Category Archives: Online (Internet) Marketing

Some Striking Statistics in Favour of Video Marketing [An Excerpt]

Video Marketing

Enjoy this excerpt about video marketing from the upcoming seventh installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t done nearly enough video marketing—partly because I don’t enjoy listening to my own voice or seeing myself on camera (which is a necessary part of proofing and editing one’s videos), and partly because I’m a novice with cameras, lighting, and video editing software (I have a funny story to share with you in this regard). Like most people, I tend to focus on the marketing skills I’m good at while avoiding the others. But then it came time to research and begin writing this mini ebook. When I came across all the compelling statistics in favour of video marketing, I realized my procrastination must come to an end. It’s time to ramp up my video marketing game. Now. (Well, maybe after I’m done writing this book….)

As part of my research, I came across a Forbes article by Matt Bowman, titled “Video Marketing: The Future Of Content Marketing,” that I highly recommend you read in full. Here’s a short excerpt from it to whet your appetite:

Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years, according to news shared by HubSpot:
● Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
● Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
● Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
(Bowman, 2017)

In the most recent T-Shaped ebook, titled Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we looked at how important click-through traffic is to the SEO of a website. When people visit just one page of your site and then leave, that’s considered a bounce; whereas, if they click on one of your links to visit another webpage on your site, that’s considered a click-through. Since click-throughs are what improve your SEO in the eyes of Google, and conversions (e.g., views of your book descriptions that lead to sales) are what earn you an income, these statistics are highly motivating.

There are three more important SEO ranking factors that video marketing can help you with: posting relevant content on a consistent basis, building up relevant backlinks to your website, and making your website mobile-friendly. Every time you post a video on YouTube that contains a link to your website in the description area, you’ve posted relevant content and created a relevant backlink to your website. Better yet, when you embed that video into your home webpage for others to view, you’ve just made that webpage more mobile-friendly:

Today, one of the biggest trends driving the digital marketing world is responsive design. When a company’s content doesn’t perform well on a given device or browser system, the business behind it loses traffic and suffers decreased conversions as a result. Fortunately, video content is fit for consumption on all devices, ranging from computers to mobile phones. This expands video’s reach and makes it more user-friendly and consumer-focused. (Bowman, 2017)

If you’re feeling resistant or overwhelmed by the idea of producing regular video content for yourself—maybe because you think it will be complicated or expensive—then you’ll be pleased to learn about one of the top “Video Marketing Trends for 2018” according to Epic Productions, LLC: creating quick, live videos (like the ones you post on Facebook) to announce a new book signing or launch event. All you must do to “go live” on social media is record yourself on your smartphone and then post it to your account. Done. When you go live, all your social media friends and followers will be notified immediately, and their curiosity at seeing you live on video is likely to make them click on the link.

That’s one quick idea on how to utilize video marketing to your advantage this coming year. Throughout this book, I’ll share a few more with you from the more expensive, professionally-produced videos to the much easier (not to mention more cost-effective for indie authors) homemade versions. This will provide you with a great start to effective video marketing.

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I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.



My Winding Road from Traditional Publishing to Digital Publishing

How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! © 2013

I started Polished Publishing Group (PPG) as a “digital publishing” company in November 2009. In retrospect, I didn’t fully understand effective digital publishing at that time. Nine years later, I can confidentally say I do, and the way I run my company is evolving as a result.

Like many others in my generation and older, I come from a traditional publishing background. I cut my teeth on paperbacks, hardcovers, and offset printing at a small literary press back in 1993. We put all our authors’ books through a thorough, substantive editing process followed by an even more fastidious graphic design and proofreading regimen to polish them to perfection. Then we “sold” (and I use that word loosely) our books by mailing out printed press releases and review copies to all the relevant media in our area, entering some books into contests, arranging the occasional breakfast launch or evening wine and cheese reading event for others, and shipping part of our inventory to various Canadian distributors to house for us. Other than that, we relied on standing orders and word of mouth to “sell” our books to the masses. Once the next season of frontlist titles came out six months later, the latter became part of the dust-collecting backlist.

An Early Education in Traditional and Digital Publishing

It was an eye-opening experience for someone like me who took this job straight out of college thinking I was going to learn what it takes to become a bestselling author from the inside out. (Even just writing that sentence makes me chuckle now.) As detailed in the introduction of How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit!, I quickly learned the realities of this industry. I came to see that our top authors were the ones who bought wholesale copies of their books from us and worked tirelessly to sell them out. They saw themselves as entrepreneurs, and they treated their books as their businesses.

Small Canadian presses aren’t alone in this. Far from it. In fact, the “Big Five” international trade publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—also admit to focusing primarily on their frontlist titles for only a short period of time. Once those books fall to the back list, the responsibility of continued promotion falls to their authors as detailed in this excerpt from Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson (16-Mar-2012) Paperback:

As soon as a book shows signs that it’s going to take off, the sales, marketing and publicity operations mobilize behind it and look for ways to support it with extra advertising, trying to get more radio and TV appearances, extending the author’s tour or putting together a new tour to cities where the book is doing particularly well, and so on. … the sales, marketing and publicity operations are geared and resourced in such a way that, when they see that a fire is starting to ignite, they are able to pour generous quantities of fuel on the flames. … But if further appeals fall on deaf ears and sales fail to pick up, then the marketing and publicity effort will be wound up pretty quickly – ‘In two to three weeks we might pull the plug,’ … So how long does a book have out there in the marketplace to show signs of life? How many weeks before it becomes a dead fish that will be left to float downstream? … I would say the life of a book today is about six weeks. And quite frankly it’s even shorter than that, but you probably have six weeks and that’s it. (Thompson, 2012)

How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It Worldwide Based on Value, Not Price! © 2014

Unless you’re selling it yourselves, authors. Sell it yourself and your book will have a much longer shelflife. As long as you stay focused on selling on any book, it will remain a frontlist title for you. That’s a fact.

I knew that much nine years ago. I had also learned how to sell after leaving my job at that literary press to begin a lifelong career in corporate sales with some of the most prominent industry leaders in print media, office supplies, and multi-function digital and offset printing. I had a strong grasp on digital communications and how easy it now is to communicate and do business with people all over the world so long as each party has a proper WIFI connection. So, in my mind, I was a “digital publisher” because I operated in a virtual office environment, and because I not only had the experience and expertise to help authors produce trade-quality books; I could also teach them how to sell their books worldwide both offline and online.

But Here’s the Problem With That

I now know effective digital publishing requires a little more finesse than simply intermingling yesterday’s offline sales and marketing methodologies with today’s online techniques. Doing so can acutally be counterproductive because the latter requires patience while the former requires momentum. In the traditional offline world, authors must appeal to the interests of people such as agents, booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you move more books on their schedules; but, in the online world, you’re working with impartial algorithms and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to increase your exposure as detailed here: https://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/2018/06/a-shortlist-of-googles-top-ranking-factors-an-excerpt-from-search-engine-optimization-seo/. In other words, if you want to succeed at selling books in this day and age, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per week and promoting it on someone else’s timeline. The Internet rewards speed and productivity, and the Internet is your greatest sales tool.

How to Publish a Book in the East That Your Can Sell in the West © 2018

How much speed and productivity are we talking about? There are literally millions of new books published around the world every year now. The playing field has drastically changed from when my publishing career began 25 years ago. It is far more competitive and nearly impossible to stand out among the crowd if you’re doing things the traditional way. I’ve come to see that my approach has to change with the times if I’m to survive in this new digital arena and all my authors—myself included—are to thrive. More and more, I’ve also come to see that it’s necessary to embrace a digital revolution known as “rapid release” publishing, as discussed in my latest book titled How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West. You can reach people worldwide now, but there is a right way to do it that will improve your odds of success. This is the new publishing model I’m now developing for PPG’s upcoming authors.

How do I know this works? I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you in my new book. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date, but that’s nothing. You’re sure to be inspired by many even greater success stories contained within the book. And once I’ve grown my own numbers to a “respectable” level by today’s North American corporate standards, I plan to package the program to help you achieve the same effective digital publishing results with a dedicated team by your side.

For those of you who are public speakers and business professionals selling your books at trade shows and conferences, the traditional publishing methods still apply. You’ll find the first two books mentioned above are still helpful. For everyone else, stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.  

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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.



A Shortlist of Google’s Top Ranking Factors … an Excerpt from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming sixth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Throughout this T-shaped marketing ebook series, in several of my past blog posts, and in many of my other books, I’ve referenced the following six ranking factors that will help you to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO is crucial to your success as an author because it will help you to attract more readers and sell more books. How do I know these things work when applied with a consistent focus? Because I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date. I also regularly read the research published by SEO industry leaders, such as Moz, which has guided me in building my book business so I can guide authors like you in doing the same. In short, this stuff works!

  1. Publish relevant content on a consistent basis:
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    Blogging is one of the best ways for you to stay engaged with your current and prospective readership; and, the more often you post something new online, the more points Google will award to your blog site thus improving its SEO. But you should know that Google is far from being the only search engine that rewards new content. Amazon and Kobo do, too, as mentioned in this book. Want to dramatically increase your SEO over the next year? Start posting relevant content on a consistent basis that pleases all these search engines.
     . 
  2. Build a high number of relevant backlinks to your website:
     . 
    In addition to blogging, I’ve also mentioned how legitimate book reviews, guest blogging, and content syndication can be used to increase the number of relevant backlinks to your website. This, too, is worthy of a higher ranking in Google’s eyes thus improving your SEO.
     . 
  3. Protect and improve your SEO with proper HTML coding (REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags):
     .
    While guest blogging and content syndication are both fantastic ways to improve your own website’s SEO, they can also cause duplicate content issues if too much of the same copy is being reused on different sites without due care. This is where implementing REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags can come in really handy as discussed in the HTML Coding for Beginners T-shaped ebook.
  4. Attract regular click-through traffic to your website:
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    It stands to reason that the more content you post, the more backlinks that redirect to your site, and the higher your SEO ranking grows, the more traffic will find its way to your website and click on it. You want these people to stay there as long as possible. If they only click once and then leave, that’s called a bounce; but, if they click on a few different pages and stay there for a while to read things over, that’s called a click-through. A high bounce rate may affect your SEO negatively while you’ll garner more SEO points via an increased click-through rate—all the more reason to ensure your website contains relative and enticing content people will want to stay there and view.
     . 
  5. Encourage more social media activity and shares (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube):
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    I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis.
     
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
     
    On March 26, 2018, Google went live with its new Mobile-First Index. According to Google, “Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.” If you want to know how to ensure your own website is mobile-friendly, be sure to pick up a copy of the Mobile Marketing T-shaped marketing ebook for some great tips.

Although I’ve written and spoken about the above six SEO ranking factors before, I’ve never discussed the below six. We’re going to review them in this book because, according to Searchmetrics Ranking Factors, they are some of the strongest factors that were found in all the sites surveyed that ranked in the top 10 Google search results:

  1. Protect your website’s security with HTTPS (SSL security certificates).
  2. Include attractive images and easy-to-read fonts in your website’s main content area to encourage more time on the site.
  3. Increase Pinterest activity.
  4. Increase Google+1 activity.
  5. Ensure you have a strong local SEO (e.g., free listings in business directories such as Google My Business, White Page, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  6. Answer industry-related questions on your blog to encourage featured snippets inclusion (as briefly mentioned in the Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising T-Shaped ebook).

As you can see, there are even more things you can do to improve your SEO that will be covered in this latest T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook. Do all these things, and the end result will surely be an increased readership and more book sales for you. Now, let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more….

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, and a couple of months later on both Kobo and E-Sentral.



How Affiliate Marketing Can Help You Sell More Books

One way to engage your readers—and grow that readership even larger—is to offer them incentives that will help you sell more books. You can offer a free book to the people who are willing to share its publication announcement with their own social media networks. Or, even better for you both, you can invite these fans to register as affiliates with the various ecommerce merchant(s) you’re selling your books through (such as Amazon or Kobo). Once they’ve set up their affiliate profiles, they will be able to download customized affiliate links to your books that will track directly back to them, and they can share those links on their blogs and social media websites rather than just the standard website link. This way, they earn a little bit of money by helping you out. It’s like having a 100% commission sales force working for you without any upfront investment on your part whatsoever. Here’s a great description of affiliate marketing from a post titled “Affiliate Marketing 101: Part I” on the Acceleration Partners® blog:

WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?

Essentially affiliate marketing involves a merchant paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction.

As the author, you don’t have to track or pay for anything out of your own pocket. These transactions are between the affiliates (your readers) and the online merchants they registered with. At the end of the day, you’ll still get paid whatever royalty percentage you would normally be paid for the sale of your ebooks on each merchant’s website, and your affiliates’ commissions will be taken care of for you in the background. It’s a win-win-win scenario for you, the affiliate(s), and the merchant.

Where Kobo and Amazon have great affiliate programs that can help you sell more books, there is another website that can help you drive more traffic to an upcoming author event such as a bookstore signing or restaurant book launch: that website is called Eventbrite. It’s a great tool, and it’s completely free of charge to use just like the others. Not only does Eventbrite help you organize all your event details and ticket sales, it also offers a great affiliate marketing program which means you can get help selling more tickets from your existing fan base. It’s also worth noting that you can sync your Eventbrite events with your Facebook page for additional reach and exposure there.

Affiliate marketing is an important tool for authors to use in building their readerships overtime. It is an efficient way to engage with your fans and reward them for buying your books. It’s also a great way to draw in new readers. Look to the right of this article at all the links to various books on Amazon. Those are affiliate links. Look through all the posts in this blog and you’ll see many other examples of the same. It generates passive income for me as an author and publisher. I highly recommend you do the same for yourself.

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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.



Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising (T-Shaped Marketing for Authors Book 5) … an excerpt

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming fifth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Much like Google AdWords and Facebook, LinkedIn PPC campaigns are run as auctions. Advertisers like you place a bid to pay a certain dollar amount (e.g., $2.25) per click on selected keywords or criteria; your prize for winning the auction is effective ad placement on whichever platform your ad appears. Yet, there is more to winning a PPC auction than just placing the highest bid. Nine times out of ten, you’ll end up paying even less than you bid as these sites will only charge you whatever price per click was necessary to win the auction, and that price is based on many factors including the amount of competition involved and the overall effectiveness of each bidder’s ad.

LinkedIn PPC Targeting Criteria

LinkedIn PPC advertising is much better suited to non-fiction books than fictional novels because of LinkedIn’s audience and that of the LinkedIn Audience Network as a whole. As of writing time, your LinkedIn targeting criteria is limited to:

  • Geographical regions: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and Oceania (of which you can drill down to your choice of the countries and cities that you wish to “include” or “exclude” from your campaign).
  • Other business-related criteria: company name, company industry, company size, job title, job function, job seniority, member schools, field of study, degrees, member skills, member groups, member gender, member age, years of experience, company followers, and company connections.

Once you’ve made the above choices, you can the select your bid type: cost per click (CPC); or, cost per mille which means the cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). CPC is the best choice to make when you want to drive more sales whereas CPM is used when your sole purpose is to drive top of mind awareness (TOMA) of your brand. I personally always choose CPC because my goal with PPC advertising is first and foremost to sell books, and I believe CPC also achieves TOMA over time. Two birds, one stone … as the saying goes.




The Price of an Affluent Audience

From there, you will choose your maximum daily budget and your CPC or CPM bid for the criteria you chose earlier. Although you can start your bid as low as $25 per day and $2 per click, you’ll most likely end up paying more on this site to get any significant results. LinkedIn PPC campaigns tend to be more expensive than Google AdWords or Facebook. Some will say it’s because you’re paying for exposure to a more affluent business audience. Here’s another way to look at it according to JD Prater, author of “How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost? [New Report]” on the AdStage blog:

…LinkedIn boasts more than 500 million users, which is impressive but still limited compared to Facebook. With a limited supply of ads coupled with growing demand, the auction is getting more competitive, which means advertisers will pay more to enter.

…Hanapin Marketing conducted a paid social survey asking marketers where they plan to increase and decrease budgets in 2017. They found that 43% of marketers were NOT investing in LinkedIn Ads. However, 39% advertisers planned on increasing their ad spend within the following year. It looks like LinkedIn Ads are delivering results for certain companies, which is leading to budget increases. (Prater, n.d.)  

The anatomy of a LinkedIn PPC ad is similar to Facebook in that you can include an image, a punchy headline, some brief ad copy, and a link to your desired landing page. All these elements are important; but some would say the image is the most critical element. Igor Belogolovsky reports the following in his article for the Kissmetrics Blog:

Hot tip: According to LinkedIn’s own optimization team, choosing a photo of a woman typically drives the best clickthrough rates. Only use your business logo if you’re trying to build brand awareness. Don’t have too much going on in your photo — remember, it’s a small thumbnail and you have a lighting-quick opportunity to draw the eye to your ad before, poof, it’s gone. (Belogolovsky, n.d.)

If this is to be believed, then female authors may want to include your author picture in your LinkedIn PPC ads; male authors may want to include your eye-catching book covers, instead. Whatever you decide, make it stand out. Put yourself in your audience’s place. What would grab your attention? Before designing a book cover, I always recommend to my authors that they should browse the section of the bookstore where their books will one day appear and see which covers stand out ahead of the rest to them; use that data as the starting point for their own designs. I think it’s a great idea to do the same thing with PPC ads. Log into LinkedIn and view the ads on your page. Take note of what appeals to you most. Use that for inspiration.

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.



Reach Your Mobile Readers With QR Codes

What is a QR code and how can you create one for free?

A static QR code (static meaning “unchangeable” once created), such as the one to the left of this paragraph, is a two-dimensional barcode. You can easily create one for your blog and/or website free of charge on this website. Where traditional linear, one-dimensional barcodes (like the ones on the back of books) are used to store small bits of information about the object they are on (such as the price of that book), a QR code has a larger storage capacity and can re-direct scanners to websites for much more detailed information.

How are QR codes used?

It’s as simple as downloading a free QR reader on your smartphone and you’re ready to go. That’s why this is the perfect tool to reach your mobile readers. Anyone with a QR reader on his or her phone can now scan these barcodes from magazine ads, books, signs on the side of a road, computer screens, you name it. I even saw a large QR code on the side of a city bus and was able to scan it through the city train window so I could view a local restaurant’s take-out menu on my way home from work. Brilliant!

Why pay someone to create a QR code for you ?  

Several years ago, my company website looked much different than it does now. It looked great on a laptop or desktop screen, but it wasn’t mobile friendly in the least. At that time, I wanted to learn more about QR codes. I created a free one for myself and also paid another company to create a more professional-looking QR code for me so I could see the difference between the two. The QR code they created is shown to the right of this paragraph.

When scanning the static QR code I created for myself, I could see that it took people straight to my website as planned. This was wonderful except for one thing; that website was intended to be read on a large computer screen. When it was viewed on a smartphone, the text and graphics all appeared very tiny, and it was difficult to navigate.

There was quite a contrast when I scanned the dynamic QR code (dynamic meaning “changeable” once created) that was created for me by some QR mobile marketing experts. Not only did they create a much more attractive QR code for PPG, but they also created a much more mobile-friendly landing page that still redirected to PPG’s main site. They even went so far as to add one of PPG’s promotional YouTube videos to that landing page. 

Case in point: if your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, and your website service provider has been unable to help you fix that for some reason, then you can always use the services of a professional QR code creator. They will oftentimes create a mobile-friendly landing page for your site along with the code itself.

How can authors best utilize this technology?

Authors can place a page at the back of each of their books that contains a QR code that redirects readers to their blogs or websites to keep readers abreast of any upcoming book launches, tours, or books. It’s a real-time update for readers even five years after that particular book was published. How convenient is that?

Watch for my upcoming T-Shaped marketing book on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral that contains even more great mobile marketing tips! In this ebook, we’ll discuss the importance of mobile-friendly websites along with the value of QR codes, email marketing, text message (SMS and MMS) marketing, and social media marketing for authors.

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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 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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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.

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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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.