Book authors sell their books — but not unless they build relationships with their prospective readers. Thus it may seem counter-intuitive to recommend that, for online book marketing success, book authors must be willing to share abundant free content.
Why is this?
On the Internet people are usually looking for relationships (connections) before buying something. Even if the book author has an effective website – one that makes it immediately clear what’s on offer and provides an easily visible BUY button, this effective website is often not enough by itself to motivate buying the author’s book. Motivation: Build Relationships.
Let’s look at 10 ways that fiction and nonfiction authors can share free content:
1. Offer a free sample chapter on their websites and on other sites around the Internet.
2. Write a blog with information based on their book or on another interest
3. Provide book group discussion questions.
4. Leave thoughtful comments on other people’s blog posts
5. Participate in conversations on Twitter.
6. Write articles and upload these to article directories such as EzineArticles.com.
7. Participate in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
8. Write book reviews on Amazon.
9. Write brief book review comments on Glue.com.
10. Upload several chapters or the entire book to fReado.com.
Now let’s discuss what all this free content sharing does:
Perhaps most importantly, it demonstrates that you can indeed write well – that your book is probably well-written.
It also demonstrates that you’re not just out to sell your books. You’re interested in engaging with readers. In fact, readers can contact you directly at social media sites such as Twitter.
Third benefit? You may have just written enough new material to compile into an ebook that you can sell off your website.
And, finally, it does help you sell your books because people are reminded of you and your book at different places around the Web. How many times have you decided to buy something and then forgotten to buy it? With your name and writing examples all over cyberspace you’ve provided potential fans with subtle reminders about your book.
Some writers are concerned that others will “steal” their material if that material is so easily accessible. I believe you have to be willing to take this slight risk in order to reap the greater probability of having people become interested in your writing.
Although some writers are happy to write only for themselves, most writers would like as large a reading public as possible. Being willing to share free content on the Web can help book authors attract a wider fan base. Please comment below.
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Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years. She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career. She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses, and years of “teacher tips” and “general interest examples,” and passes them on to interested writers.
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