Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Sell More Books, Part I

These top 10 ways are not in any particular order of priority. But the first five tips involve marketing and promoting your book via the Internet. The final five tips primarily involve marketing and promoting your book in the real world.

Blog Commenting

1. Comment on Top-Rated, Highly-Targeted Blogs.

Your first priority should be to establish relationships with top-rated, high-traffic blogs and websites that target your topic and/or your audience.

One of the best ways to do that is to comment on the blog posts and articles featured on your target blogs or websites. If you write smart useful comments, the blogger or website owner will notice – and, just as important, so will that blogger's or website's readers.

If you leave good comments often enough, there's a good chance the blogger or website will invite you to become a regular commentator, guest poster, or columnist.

This strategy requires that you make a list of 20 to 30 such blogs and websites and focus on commenting on 3 to 5 of those blogs or websites every day. You must have on-going consistent interaction with your targeted blogs and websites.

The alternatives to writing comments on blog posts or articles is to do one or more of the following:
  • Tweet their new blog posts or articles consistently.
  • Post their new blog posts – with comments and links – on your Facebook page. And LinkedIn page. And other social network pages.
  • Pin (on Pinterest.com) an image from their new blog posts or articles – and write a comment to accompany that image.
  • Write a weekly round-up of the top blog posts for your topic (featuring, of course, the blog posts and articles from your targeted websites and blogs). Post that round-up to your blog. Feature it in your newsletter. Tweet about it, etc.

Viral Videos

2. Create a Viral Video.

I'm not talking about the bland book trailers many authors are creating and posting. I'm talking about videos that are actually watched and shared with others.

There are three ways to create viral videos – or, at least, to get more views for your videos:
  1. Piggyback off videos that have already gone viral (or are in the process of going viral).
  2. Create videos like the one showcased at blueribbonmovie.com – a combination of great words, images, and music or spoken words.
  3. Create a YouTube channel and post new videos two to three times a week. The goal is to build an audience for your videos over time by consistently producing new videos two to three times a week.

Study the videos you like, especially the ones that get tons of views. Model those when creating your own videos.

Be sure to include your website URL (for example, http://www.bookmarket.com) at the beginning of your video description on YouTube. For the URL to be clickable within the description, you must include the beginning http://www.

Q and A Columns

3. Write a Q&A Column.

Offer to write a Q&A column for a high-traffic website targeting your audience. You might target a magazine website for this column (because it might also lead to a column in the magazine itself).

Connect with the website via its Facebook page, Twitter page, YouTube channel, blog, or forum. Begin the relationship there, and then build it into a real relationship where they will welcome further input from you – and suggestions on new columns.

The value of a Q&A column is that it allows you to be featured on the home page of a high-traffic website on a regular basis. The column almost write itself once you start getting an audience. Readers send you questions, and you answer them with succinct, but useful answers.

free ebooks

4. Offer Free Ebooks.

If you want to build up an audience for all your work and jumpstart word of mouth, give away your book as an ebook (or sell it for 99 cents) as a Kindle ebook.

Give away the ebook as a PDF or Word document on your website (but capture the requester's email to build your email list).

More important, though, is to give away your ebook on high-traffic, highly targeted websites (targeted to your topic or audience).

You might be seeing a pattern in my advice so far.

SuperStar Blog Tours

5. Do a SuperStar Blog Tour.

Or a Mega Blog Tour. Or a Blogpalooza. I’m not talking about the old-style humdrum virtual book tour of 15 or 20 blogs. I’m talking about an event blog tour that creates Internet buzz on a major scale. Event blog tours can build brands, create incredible website traffic, and sell tons of books.

The neat thing is that effective event blog tours take less time to carry out than the traditional Amazon Bestseller Campaign - and are almost always more effective in selling books, building a brand, and driving traffic.

If you want to know more about event blog tours, check out this recording of me speaking about the value and method of carrying out an effective impact blog tour: http://www.bookmarket.com/blog-tour-palooza.htm.

Be sure to read points 6 through 10 as well. Check out the rest of the post here: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2012/05/top-10-things-you-can-do-in-2012-to_22.html

Please leave your own suggestions in the comments below...
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