Your Website or Author Blog is your MOST important marketing resource.
You should be building your website or author blog with two things in mind:
The first is to build your email list.
The second is to engage your followers.
Whether you are starting with just one book, or you have many … each book must have a separate “sales” page at a minimum.
Your “sales” page must SELL your book.
I find it curious how some really great writers get so shy and reticent when it comes to promoting their books.
Want your book to sell? Get OVER your shyness, OR hire someone to write your book description and website sales page for you.
What’s the point of writing a book, putting it up for sale, creating a blog and then NOT relentlessly marketing your book?
At a minimum, your sales page needs to include your book cover (linked to Amazon) a description and a brief version of your author bio. You also need a call to action … a BIG buy button!
If you have more than one book, add links at the bottom of your page to each book. Don’t assume readers will go to the menu and access your other books that way.
It is best to create a description that is different from the one on Amazon … but if you don’t have the time … go ahead and use the same one!
Before or after your description ASK for book reviews. It could be as simple as …
The success of my book depends on book reviews. Can you help?
Get creative … several years ago, I saw a blog post in which the author took a photo of himself down on his knees begging. He did it in such a funny way, I laughed my head off. Sorry … I regret that I can’t remember the name of the website!
Once you start getting reviews, be sure to revise your sales page by adding excerpts, or the entire review. If they are from blogger or reviews sites, be sure to link back to the original site.
You can take screenshots of each review (linking the image back to your sales page) OR just copy/paste and add italics.
Be sure to add your best Amazon reviews. Also add reviews from other blogs and review sites, because it adds credibility to your book.
At first it may seem that your blog page is an awful lot like the sales page ON Amazon. It will probably start out that way.
You can make it look and feel different with a different write-up and with the reviews you choose to highlight. You can make it more personal than your Amazon sales page. As you add more reviews and links to other blogs, your post will look less and less like your Amazon sales page.
DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE A LINK
TO YOUR AMAZON SALES PAGE.
I know this seems like a no brainer, but I’ve seen numerous sites where the author forgot to include a link. In one instance I was motivated enough to look around and found a link to her Author page. In another instance, I simply didn’t care enough and clicked away to something else. IF the link had been there, I probably would have clicked on it and checked the book out. The author lost a sale!
Include a “look inside” widget on your book’s sales page.
The look inside widget allows your visitors to take a peek inside your book and then go directly to Amazon to make their purchase.
Here it is in action:
You can include this instead of “just a book cover” or, depending on the length of your sales page … at the end of the page in addition to your book cover.
Launching a NEW BOOK . . .
Be sure to blog about your new book well in advance. Let your audience know it is coming and tell them a bit about it.
When you are ready and have ARCs (Advanced Review Copy) available, ASK ASK ASK for beta-readers. MAKE IT EASY: have your ARC available in both PDF and Kindle versions. For trusted beta-readers, you could also have a word doc version available.
NOTE: don’t send word docs to people you don’t personally know … it makes your book too easy to steal. Yeah I know, it is a sad world.
ASK your beta-readers if they will read the final edited copy and give you a review. Have them post the review on their website, in social media … or send it to you in an email, with permission to post on YOUR website.
Publish Advanced Reviews.
When you send your volunteer reviewers an ARC. Let them know that if they are kind enough to write a review you MAY publish it on your website.
Ask anyone who sends you a review to publish their review again on Amazon once your book is officially published. If you have signed up for KDP select, set at least one free day as soon as you hit the publish button.
Let your advanced readers know, so they can download a free copy and then upload their review. This will have their review show up as a Verified Purchase.
Hot off the Press Announcement
When you officially hit the publish button. Write another blog post letting your followers know. Be sure to include a BUY button or link to your Amazon sales page.
Try a Hot Off The Press announcement in all your social media … including a post on your website. The statement signals a brand new book!
image courtesy of geralt on Pixaba
ASK for reviews. ASK, ASK, ASK and then, ASK again.
I KNOW that some of you are very shy about self-promotion and are thinking that this is all way too much. Way too aggressive. Sounds way too needy.
First of all, put this into perspective. You are not adding one blog post after another filled with the same information. Presumably there are days, weeks or even months between posts. Even if all your blog post look the same to you . . . YOU are the only person who cares!
Think COKE. Is Coke shy about asking you to buy their products? Yes, you may get tired of their constant ads, but guess what? They work.
- Ads all over the freaking place
- TV (TV ads and program placement deals)
- Movies (movie ads and movie placement deals)
- Bus billboards (ON the side of the bus, inside the bus)
- What did I miss?
Think Energizer Bunny. He just keeps on going and going and going. He’s been going for over 25 years! Do you think is he about to stop? Neither should you.
People who visit your website are checking you out, or are already fans. They are MORE likely to buy if they like what they see, and if you ASK, they are more likely to leave reviews.
ASK and then Make it EASY.
- Beta Readers: Be sure to include information (a special email address or a form) so they can get in touch with you.
- Pre-sales and sales: Make sure you include a BUY button and your Amazon URL.
- Fans: Be sure to let people know how to get in touch with you (email or website form).
- Inside Your Book: ASK for a review right at the end of your book. Include a clickable link that goes directly to your sales page where they can leave their review. I’ve seen many authors ALSO ask at the beginning the the book.
Promote Your FREE Days or 99cent sale days like a CRAZY person!
Create another sales page … just for the duration of your sale OR add the information to your regular sales page. If you do the later, be sure to remove the information when the sale is over.
After Your Book Has Been Published
Don’t EVER stop marketing your book. Unless it is dated information you could keep on selling it for years, maybe even decades.
Update an old blog post, or create a new one. Link a brand new publication to your already published for a year book! You may be surprised to see new reviews pop in now and again … which rejuvenates the sales of your book.
Book Reviews are critical to your book’s success.
You can get the entire How To Get More Book Reviews series in a free PDF.