Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What is the Best Way to Sell My Book on the Internet?

While most authors realize that the Internet is a good way to sell books, few understand how to do it. It’s all about “keywords”.

It is no secret that the Internet is perhaps the most powerful sales tool available today for marketing pretty much anything to anybody. One benefit of the Internet is that it is a level playing field where the “price of admission”, so to speak, is equal to all. It is, by far, the least expensive media availably for presenting services or products to the public. Virtually EVERY website starts out the same way by securing a domain name which is your Internet address. Once in possession of a domain name, a website or store front can be built for very little, if any, money. Once built, it is open for business to the hundreds of millions of Internet users. It’s as easy as that!! Or is it?

The good thing about the Internet is that there is equal access to all. The bad thing about the Internet is that there is equal access to all. There are millions of websites out there, open and ready to do business. The problem every website owner has is how to get people to know they are there. A traditional way of getting people to know you comes right out of the marketing textbook. It is called branding. That is taking an otherwise unknown name and turning it into a recognizable brand. I remember years back, at Book Expo America in Chicago, when Amazon had banners all over the exhibition hall. “What’s an Amazon?”, I thought to myself back then. Well, many millions of dollars later there are very few people who do not know who Amazon is and what it does. That’s branding.

My guess is that very few of you have that budget for an Amazon type rollout so for now we’ll leave that for those with the big bucks. Instead we are going to go with a low budget alternative called “keyword marketing”. The term “keyword” refers to words or phrases that you feel someone will enter into a search engine to find a book like yours. If, for example, your book is on the “Parthenon”, you would ideally like for your book on the Parthenon to be at the top of the search engine’s list when that term is searched. Unfortunately, there are many books as well as other websites that deal with the Parthenon. Google catalogs over 4 billion web pages. Under the search term “Parthenon”, it shows 422,000 listings. Similarly Yahoo shows 461,000 listings under the same search term. If you look closely at the Yahoo listings you will see the top two and bottom three are titled “sponsor results”. After the top sponsor results are twenty numbered listings before you get to the bottom three sponsored results. In addition to the main listings there are also some short text ads off to the right, also titled sponsor listings. Few people would disagree that to be located any place on that first page is good. Being one of the top couple listings is great.

Being placed in the top 20 numbered listings takes a lot of hard work as well as a great deal of luck. Volumes have been written on how to obtain top ten listing on the various search engines. For the purpose of this article, though, we are not going to worry about the numbered listings. We’ll leave that to the search engine “experts”.

Remember that search for “Parthenon”? Take a look at the number two sponsored listing:

The Parthenon Code While the DaVinci Code is fictional and the Bible Code is bogus, the Parthenon Code presents a genuine artists' code revealing the true history of mankind.

It is the listing for one of the books in my bookstore, www.justbookz.com. Now try searching “Left Handed Golf”. The number one listing is:

"On the Other Hand" by Steve Anderson Finally, golf-instruction for lefties, written by the PGA's only "certified" left-handed teaching professional, Steve Anderson. Includes 85 detailed photographs - $14.95.

[ Via - What is the Best Way to Sell My Book on the Internet?]

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