Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing

This content first appeared on Practical Ecommerce and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Wilson first published this article in 2000. He then updated it in 2005. We updated it a third time, in 2012.

I admit it. The term “viral marketing” is offensive. Call yourself a viral marketer and people will take two steps back. I would. “Do they have a vaccine for that yet?” you wonder. A sinister thing, the simple virus is fraught with doom, not quite dead yet not fully alive, it exists in that nether genre somewhere between disaster movies and horror flicks.

But you have to admire the virus. It has a way of living in secrecy until it is so numerous that it wins by sheer weight of numbers. It piggybacks on other hosts and uses their resources to increase its tribe. And in the right environment, it grows exponentially. A virus doesn’t even have to mate. It just replicates, again and again with geometrically increasing power, doubling with each iteration.

1
11
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11111111
1111111111111111
11111111111111111111111111111111
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In a few short generations, a virus population can explode.

Viral Marketing Defined

What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.

Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as “word-of-mouth,” “creating a buzz,” “leveraging the media,” “network marketing.” But on the Internet, for better or worse, it’s called “viral marketing.” While others smarter than I have attempted to rename it, to somehow domesticate and tame it, I won’t try. The term “viral marketing” has stuck.



The Classic Hotmail Example

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first free web-based email services. The strategy is simple:

  1. Give away free email addresses and services;
  2. Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com”;
  3. Then stand back while people email to their own network of friends and associates;
  4. Who see the message;
  5. Sign up for their own free email service; and then
  6. Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.

Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly.

Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy

Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others. Few work as well as the simple Hotmail.com strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:

  1. Gives away products or services;
  2. Provides for effortless transfer to others;
  3. Scales easily from small to very large;
  4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors;
  5. Utilizes existing communication networks;
  6. Takes advantage of others’ resources.

Let’s examine at each of these elements briefly.

1. Gives Away Valuable Products or Services

“Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. Most viral marketing programs give away valuable products or services to attract attention. Free email services, free information, free “cool” buttons, free software programs that perform powerful functions but not as much as you get in the “pro” version. Wilson’s Second Law of Web Marketing is “The Law of Giving and Selling”. “Cheap” or “inexpensive” may generate a wave of interest, but “free” will usually do it much faster. Viral marketers practice delayed gratification. They may not profit today, or tomorrow, but if they can generate a groundswell of interest from something free, they know they will profit “soon and for the rest of their lives” (with apologies to “Casablanca”). Patience, my friends. Free attracts eyeballs. Eyeballs then see other desirable things that you are selling, and, presto! you earn money. Eyeballs bring valuable email addresses, advertising revenue, and ecommerce sales opportunities. Give away something, sell something.



2. Provides for Effortless Transfer to Others

Public health nurses offer sage advice at flu season: Stay away from people who cough, wash your hands often, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses only spread when they’re easy to transmit. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: email, website, graphic, software download. Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication is easy and inexpensive. The digital format makes copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.” The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free email message.

3. Scales Easily from Small to Very Large

To spread like wildfire, the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The weakness of the Hotmail model is that a free email service requires its own mail servers to transmit the message. If the strategy is wildly successful, mail servers must be added very quickly or the rapid growth will bog down and die. If the virus multiplies only to kill the host before spreading, nothing is accomplished. So long as you have planned ahead of time how you can add mail servers rapidly you’re okay. You must build in scalability to your viral model.

4. Exploits Common Motivations and Behaviors

Clever viral marketing plans take advantage of common human motivations. What proliferated “Netscape Now” buttons in the early days of the web? The desire to be cool. Greed drives people. So does the hunger to be popular, loved, and understood. The resulting urge to communicate produces millions of websites and billions of email messages. Design a marketing strategy that builds on common motivations and behaviors for its transmission, and you have a winner.



5. Utilizes Existing Communication Networks

Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science graduate students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people in his or her network of friends, family, and associates. A person’s broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending upon his or her position in society. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week. Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong, close networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect email addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission email lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.

6. Takes Advantage of Others’ Resources

The most creative viral marketing plans use others’ resources to get the word out. Affiliate programs, for example, place text or graphic links on others’ websites. Authors who give away free articles, seek to position their articles on others’ webpages. A news release can be picked up by hundreds of periodicals and form the basis of articles seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Now someone else’s newsprint or webpage is relaying your marketing message. Someone else’s resources are depleted rather than your own.

Put Into Practice

I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading — “The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing” — see http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/viral-principles/ for an HTML version you can copy. But copy this article only, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please. If you have a marketing or small business website, it’ll provide great content and help your visitors learn important strategies. (NOTE: I am giving permission to host on your website this article AND NO OTHERS. Reprinting or hosting my articles without express written permission is illegal, immoral, and a violation of my copyright.)




When I first offered this to my readers in February 2000, many took me up on it. Six months later a received a phone call.

“I want to speak to the King of Viral Marketing.”

“Well, I’m not the King,” I demurred. “I wrote an article about viral marketing a few months ago, but that’s all.”

“I’ve searched all over the Internet about viral marketing,” he said, “and your name keeps showing up. You must be the King!.”

It worked. Even five years later this webpage is ranked #1 for “viral marketing.”

3 Great Tips on Facebook Marketing for Authors

An ideal way to build your book business is by using one of the most popular social media websites available today. Facebook can allow you to increase the number of visitors to your book’s e-commerce page, and it may even help you turn that traffic into profits. But there are some dos and don’ts to this process that you need to be aware of.

Here’s an online advertising expert who can teach you some best practices where Facebook ads are concerned. And here are a couple other tips regarding Facebook marketing in general.

Avoid Being Too “Salesy” in Your Primary Marketing

Of course, you want to get others to buy your book(s). That’s the ultimate goal here. But overtly asking for the sale day in and day out is the wrong approach on Facebook. Remember, most users who log onto this platform are looking to connect with others in a meaningful way. They’re looking for useful information; so, you need to provide that first and foremost. Once you’ve won their trust by sharing valuable content on a consistent basis, then they may just click on that e-commerce link to purchase your book.

Research Your Audience

Trust takes time. There are so many tools on Facebook that will enable you to find out why people are on there in the first place. What are they looking for? What do they want? Knowing this will enable you to determine if these individuals want something you have to offer them. More importantly, you’ll be able to find all the people who are interested in the keywords related to your book’s topic matter and speak to them in their buying language. (For more information on the different buying languages you might use, I recommend this marketing book.)




Image is Everything in Advertising!

If you want to catch someone’s attention with a Facebook advertisement, it’s best to include an eye-catching image in your ad. I like the phrase our expert, Jeff Usner, uses in his YouTube video; he refers to Facebook advertising as “interrupt marketing” which is the opposite of what blogging is. In a past blog post titled “Blogging for SEO: A Cost Effective, Unintrusive Form of Advertising,” I discuss the greatest benefit of blogging. Where traditional advertising methods such as newspaper, television, radio, and billboards try their best to “interrupt” customers into noticing them, blogging appeals to the audience that is already in the market for your products/services. No need to try to interrupt anyone to gain their interest; if they are typing in those key words to try to find you, it’s because they are already interested in what you have to offer. 

Facebook advertising is more like traditional advertising. When people are on Facebook, they aren’t searching for you or your book in particular. They’re posting pictures, writing posts, and viewing the pictures of posts of their connections. So, in order to get them to notice you, you must interrupt them with a compelling ad. The best way to do it is with an attractive image. 

You know what? Jeff Usner explains this one best. Check out his YouTube video.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Why You Should Publish Both a Paperback and an Ebook

This content first appeared on Digital Point Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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So many people are now learning the true value in publishing a book to promote their businesses. I always tell my authors that their books are their business cards. A book is a way to highlight your expertise within your field in much more detail than you can do with traditional forms of advertising (e.g. print, radio, television) while also giving you a more professional air in the eyes of prospective readers/customers.

But here are two common misconceptions held by many new indie authors: one, they assume most people only read ebooks nowadays; and two, they assume ebooks are the only books they can sell online using various forms of Internet marketing. Both of these statements are incorrect … as I discuss in much more detail in this highly rated book where I teach you specifically how to sell audiobooks, ebooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers online.




The truth is, there are just as many people out there who still want to hold a physical book in their hands as there are people who love the compact convenience of e-readers. So, if you only publish an ebook, you’re likely losing out on half your potential audience.

No print budget? Not to worry! With the invention of print-on-demand (POD) technology, today’s indie authors no longer have to print and store physical books in order to sell physical books … whether those books are paperbacks or hardcovers. All you have to do is supply the digital files for your book’s cover and interior to the e-commerce site of your choice because most of these online retailers utilize POD technology to sell books rather than stocking those books in warehouses. Then, whenever they receive an order for that book, they simply print, bind, and ship the exact quantity ordered (whether it is one book or ten) all at the same time. Easy peasy!

Most of the e-commerce sites take digital files in the form of print-ready .PDF files and just store them on their servers, but I don’t recommend selling those .PDF files as ebooks because they are far too easy for users to copy and share with others (unless they are .DRMs … but that’s a whole different post). Instead, it’s pretty cheap nowadays to have the .PDF files converted into either .ePUB (the format used by KoboBooks) or .MOBI (the format used by Kindle) and sell them through the proper channels.

If you want to reach all your potential customers, then you need to realize that some of them are still reading hard copies and others are readying soft copies. Publish your book in both formats to give your customers more choice, and you’ll have the best possible chance at commercial sales success.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Choosing Illustrations, Graphics, or Images for Your Book

If you want to include any illustrations, graphics, or images on your book cover—or in your book’s interior, for that matter—you must ensure you have the legal right to use them. There are three ways you can do this: one, you can use photos, illustrations, or graphics that you have personally created and therefore own the copyright to; two, you can purchase them from someone else; or three, you can find public domain stock photos that are deemed as “free for commercial use” from whatever design-template program you’re using, or from websites such as Pixabay.com, as I did for this blog post.




It is crucial to respect another artist’s copyright. If you don’t—if you just pull any image file you find off the Internet and use that for your book without first confirming you have the right to use it—you may find yourself involved in an expensive copyright infringement lawsuit down the road. This isn’t only about protecting the rights of other artists; it’s also about protecting yourself. So, do a little research before you use any images for your ebooks. Pixabay.com is one of many websites containing free stock photos. You can find even more resources here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/1257937-avoid-copyright-infringement-use-tool-find-free-stock-photos-your-display-ads.html.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

Why is Blogging Important for Your Book Business?

Making the most of your book sales and marketing efforts should be one of the things you work to achieve daily. But it doesn’t take a lot of time, I promise! Only one hour per day, six days per week can do the trick. The key to your success will depend on the amount of traffic you receive, and one of the ideal ways to attract more traffic is by blogging more. Taking the time to get the information out about what you have to offer others is the goal. By knowing some of the reasons blogging is so critical to your business as an author, this may encourage you to do more of it.

Get Attention

Working to get more visitors to your blog site will take the right strategy. This means creating content that is easy to read and provides useful information to the readers who are interested in your particular topic matter. The good news is that people are looking for your topic matter all the time, and they’ll pay money for it. Regular and consistent blogging can help you to reach more and more of these people (a.k.a. your target market) by improving your blog’s SEO with the major search engines, thus making it easier for them to find you. An effective blog entry that shows people you’re a viable source of helpful information can lead to them searching for—and buying!—your book from popular e-commerce sites and/or “bricks and mortar” bookstores.




Get the Word Out to Impulse Buyers

Do you have a special promotion or contest going on that can increase interest in your book right now? If not, create one and blog about it! Because taking the time to do this could help you to increase your book’s sales potential in a dramatic way. Contests appeal to impulse buyers who may not have realized they were in the market for your book until they had that little extra incentive put right in front of their eyes. But your contest has to be appealing, of course. It has to offer a really attractive prize in order to draw lots of attention. Click on the above link for a great idea that will surely get your creative juices flowing on what sort of contest you can use to promote your own book.

Build Trust With Your Blog

I’ve said it many times before, but it’s worth repeating: one of the best ways to grow your online book sales and marketing business is blogging. Doing so allows your readers to learn more about you, as an author, while helping you get the word out about your book(s). However, you’ll need to gain the trust of your readers before they’ll spread the word for you. That’s one of the greatest the keys to successful blogging. Take some time out of your day today and listen to this blogging expert tell you how to get people to trust you so you can gain more readership and sell more books in the long run.

Update Your Blog Often

One thing you’ll want to do to ensure more success with your blogs is to write new posts frequently. This helps build reader confidence.

It’s ideal to blog at least twice per week. That’s it. Two posts per week. Two hours per post.




In other words, you need only dedicate four hours per week toward writing and posting two 500-word blog entries. Then spend another two hours per week toward effectively sharing those blog entries (and various other posts) online via social media. That’s just six hours per week … which may translate into one hour per day, six days per week

Blogging can help authors in a number of ways. Simply take the time to get started with it. Today!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Seek Inspiration from Writers Who Have Succeeded Before You

Possibly one of the most inspirational author success stories of this century is that of JK Rowling. I write in a different genre than she does. I have a different audience altogether. But it is her human story that fascinates me most, so I go in search of great articles about her such as this one: JK Rowling gives advice to aspiring young writers in challenging situations. I seek her knowledge and advice from afar when I need it. (Thank God for the Internet! What did we ever do before we had this valuable tool at our disposal?)

This woman not only understands the unique challenges that writers everywhere face, but she has also experienced her share of adversity that most everyone can relate to on some level. Poverty. Divorce. Single parenting. The loss of a loved one. She found the way to continue writing through all of it.




That’s what I want you to take away from today’s email: she found the way to continue writing through all of it. And look at where she is now!

Nobody is saying it’s going to be easy all the time. There is work to be done if you want to finish writing your book and see it published at long last.

But I’m telling you it’s possible. That’s all you need to know for now. The rest will follow. The answers—and the way—will fall into place if you really want this and are prepared to work for it through everything life throws at you during the process. Have faith.

Now get back to your writing! That’s an order! 😉

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

3 Book Printing Tips for Indie Authors: Consider This Before Printing Any Books

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral! Order it today!

Whenever prospective clients contact my company for a book publishing quote, they invariably request a book printing quote to go along with it. I tell them that, to figure out your initial publishing costs—the professional editing, graphic design, proofreading, indexing, and administrative costs involved in publishing a book—a publisher will need to know five things:

  1. How many words are included both inside your book’s interior and on its cover?
  2. How many images/graphics are included both inside your book’s interior and on its cover?
  3. Will your book have a colour or black and white interior? (If colour, will it be a full bleed?)
  4. What trim size (e.g., 5 x 8″, 5.5 x 8.5″, 6 x 9″, 8.5 x 11″) do you want?
  5. What format (e.g., paperback, case-wrapped hardcover, dust-jacketed hardcover) do you want?

Figuring out your book printing costs is even more involved than that. It is only once your book is fully formatted and you know all the above information plus the page count of the final-designed book that you can officially request a book printing quote. (The page count of a final-designed book is almost always different from the page count of your initial manuscript.)

There is much to think about, much to consider when it comes to book printing. I also ask each author, “How many books are you thinking about printing, and have you considered how and where you’re going to sell them?” Some people are puzzled by that question, assuming the publisher will actively sell your books for you. I published this FREE ebook for these individuals a while ago: Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright. The moral of the story is there’s no point in printing any books at all unless you have a clear idea of how to distribute them—successfully. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of money in book printing costs followed by even more in storage costs.




For the authors who believe you’ll be able to print and sell direct to popular “bricks and mortar” book retailers, I highly recommend you download and read this additional FREE ebook: Why Traditional Bookstores Won’t Carry Your Book on Their Shelves … and Why That’s Okay. The truth is, if you want your book placed on the physical shelves of a traditional bookstore, you must play by the peculiar rules set by the traditional book supply chain. And, believe me, peculiar is the best word to describe these old rules … as I’m sure you’ll agree once you read the book. As well, most “bricks and mortar” booksellers (e.g., Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and Blackwell’s, et cetera) and libraries will only purchase their books through established distributors. They simply won’t deal with individual authors.

Add to all this the fact that printers can be finicky machines at times. Have you ever wondered why, sometimes, a colour image looks different on your computer screen than it does in a printed document? This has much to do with the way the colour file was created by the designer as well as the type of paper it is being printed on and the type of printer being used.

There is MUCH to consider with book printing. Before you engage in any type of book printing at all, read this book! It could save you a lot of time and money down the road. For those who still wish to print their books, this guide will help you to produce the best book printing result possible.

Celebrate Your Success!

I want to talk to you about the importance of celebrating your success once you’ve published your book. But first, click here to view PPG’s Facebook album containing pictures of some of our past author events for inspiration. 
  
For some, a simple bookstore signing is the perfect way to celebrate the publication of a new book. Others celebrate with an evening launch at a venue that serves drinks and appetizers to their guests, and they bring in guest speakers to talk about the author and the book. Some businesses even order in a custom cake with a picture of their book cover on the front, and their event is covered by the media.




The sky is the limit when it comes time to celebrate your accomplishments as a published author. My only advice is that you should do something. This is a huge accomplishment! Celebrate it! 

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Preparing Your Digital Files for a Book Publisher

PPG FILE NAMING CONVENTION

Each of your files should be associated with your book title, author name, and the current date. They should also indicate their individual purposes (e.g., book cover graphic, book interior text) so it is easy to differentiate each file.

Your file names should begin with: the first five letters of your book title, the first five letters of your legal last name, and MMM DD YYYY for the current date.

For example: HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.SAMPLE.DOC

The most important parts of this file naming convention are the first three: the book title, the last name, and the current date. Ensuring consistency and continuity in these three areas will make it easier for everyone involved in the project to find files when they need to down the road. The final part of the file name is a guide to let everyone know what the file is for, and it can be typed in various ways.




Below are some acceptable file names 

for author photo files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.AuthorPhoto.tiff

for book cover files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.CoverGraphic01.jpeg
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.CoverGraphic02.jpeg

for book interior files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorGraphic01.tiff
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorGraphic02.tiff
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorText.doc

for promo piece files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.PromoGraphic01.jpeg

PREPARING GRAPHIC FILES FOR PPG

A graphic is defined as any picture, illustration, chart, image, logo, or graph you would like placed either in your book interior, on your book cover, or as part of any other marketing materials we may be creating for you.

Colour Graphics

All colour graphics must be submitted to PPG in either .jpg (.jpeg) or .tif (.tiff) format, with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI, using the CMYK colour model.

Black and White Graphics

All black and white graphics must be submitted to PPG in either .jpg (.jpeg) or .tif (.tiff) format with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. For best results, they should be sent as grayscale/monochrome files rather than CMYK colour files. (We can accept CMYK colour images; however, they may not reproduce as well in black and white as a grayscale/monochrome image will.)

All graphics for your book (including all author photos) must be sent to PPG at the same time your interior text is sent.




PREPARING TEXT FILES FOR PPG

PPG will only accept text files (e.g., your manuscript) in Microsoft Word format with nothing more than the following formatting. This ensures the file is clean, making it easier for editors and designers to work with it.

  • Include all front matterbodyback matter, and back cover copy in this document in exactly the order you wish to see it appear in the final designed version of your book (NOTE: back cover copy should be placed at the very end and labelled as [Insert back cover copy here] so the designer knows what it is and where to eventually place it; but it must be included in the original text document so it can be properly edited along with everything else).
  • Leave room for the copyright page within your front matter (e.g., simply insert a blank page that says [Insert copyright page here] at the top of it, and PPG will take care of the rest for you).
  • Times New Roman font, 11 pt. size, left-aligned text
  • Entire document double-spaced
  • The only hard returns in this document should be at the end of chapter titles and paragraphs 
  • Insert a page break at the end of each section and/or chapter
  • Insert an additional page break where you want blank pages to appear
  • Type [Insert image file name here with the following caption: caption text] where you wish to see an image and caption inserted. DO NOT INSERT THE IMAGE YOURSELF. 
  • Italicize any words/phrases you wish to see italicized in the formatted version of your book
  • Bold any words/phrases you wish to see bolded in the formatted version of your book
  • Underline any words/phrases you wish to see underlined in the formatted version of your book

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

YouTube is an Author’s Best Friend

Here’s an excerpt for you from my bestselling book titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors regarding how you can use YouTube to sell more books.

As the second most searched website in the world (after Google), YouTube is a popular social media site on which users can upload, share, and view videos free of charge. This makes it a fantastic tool that authors can use to advertise themselves and their books online. 

If you’ve never made a video of any kind before, not to worry; neither had most of the other authors who are now using YouTube regularly (the author of this book included). Get some practice by starting small at first: 

  • Camera-shy authors can start with just their voices. Take an audio recording (.MP3) of you reciting your book’s elevator pitch; then, using a user-friend program like Microsoft Movie Maker, convert it to a YouTube-friendly video file (.MP4) by adding your book’s front cover image to the file. Upload it to YouTube and copy the text of your elevator pitch along with a link to your book’s storefront into the description box under the video. Also make sure the title, tags, and category sections are complete. This is one of the YouTube links you can share with others via Facebook and Twitter on the designated days.
  • Create and Post an Alfresco Video ReadingWhen you feel a little braver, take a video recording (.MP4) of yourself reading a chapter from your book and post that online. You can make it much more interesting by shooting it as a scene outside—by reading from your book with a picturesque display of your own town or city in the background. You can add music to the file, if you choose, in addition to filling out all the standard sections—the title, tags, category, and description—with as many of your popular keywords as you possibly can.





Always keep your audience in mind no matter what type of video you’re creating or sharing. It isn’t enough to just read from your book; rather, think about what your readers will want to know about you and your book. Your goal is the same here as it is on every other site you’re posting content to; it’s an opportunity for potential new audience members to get to know you and your book a little better, to build on that top-of-mind awareness we’re trying to build on. Just as it is when you’re writing blog entries, remember that how-tos, answers to FAQs, expert interviews, insights on characters and their development, and entertaining stories are all popular topic matters that will grab people’s attention. 

Keep your YouTube videos short. In this “instant soup society” of ours, even YouTube users have short attention spans, so it’s better to upload five three-minute videos than it is to upload one 15-minute video whenever possible. More videos that utilize even more of your top keywords will also provide more varied selling opportunities. 

In addition to creating my own videos, I always make sure to ask the interviewers of any Skype, radio, or television interviews I’ve done to send me an .MP3 or .MP4 of our interview session. I upload that to my company YouTube channel along with an introduction to the interviewers and their station in the description box below the video. It’s a way to thank them by opening them up to an expanded audience through my channel, and it’s also a way for me to attract some of their listeners to me by coupling their top keywords together with mine. 

I hope you’ve found some value in this excerpt from my book on how to utilize YouTube to sell more of your own books.

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