Top Tips for Selling Your Book Online

Champion Assistants author marketing servicesThe hope of becoming a published author springs eternal for many online business owners. Your book could be the next great novel, or a publication aimed at increasing sales for your business.  No matter what the reason for writing the book, though, it takes careful planning to successfully sell it online.

Here are some questions you first need to answer in order to plan your strategy:

  • Who is publishing your book? Unless you’re working with a traditional publisher, you’re probably printing a limited run through a print-on-demand house. If that’s the case, be sure your book’s been issued an ISBN number. Without this number, most outlets won’t let you market your book. Bowker Publishing < http://www.bowker.com/> distributes all ISBN numbers, as well as allowing you to add your book to their Books in Print list and obtain a barcode for international sales.
  • Who is your largest audience? Armed with an ISBN number, it’s time to do some market research. Who is your intended audience? There are few books written that appeal to everyone, so narrow down your potential readers by age, occupation, geographic area, and any other filter that’s logical for your audience.
  • What online resources exist to market your book? This is where your market research becomes important. You must first know where people in your demographic are likely to purchase a book. For example, ninety-year-old great grandmothers probably won’t use Amazon.com http://www.Amazon.com, but most other age groups will. Amazon actually represents a great way for authors to market their writing.

Amazon’s Webstores < http://webstore.amazon.com/Online-Store-FAQ/#What-is-WebStore-by-Amazon> can be created quickly, whether or not you have technical skills. They process credit card and echeck payments for their store owners, so you won’t need separate merchant accounts.

Don’t ignore the possibilities presented by eBay, either; you can list multiple copies at “Buy It Now” prices rather than traditional auctions. Regardless of where you build your store, be sure to link to it from the websites we’re going to discuss next.

  • How many websites should you build to market your book? If you’re actually selling through Amazon, you can create simple “business card” websites that link to your online store. Write compelling copy for search engines to include in your listing. Feel free to purchase multiple domain names and create several sites with different focus by changing your content.

Another idea that sells books is a blog linked to these sites. Post frequently about topics related to your book’s main message, but avoid blatant sales tactics in your blog posts. Since you’ll also be linking to your online store from the blog, your readers will get the message.

  • How can you use online communities to launch your book? Social media sites are a boon to self-publishing authors. Many communities for writers exist, as well as other groups who have common interests. Examples: If you wrote a book on potty-training, join Facebook, MySpace and YahooGroups and look for writers’ communities, mother’s groups, parenting groups and daycare providers’ groups. Join in discussions naturally without a deliberate focus on your book.
  • Who can you talk to about your book? The growth of podcasting makes recording “radio shows” easy and affordable. Be sure your podcasts are being promoted on podcast services like iTunes by creating RSS feeds. Talk about anything related to your book – the main topic or issues that caused you to write the book. Use carefully chosen keywords so podcast subscribers can find your recordings.

And you thought all you had to do was write! Self-publishing authors are responsible, unless they hire an agent, to promote and sell their books once written. Online tools are making those tasks much easier, and can help you become a successful author. Invest in the time to learn to promote yourself well.

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How To Reconnect With Your Audience

Have you lost touch with your core audience? Wish you knew how to stay in touch with everyone while still having time to run your business? There are ways to stay in touch with your target market, stay current on the trends they are most interested in, and still have time to run your business. Here are three of the best ways to stay in touch and stay on track!

Get Involved: Find out where your audience is and be there. This could be an online forum, networking group or other physical or online location. Take the opportunity to test out ideas with others and get their feedback and reactions.

Show Your Thanks: Show your customers that you appreciate them and they are more likely to become repeat customers. Send them a note of thanks. But don’t stop there! Continue to stay in touch. Make your customers feel like they are special, because they are.

Keep Talking: Communicate with your customers and keep them informed of what is going on not only with your business, but the industry itself. Whether you do so with emails, newsletters, a blog or some other format the most important thing is to stay in touch. In today’s market communication is key!

Champion Assistants Featured Client – Dennis Kelley

Dennis Kelley and the D. Kelley Group

Dennis Kelley is a seasoned business coach with 29 years of professional experience leading teams and coaching people to success. With that many years of experience, Dennis is in high demand as a coach, speaker and an author. Dennis is the author of Achieving Unlimited Success, which he has available in paper and e-book formats. The book is a guide to identifying what has been holding you back and to help you create the life of your dreams.

To find out more about what Dennis offers, check out his website www.achievingunlimitedsuccess.com. Make sure to sign up for his informative newsletters and learn top tips from an expert in business success.

Get Your Book Ready to Sell

Most authors think that once the book is written all they need to do next is sell it. Actually, there are requirements that need to be met in order to get your book sold. Depending on your book you may need to consider applying for a copyright, especially if you wish to sell your book in stores. You’ll also need an ISBN, LCCN, and a specialized Barcode. Depending on the venue you wish to sell your book in you may also need a UPC, CIP, EAN or more.

If you go with a publishing house they will likely assist you in getting some or all of these numbers. If you decide to self-publish, you and you alone get the joy of filing in all the forms, submitting your work, and paying the piper. The process is time consuming and best done while the book is in its final stages. You can request ISBN numbers at any time and don’t worry that they come in blocks of 10. Every book you write will need a different ISBN number. Likewise, different formats of a single book need different numbers. Your e-book would have a different ISBN than the print book for instance.

Champion Assistants is ready to help you with your Book Publishing project. Please contact us today to find out what we can do for you. Call   425-821-2936   or e-mail info@championassistants.com.

5 Tips to Increase Book Sales

Everyone wants their book to be a success, but not everyone takes the time to ensure that success. If you’re going to put forth the effort to write a good book, take that same care in presenting it. Be active in marketing your work, and stay active. A book that gathers dust doesn’t sell.

Tip #1: Your book will be judged by its cover! If your book isn’t visually appealing, it won’t pull itself off the shelf. Make sure to use a good graphic designer and choose the right binding. No one wants to see a spiral bound book in a bookstore. The same goes for flimsy book covers that won’t hold up to repeated readings. Take your time in choosing the right cover, graphics, etc. for your market.

Tip #2: Dots you’re I’s and cross your T’s. Especially if you’re self publishing you need to make sure you have everything in order to make marketing a success. Do you have all the numbers for your book? Have you registered for a copyright? Have you registered your book in the literary world? I can’t tell you how important it is to have all this in order from the start.

Tip #3: Talk!!! Talk about your book. Blog about your book. Tell the world about your book. If you’re excited about the book everyone around you will be excited as well. Excited people talk!

Tip #4: Meet the press. Putting out a press release on your latest title might seem over rated, but let me tell you it’s a golden opportunity. The media can be a doorway into a market you didn’t consider when you were writing your book. Can you think of one person you know that isn’t touched by the media in one way or another every day?! Use that to your advantage.

Tip #5: Keep up the momentum! Just because your book has been out for three days, three months, or three years does not give you the right to stop marketing. When you stop so does the momentum you have built up. Keep talking about the topics in your book(s). There are always new readers and new target groups for your works.

Marketing Your Book to the Masses!

You took the time to sit down and write a book. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part – Marketing! If you published your book through a traditional publisher you are already one step ahead of the game, but don’t think you can leave the marketing to your publisher or even an agent. Readers today want a personal touch from writers, they want that connection. So as a writer, how do you make that connection with as many potential readers as possible?

If you want to find your readers, remember who your target audience is and find them. Blog with them, talk with them, connect with them, and advertise with them. Yes, this can take time. The benefits of doing this and truly connecting with your audience are astronomical. For every one person you connect with, they connect with 7 and so on down the line until your book becomes a best seller. (Of course if you’re a self published author this would be a good time to look for a publishing house to help with your newest fulfillment dilemma.)

So how do you reach your target audience? You ask. That is the hard part and most likely the best place for your assistant to take over. You’ll need to do the obvious, write about your book and its contents on your blog, email your current contacts, talk with your friends, colleagues, etc. After that you will actually have to search for your targets. Find writers associations that match your interests and your writings, find blogs that target your target audience, advertise where your market looks, get the word out and keep at it. Your momentum will drive sales, just as your ideas became the book.

If you think of the old adage “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” you will see the truth of it. Talking with other authors, even those who have books similar to your own, will give you a glimpse of where they are marketing and how. So they won’t come right out and say xyz blog gives me the highest sales. Neither would you. They will let on about whom their target market is, how they found them, how the stay connected with them.

Another group not to be missed is book clubs. These groups are full of people who read and moreover they love to read. Book clubs are always hungry for new books and the best part…they talk about those books. They talk with each other, they talk with their family, they talk to colleagues and friends, and well everyone they can find.

You can find out more tips on book marketing as well as defined marketing strategies in the 2008 SuperConference Notes. They are an invaluable resource!

Contact Champion Assistants when you decide it’s time to get help building your list and gaining more exposure for your business. Call (425)821-2936 or email info@championassistants.com.