Have you ever had the urge to write a book? Nowadays it’s fairly easy to write a book and market it without ever having to go through a publisher and without ordering a backlog of physical books that may end up taking space in your garage. The problem comes with having to promote it. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much at all to have a website and it’s even easier if you’re using WordPress.
WordPress is user friendly, but even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body, all you need to do is have someone help you set up a simple and clean site that has the elements to attract customers to buy your book.
Below are some of the actions items you need on your site to assure the most success marketing your masterpiece.
First off, write the book.
What you write and how you’re going to sell your book is up to you and your niche. You can sell it independently on your site, use Amazon, Createspace, hard copy, Kindle, Nook, or any other way that will reach your target audience. If you have an idea for a book, start writing it, no matter how imperfect it is. You can always fix it once you have ideas rolling through your brain. After that, it’s a good idea to consult with an author coach or book editor to iron out the fine points.
Have your cover artwork created.
One of the advantages of getting your cover art done right away is that you may want to have your website match the artwork or be complimentary to your book cover. Find a capable graphic artist to design your cover art. If you’re on a tight budget, try Fiverr. There are many talented artists on Fiverr that may come up with the perfect book cover for pennies. Just remember, you get what you pay for.
Get connected with people who could potentially help you market your book.
This is extremely important. You could write the most amazing book, but if you’re planning to promote it all by yourself by using your website, you will most likely sell just a few copies if you’re lucky. You need a team of compadres who will get excited about sharing your book with all their friends, clients and prospect lists.
In one case, an author I recently worked with was able to get herself to the top of the Amazon best seller list in a very short time. She set up her landing page with gift incentives from several collaborators with influence. If interested parties pre-ordered her book and signed up for her mailing list, they were able to download the gifts. She had her gift incentive collaborators become partners with her to share her launch to the world. She also participated in many events such as interviews, teleseminars, etc. to create buzz for the book.
Her book page (See Site) is essentially a standalone landing page. It was created in WordPress using the Premise landing page plugin and contains the following:
- Testimonial on top
- Sales Video with her speaking
- Purchase button
- Share buttons,
- More testimonials
- Descriptions of the book and why she wrote it
- Repeat of purchase button
- Special bonuses.
- Repeat of Purchase button.
Another very successful author used a much simpler approach. See Site (Not one I personally worked on, but one I was impressed with)
The landing page for the book is a page on his main domain. Since he has several other projects, each project has its own landing page on his domain rather than live on a completely different domain. (Such as the book title) This way all the traffic is driven to his primary domain. His book landing page has the following:
- Statement of best seller status
- A large image of the book
- Buy it now links for various websites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, Powell’s Books, IBooks, EBooks
- Opt in form for people to subscribe to his mailing list.
- Below the book cover are download links for potential reviewers to use such as the cover art, author photo, flip through the book (Flickr images), blogger kit of uploaded images from Flickr that bloggers are welcome to use, Google widget book preview.
Other pages of his main website include:
About Page – Copy and Paste bio, mailing list incentive, frequently asked questions, social media profiles, video of him talking about his book at an event, talk shows he was featured on, video from PBS news site, press articles, interviews, podcasts and radio appearances. At the bottom, he has an interesting photo of himself that explains what he’s all about.
Books page – Shopping cart for his recent books with links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more information.
Speaking page – Photo of him speaking, testimonials, upcoming events, current talks, and more videos
Contact page – Address, twitter handle, email, join my mailing list link, images, note to potential fans, more info about how he works.
Both author sites are set up for massive sharing. One uses handpicked influencers to drive traffic, and the other is blogger friendly so that those who enjoy the book can easily promote it. Both authors participate often in speaking , other media and press events.
Both books are also widely promoted using social media such as Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
The biggest tips:
- Write your book
- Make your site simple and easy to navigate so that customers can purchase your book without confusion
- Make it easy for people to share by giving them tools to share with.
- Be yourself. It’s important that your website reflect who you are as a person with all your quirks and eccentricities.
- Get out in the world and promote your book outside of your website.
- Let key players and strong influencers read your book and ask them to write testimonials.
- Give incentives to your friends to help you get to best seller status on Amazon or other book websites.
- Make sure to have a mailing list opt in box so that you build your list. Using your personal email account to promote your book or business is not an option. Your opt in email list is your most valuable asset.
- Share your book with other bloggers with authority sites. Note: I once had someone ask me to read his book for one of my websites. I went out and purchased it and found that it was loaded with typos. I informed the author and told him I couldn’t possibly review it until it was fixed. He promptly contacted his editor.
- Go for it.
There’s a book in everyone, including me, so stop making excuses and write it already.
I’ll be speaking at Office Slice in Sherman Oaks, CA on Tuesday, October 15th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM along with several other book promotion experts. (not all listed) Office Slice is a coop work space for women entrepreneurs. For more information and to register click here.