Tuesday, May 15, 2007
If you’re looking to market your personally authored book or ebook, learn from the Internet marketing experts. Selling books online is a great way to promote your product and increase sales. Although many marketing methods are available, there are some in particular that have proven to generate above average results for selling books – printed and electronic.
Learn more about each of the following if you’re ready to start selling and be sure to seek guidance from those who have already successfully marketed online.
1. Develop a Website or Blog.
Thinking that it’s not worth developing a website or blog for a single publication? Think again. Today, acquiring a domain name is easier than ever – and it costs less than $10. Additionally, you can buy a website or a website template for about $75. If you know some very basic HTML, you can develop a website for less than a hundred dollars. Having a website that is only focused on a single publication can work wonders for promoting your product.
Blogs are even easier to create. Already have a website but need a blog? Visit Blogger.com, WordPress.com, or simply type in “free blog” into Google. You’ll quickly find a whole host of free blog sites that help you set up a blog in less than five minutes. Once you’ve created your blog, enter a post about your ebook and provide a link to your online store or order form.
If you’re looking for a way to process online transactions, visit Paypal.com. For about twelve dollars per month, you can process transactions for those wishing to purchase your book online. There are other online transaction management tools you can use, but Paypal is one of the easiest I’ve used to set up and accept online transactions.
2. Use Online Marketing (PPC) Programs.
By now you’ve heard of Google Adwords. Other providers such as Yahoo! and MSN also offer pay-per-click programs. These online marketing programs allow you to promote your book or e-book to a very targeted audience. For example, if your book is about “antique lamp shades”, you can purchase the keyword phrase, “antique lamp shades” to display on sites that offer related content. As a result, those seeing your ad can click through to your website or Jump Page.
The best part about pay-per-click advertising is that you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. Be careful though, you could end up with a lot of clicks and only a few conversions. Test multiple campaigns and evaluate their effectiveness on a daily basis. Google offers you free tools that can help you evaluate the results of your campaign in greater detail such as Google Analytics.
3. Develop a Specific Jump Page.
Short of building an entire website or starting a blog, you could simply build a single jump page. A jump page is a promotional page that pitches your product or service. There are tons of successful jump pages out there that you can reproduce with your own content.
The most successful jump pages are those that are easy to read and include testimonials. Testimonials from book reviewers are very influential. To make your jump page even more compelling, offer print and audio testimonials. A good site to follow is SEO Elite.
4. Give Samples.
One of the most effective marketing strategies on the planet is sampling. You see companies offering samples to invite users to try their products or services. The same can be true for book purchasers. Share a summary, a chapter, or let them peruse your book. Just spend some time on Amazon.com and you’ll quickly see how promotion and access can play a major role in the purchase decision.
One great technique is to offer a small sample for free. Offer additional access (perhaps to a full chapter), after users provide you with their name and email address. This allows you to touch prospective purchasers via email after they’ve contacted you, keeping their interest high and continuing to promote your publication.
5. Email marketing.
With the 2003 introduction of CAN-SPAM legislation, email marketers must be very careful about who they email and how. Learn CAN-SPAM basics before you begin emailing people. A couple of things to keep in mind from an email marketing perspective is that your own list (of emails collected via your website) will almost always perform better than a purchased list. Think about ways you can collect the names of individuals visiting your website such as offering a free summary or excerpt in exchange for their name and email address.
From a CAN-SPAM perspective, make sure your physical address is included on each email and offer an opt-out. If a recipient asks to be taken off your list, remove him/her within 10 days. You can also use an online service to help manage your email marketing. Online email providers are very careful about conforming to email marketing standards and will lead you through the process step-by-step.
6. Refer a friend
Your current customers can be your best marketers. Once an individual has purchased your book, be sure to give them a reason to refer others. Perhaps you can offer them a special promotion on a different product or perhaps additional content that wasn’t available with their first purchase.
Offering a friends and family coupon is another great way to generate additional sales. Something as simple as a $5 off coupon is a great way to promote your product and create buzz. Whatever tactic you use in your email, be sure to encourage customers to refer others.
7. Leverage an affiliate program.
Are there other websites that attract the audience that would be perfect for your book? If so, contact them via phone or email and see if they’d be willing to sell your publication in exchange for a commission. This is a great way to reach an audience in an affordable way and is considered an affiliate program.
Most of the successful products being sold online today are not being promoted from a single website. Rather, many sites are promoting a given product or service. These sites are often referred to as niche sites as they cater to specific audience or segment. In addition to doing some research on your own, you can also investigate affiliate program sites that you can use to promote your product.
Affiliate sites bring together advertisers and publishers. The publishers provide the content, software, or resources, and the advertisers promote these products in exchange for a sales commission.
Marketing your book or ebook takes time but can have significant pay-off. Utilize some or all of the marketing methods described above to sell you book online. These methods have been used by some of the most successful internet marketers promoting print and electronic book products online. Internet marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn from the experts and follow internet marketing strategies like those above which have already proven successful.
*Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert, search engine optimization specialist, and the President of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and had appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit MarketingScoop.com for further details and more free marketing articles.