To eBook authors, marketing can be a daunting task. Whether you’re an indie publisher or you are using a traditional publisher, the marketing is usually left up to you.
It is a digital world now and self-publishers are not tied to bookstores with limited shelf space and a revolving inventory. In fact it will be on sale for a very long time. With the longevity of your eBook’s life, you have the ability to try several different marketing avenues until you find one that works.
So where do you start with this marketing thing?
Your marketing goal should be to fill the sales pipe with quality content and give your readers as many entry points to your buy pages as you can.
One of the phenomenons in the ebook marketing world is the momentum that is created when an author catches on. Every week it seems we are hearing about an author reaching the ebook million unit sales plateau. Their secret is they know how to market and brand themselves. Yes they are in all the right places. The speed of the Internet and the reach it offers to the ebook marketer is breathtaking.
So how do they do it? Besides great content and hard work, how do they reach that prize status?
One of the marketing strategies they use is the creation of as many entry points as they can to get to their sales page. They never miss an opportunity to put that ebook product in front of their prospective readers. Here are some of the entry points.
1. Ebook-links. Don’t miss the opportunity to add links in your ebook to the other titles that you have for sale. You should also link to your author’s website and blog and other reference points so readers can find their way back to you. Use the power of links.
Traditional publishers are missing this one on a regular basis. They are so anxious to make a copy of the paper version and get it online; they don’t render the buy links to the other titles in your ebook.
2. Websites. Have multiple websites. I recommend one for each ebook plus an author site that encourages reader communication. Make sure you reference your other titles on the individual sites. There are many free opportunities to setup multiple sites and blogs. Have giveaways and conduct contests. Anything that keeps your readers coming back to your website. Having your readers help with the title of your next book or the design of your next cover is a powerful tool to use.
3. Blog. Toss in a blog with interesting reader information and an interaction component. Don’t forget to include a blog list on your site. You know. Related blogs you like to read. They in turn will link back to your blog, creating more entry points. Encourage the cross-linking. It is win-win for both parties.
4. Tags and Metadata. One of the most important components that must be addressed every time you do something online is the path readers will take through search engines to get to your information. Search Engines Optimization (SEO) is the key to readers finding your ebook online. Spend some time analyzing what types of tags and categories you want to include in your messages. You may want to start with Google Keywords. Then look at your competition and see what they are doing.
5. Email Signature Line. Use your email signature line to sell your ebook. Show a thumbnail of your cover with a link to your buy page. Then start emailing a lot. Sometimes emails work better than commenting on forums and other blogs to create activity.
6. Guest Blogs and Interviews. Try to get involved in your genre community. A guest blog or an interview is a great opportunity to get your name and your ebook in front of another audience of readers and buyers.
7. Helpers. Connect with your helpers with links to their sites. Your helpers include your copy editor, your cover designer and your book designer. Linking to them can create a turnaround with a link back to your site.
You must develop an interaction with your reader. Here are some ideas.
1. Direct contact to your audience through social networking is very time consuming but it can be very rewarding. Facebook and Twitter along with Linkedin and Mobileread are good venues for starters.
2. As you go through your marketing activity, you must give your reader ‘that expert feeling’ about you and your book. Nothing turns them off more than marketing copy with typos. Talk the talk and walk the walk.
3. Your thumbnail cover could be the difference in the buy decision. You must keep in mind an ebook cover is looked at differently than the traditional cover. The prospective reader can’t see the brilliant colors or feel the raised print. If you can’t read the thumbnail, neither can the prospective buyer. You may have two covers. One for the paper version and one for the ebook version.
4. Amazon Public notes could be another opportunity to interact with your reader base and create synergy. If you can get them involved, your next ebook will be an easier sell.
So where are we going with this? Activity is a good thing. The more interaction you have with readers, the bigger opportunity you have for continued ebook sales. Here are several takeaways.
1. Motivate the buyer at each entry point. Make it easy to buy your ebook.
2. Get readers to read your first two chapters.
3. Develop synergy between each entry point with reader interaction.
If the Amazon or Barnes and Noble sites are the only place readers can find out about your ebook, I advise you to go fishing and dream about what could have been.
How will they find you and your ebook? Should you seek a mentor to help you market your ebook? You will find out that there is not enough time in the day to do everything yourself.
This blog first was posted at the ‘Marketing Tips for Authors‘ site by Tony Eldridge.
Tony is the author of the action/adventure book, The Samson Effect, that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure” and the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests which helps people find targeted Twitter followers.
His blog is frequently listed as one of the top ebook marketing blogs in the industry.
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About James Moushon
I am a published writer in the electronic document field. Starting over 15 years ago, I helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars. I worked with over 200 companies and organizations like the IRS, Commerce Clearing House, Nutrilite, UPS, MGM, Sony International and Royal Paper Box with their conversion from paper forms to electronic forms. In 2003 I changed my focus to ebooks and their development. I commented in a recent interview: “The start of the ebook industry as a major publishing method in many ways parallels the start of the acceptance of electronic forms by businesses in the mid 1990’s. Back then major companies controlled the process but with the advent of inexpensive technology (laser printers), the ease of entry and the development of software to drive these devices, the electronic forms industry was formed. Today the ebook reader and new software are driving the startup of the ebook industry.”