Not every author wants to speak in front of audiences, although speaking has been the publishing industry standard for promoting books. (It remains the gold standard for building platform prior to publishing a book as well.) While most publishers will expect you to do at least some speaking as part of your book marketing and promotion plan—and even self-published authors should be out speaking as a means of selling their book—authors also can build relationships on the Internet. In fact, the online community has become an ever-growing source of marketing and promotion opportunities for writers.
Today, John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, is back to tell us how nonfiction writers can take advantage of those online opportunities to build relationships and sell more books. He offers some great tips that any writer can utilize from the comfort of their office and at little or no cost other than some time. Yes…you will have to take time away from writing to market your book. Resign yourself to the fact that you must take on the business of writing. Remember, though, that marketing revolves around creating relationships, and relationships can be fun. Your online book marketing efforts can be enjoyable.
How to Build Online Relationships and Sell More Books
By John Kremer
The most important thing you can do to market yourself or your books online is to build relationships with the top websites that your target audience already goes to on a regular basis. You want to have you and/or your book featured on high-traffic websites devoted to your subject area (or those websites that attract your target audience).
That means that, if you have a book on crocheting Halloween sweaters, you want your and your book to be featured on websites devoted to crocheting sweaters as well as those devoted to Halloween costumes and apparel. In addition, to reach your target audience of middle-aged women (the primary demographic for crocheting sweaters), you also want you and your book to be featured on websites targeting women, such as iVillage.com and PopSugar.com.
To find the websites devoted to your key subject area (like crocheting), use the Google or Bing search engines. Focus on developing relationships with the top 30 websites you uncover on these search engines for your keywords (such as crocheting sweaters).
To uncover the high-traffic websites devoted to your targeted audience, you can use the search engines, but the search engines aren’t as useful in uncovering targeted audiences. A better way to find websites targeting your audience is to ask your friends (via your blog, your newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the knowledge-focused websites featured at http://www.bookmarket.com/ knowledge.htm.
Once you have found the websites with which you want to create relationships, offer them good content. The top-rated and high-traffic websites get that way by offering lots of fresh good content. Most of these websites don’t create that content themselves; they get it from people like you and me.
Check out your targeted websites for how they feature content—and then offer them that kind of content. If they like doing book reviews, offer them a copy of your book for review. If they like doing interviews, offer to do an interview (and tell them why their visitors would be interested in what you have to say). If they feature guest blogs, offer to write a blog for them.
Other content you can offer them includes: excerpts from your book, articles based on your book, relevant news stories, podcasts, videos, on-going columns (Q&A or commentary), statistics, survey results, polls, and more.
Once you begin offering great targeted content to websites, they’ll come back to you again and again for more content. That’s how you create a long-lasting relationship with key websites.
About the Author
Book marketing expert John Kremer is the owner of Open Horizons. He is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, The Complete Direct Marketing Sourcebook, High-Impact Marketing on a Low-Impact Budget, Do-It-Yourself Book Publicity Kit, and Celebrate Today.
As a book marketing consultant, his clients include a self-published author who has sold over two million books, a new age publisher with 60 titles, and a $100 million publisher with a rapidly growing list of 1,000 titles.
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