Online Relationships are Key to Marketing Your Self Published Book

Today, more books are purchased online than through traditional bookstores. The key to making online book sales happen is to establish key relationships with websites, blogs, and social networking sites of special interest to your target market. Here are the steps to do this:

1.  Make A List of the Sites and Blogs of Most Interest to Your Potential Audience

I recommend that authors make a list of the top five targeted websites and top five targeted blogs or social networking sites that your most probable customer visits regularly. For each site, you should identify how that site might be able to help you. That is, you need to identify if the site does book reviews, allows article submissions, allows advertising, etc.

Please keep in mind that these need to be targeted websites, blogs or social networking sites.  The more targeted the better.  For example, if your book is on white water rafting, then you want sites and blogs that talk specifically about white water rafting NOT sites that talk about hobbies, boating, or vacations.  For purposes of this task, Amazon, Facebook and should NOT be on your list as these are not targeted or niche sites. 

Here are some resources that can help you find these targeted sites and blogs:


2. Take your list of top 5 websites and do the following:

        • Identify how each site makes use of outside content: This may include:
          • Book Reviews
          • Featuring excerpts from books
          • Interviews with experts
          • Blogs with content from outside websites
          • Ads sold on their website
          • Sponsorship of a list of recommended books
        • Offer them the type of content they like to feature.
        • Ask for link backs.
      • 3. Take your list of the top 5 blogs (or targeted social network sites) and do the following:
  • Identify what content the blog likes to feature (such as news items, videos, photos, etc.).
  • Offer them the type of content they like to feature.
  • If they allow comments or trackbacks, write and post meaningful responses on the blog or social network site. Always include your name, website address, and book title in your comment to establish your credibility.

As you develop relationships with these sites, you may want to consider developing joint ventures with them to your mutual benefit. For example, you could help them promote their own products or services, and they could help you sell your book. In this regard, you could create an e-mail campaign in which you provide valuable bonuses that complement your book and which target the same audience that would buy your book. The best bonuses are usually downloads such as ebooks, seminar transcripts, audios, free memberships, telecourses, and dollars-off coupons.

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