Monday, November 15, 2010

Creative Book Marketing 101

The following are ten highlights I gleaned at the Florida Christian Writers Conference from the Internet Publicity workshop led by Penny Sansevieri of AME Book Marketing. Be sure to check out Penny's professional services - she's got tons of great ideas!

1. 1500 books are published each day in the U.S.

2. Biggest book marketing secret: Know your audience! What does your reader need? That's what they'll happily come to your site to find. Research places you reader goes to narrow your focus and get the most bang for your marketing buck. Look at clubs, magazines, newsletters, websites, associations your readers frequent, then YOU go there too!

3. Your website is a 24/7 sales tool. Treat it that way. Make it interesting, informational (pertinent to their needs) and entertaining to your readers. Offer enough new and changing info that they'll want to come back often. (Note from Deb: I have my Twitter postings linked to my website so all I have to do it tweet a few times a day and evolving news appears on my website and my Facebook page as well - kills three birds with one stone!)

4. Keep your website home page simple and clean - about 250 words for easy navigation. Avoid music and moving parts, which can seem overwhelming.

5. Newsletter sign-up should be front and center, easy to find and workable by a click.

6. Make purchasing your books quick and easy; add Amazon links and offer PayPal or a shopping cart. Keep the choices to a minimum to avoid confusion.

7. Blogs are a good way to personalize your site and keep content fresh, but remember, take care what you write - your words are your resume!

8. Sign up for Google Alerts. (Deb's note: This is an extremely helpful tool that you should take advantage of if you don't already - I've done it for a long time now and it's priceless. Every time your name or work appears online, you'll get a notice and link so that you can monitor pubicity and share it with others.)

9. You should try to blog 1-3 times weekly, approximately 50 words each (so busy people can click over and enjoy your brief thoughts stress-free). Use pictures as much as possible for visual interest and to enhance searches.

10. Use creative blog titles (like this one - LOL!) to pique interest and use key words related to your brand that will snag searchers.