore for customers of BooksJustBooks.com or the Readers Radio Network.
A great alternative way to sell your self published books through Amazon.com is to offer your slightly damaged books as "used." This helps promote the book even though you will be competing with yourself (there is a different discount structure involved so you make pretty much the same amount of money).
*This is a good way to get your self published book distributed by promoting your book online.
The easiest way to promote and market your own book is to get your self published book listed on Barnes and Noble.com. A great way to do this is by joining BooksJustBooks.com's Thor Distribution program. Through this book marketing service, books are made available to BN.com at 50% off, non-returnable and include no shipping charges.
*There are other distribution options as well—make sure to look for distribution programs that specialize in small publishers and self publishers for the best coverage for your book.
Here is some good self publishing advice: You can get distribution for your book through Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com just as easily as Dell and Random House can for their books. The Internet is the ultimate level playing field, and that may be one of the most important self publishing pros/cons you can think about when choosing to self publish your own book. Though it's true that the big houses have access to these sites, so do you (the competition is stiff though).
Stumped on how to get your book's title out there? Amazon is a good place to start. Follow these steps with Amazon: