Category Archives: Sales and Marketing

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Yesterday’s advice regarding writing the most SEO-friendly blog posts was pretty simple. Make sure your post is genuinely helpful and contains at least 500 words. Within those 500 words, your main keyword should be repeated at least 10 times. By doing that, search engines like Google should be able to easily find and index the blog entry.

SEO-Friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES)

Today’s advice is a little bit different. According to SEO 2018 author Adam Clarke and Yoast: SEO for Everyone, an SEO-friendly Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) is crucial to your SEO success.

Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts, publicly stated that poorly researched and misspelled content will rank poorly, and clarity should be your focus. And by readability, this means not just avoiding spelling mistakes, but making your content readable for the widest possible audience, with simple language and sentence structures.

…The Searchmetrics rankings report discovered sites appearing in the top 10 showed … content that is fairly easy to read for 13-15 year old students and up.

…By encouraging search results to have content readable to a wide audience, Google maximise their advertising revenues. If Google were to encourage complicated results that mostly appeal to a smaller demographic, such as post-graduates, it would lower Google’s general appeal and their market share. (Clarke, 2018)

Why I Now Use the Yoast SEO WordPress Plug-In

In a nutshell, the Yoast SEO WordPress plug-in helps me to write blog posts that Google will approve and index. That’s why I use it. Because Google is the greatest link between me and my desired reader base.

As I begin writing each and every blog post, the Yoast plug-in continually gives me little notices. It lets me know whether my content is SEO-friendly in various ways. It tells me if my FRES is within the acceptable 60.0 to 70.0 readability range. If not, it will show me which sentences need to be adjusted to improve that score.

Your Blog Post Can Be Less Than 500 Words

So long as your writing style matches Google’s desired FRES score, your post can be 300+ words long. Yoast also has a different way of viewing keywords. Rather than repeating your top keyword at least twice within every 100 words, Yoast wants to see it right upfront. If you include that keyword in your slug (the URL for the blog entry), at least one or more of your headings, and within your first paragraph, Yoast will usually give you a good SEO score. It’s also great to attach the keyword to an image on your blog post, too. That way, Google will certainly understand what keyword you want the post indexed under.

There are additional things you can do to improve your blog post’s SEO. Including internal links to past blog posts and external links to other relevant information will also help. The more posts you write that Yoast awards a good readability and SEO score to, the higher up your blog will land in Google’s search engine ranking.

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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.



Thailand Government Book Policy: More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

Thailand Government Book Policy

Thailand Government Book Policy

Why would an author and book publisher from Canada have a strong interest in the Thailand government book policy? Well, you see, I visited (and fell in love with) Thailand back in 2016. I lived in Hua Hin for one month where I studied Thai culture and obtained a TESOL certification. I then lived in Bangkok for the next five months and taught at a wonderful private school for one term before returning home to Canada. Ever since then, I’ve known that some day I’ll visit Thailand again. But next time, I would like to visit as the author and book publisher that I am. I would love to help aspiring Thai authors produce professional books that meet your government’s standards and promote your beautiful culture at home and abroad.

Thailand Government Book Policy

I have 25 years’ experience in the North American English book publishing industry (in both the traditional and contemporary markets). I’m also the author of over 25 books that teach aspiring authors how to be successful within this industry. That said, each world region has its own unique publishing methods and characteristics. One day, I decided to research the Thailand government book policy to see if it’s similar to Canada’s. As it turns out, we have some things in common. Both our governments want to support local authors who write books that promote and educate others about the countries we live in.

I came across a presentation by Kim Chongsatitwatana titled “Thailand Publishing Industry” that was posted to the Asian Publishers Fellowship Program in Seoul (APS) website. In this presentation, Kim discusses the Thai government’s policies on promoting a “decade of reading as a national agenda” from 2009 to 2018. The goal is to educate people about ASEAN culture and society with a focus on the English language. The government also wants more ASEAN books published by ASEAN authors in general.

English Language Book Publishing for ASEAN Authors

More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

More ASEAN Books by ASEAN Authors

Did you know there are self-publishing options available to you in Thailand that will allow you to publish books your government can be proud of? I will be releasing a new title in paperback format, to bookstores around the world, this coming October 15, 2018. The book is titled How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West. It contains some compelling research about how today’s independent authors are self-publishing and selling thousands of ebooks every year. It also provides step-by-step instructions showing aspiring authors like you how to do the same—right from the comfort of your home or office.

One chapter of this book focuses on English language editing and how to find proper English editors at a reasonable price. No matter where you live, you can easily follow (and afford!) this program. All you need is an Internet connection and a laptop with Microsoft Office on it. Here’s what some Eastern reviewers who received early review copies have to say about this book:

“The author has used the simplest words which can be read and understood by everyone. The stepwise information makes this book seamless and interesting.” ~Sheetal Maurya, Halo of Books

“What an excellent book this is.” ~Sarath Babu

And don’t let the book title fool you. You can certainly reach the western market if you choose to; but you can also focus on your own eastern market if you choose. It’s all up to you.

A Decade of Reading in Thailand

“Reading remains a fundamental activity and a first step for anyone wishing to acquire knowledge and innovate,” the Bangkok Post quoted the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (Pubat) president, Suchada Sahasakul, as saying earlier this year. “Everything starts with the act of reading. Once one has read, one can experiment and act to shape the world.”

I hope you’ll read this book so you can see your own ability to shape the world by writing and publishing your own books. Gone are the days when the world’s large corporate book publishers set the pace and direction of the entire publishing market. Today’s western indie authors are now in the driver’s seat, and it can be the same for authors in Thailand.

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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.



Make Money Online with Ebooks

Make Money Online (Book One)

Make Money Online (Book One)

Ebooks can be highly profitable digital assets for authors, online marketers, and business professionals in general. Think about it from a strictly business perspective for a moment; it’s clear an ebook is a portable business card that can be delivered instantaneously, anywhere in the world, for free or for sale, via email, blog, website, or ecommerce site.

Ebooks can be read in the comfort of one’s home or office, during a commute by train or airplane, or even when standing and waiting in line. They are easily searchable documents that can be hyperlinked to other relevant information sources (e.g., company webpages, blogs), providing even more value to readers.

Ebooks are updateable which is especially helpful to those who wish to keep their information relevant and stay on top of the dynamic Internet. With a digital asset like an ebook, you don’t have to pay storage or maintenance fees of any kind. Best of all, there are hundreds of thousands of affiliate marketers out there; they’re more than happy to help others promote and sell their digital assets all over the world. Pretty much every major ecommerce site has its own affiliate program now, and this is like having a massive sales team at your disposal without having to pay anyone an upfront salary.

Make Money Online by Providing Valuable Information

You could be in any room chatting with your family members, friends, or business colleagues. It doesn’t matter where it is or who you’re with. At some point during the conversation, a question of some sort almost always arises; what is the first thing everyone does? You each pull out your smartphone, iPad, or tablet and open the web browser to search for an answer. We all have instant access to timely information at our fingertips now, and we’re all constantly accessing it.

Make Money Online (Book Two)

Make Money Online (Book Two)

Consider this: Twenty years ago if you wanted to learn something, you’d go to the library or bookstore and pick up a book. If there was new information on a topic, it had to go through a long publication process – an average of 18 months! By the time that new information came out, it was often already outdated.

Today is very different.

We live in the Information Age. Basically, the greatest industry in the world today is the information industry. Those with access to information and the ability to distribute it the fastest are the ones who are poised to be our next millionaires and billionaires. (Singal, 2016)

Make Money Online by Connecting People in Meaningful Ways

Now let’s take that a step further. It’s not only about your ability to quickly distribute information to the masses that could potentially earn you a profit; it’s more about your ability to use that information to connect people together in meaningful ways. Intellectual property can be a priceless asset to the owners who know how to do this well.

Make Money Online (Book Three)

Make Money Online (Book Three)

In discussions with industry leaders like Seth Godin and Clay Hebert (among many others), it has become clear that we are in a Connection Economy. The connection economy rewards value created by building relationships and creating connections, rather than building assets by industrialism. This means the most valuable companies will connect buyer to seller, or consumer to content. If you don’t buy that argument, consider these facts:

1. Uber is the largest “taxi” company – yet they own no vehicles and excel at connecting riders with drivers.
2. AirBnB is the largest provider of accommodations – yet they own no real estate.
3. Facebook is the largest media company – yet they create no content.
4. Crowdfunding businesses like Kickstarter and IndiGoGo [sic] are expected to surpass venture capital for funding in 2016 – yet they have no funds to invest. (Altman, 2015)

You can create these kinds of meaningful connections through ebooks. There are umpteen unique ways for you to bond with your readers, uniting them with additional people and resources. You can write fiction or poetry to entertain them and then connect them with like-minded book club members. You can use non-fiction to educate them and recommend additional related services.

Make Money Online With Ebooks

Make Money Online (Book Four)

Make Money Online (Book Four)

There is an ebook publishing technique that many of today’s most successful independent authors (a.k.a. indie authors) are using to sell thousands of books every year. Some of these authors are earning six-figure incomes from their ever-growing online platforms. What is a “platform” you’re asking? It is a loyal readership. And that’s what the “Big Five” trade publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—are looking for when scouting new book projects. They’ll sign the unknown indie authors with built-in audiences that can guarantee them sales before they’ll re-sign a known trade-published author with limited traction. That’s the reality of this business.

Selling physical books in an offline marketplace is different from selling digital books in an online marketplace. In the traditional offline world, authors must appeal to people such as booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you sell more books; but, in the online world, you’re working with mechanical algorithms and search engine optimization (SEO) to increase your exposure. This is a blessing. This is a new and highly effective way to reach the masses and earn a profit in the process. Ebooks are possibly the best way to make money online nowadays.

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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.



Poetry Books Can Sell Like Fiction and Non-Fiction

poetry books

poetry books

Poetry books can be sold online using the same methods authors use to sell fiction and non-fiction books. The best way to sell books nowadays is to utilize the power of search engine optimization (SEO). What is SEO? SEO refers to the process of increasing your website’s ranking on search engines such as Google. You can increase your ranking by improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website—that is, the number of relevant visitors who click on your website.

Poetry Books Can Be Sold Online Using Keywords

poetry books

poetry books

You can reach your target market of poetry readers using the power of keywords. It’s the same process for poetry books as it is for fiction and non-fiction. If you want to successfully sell any books online using SEO, you need think things through. Sit down and create a list of all the possible keywords related to the type of poetry you’re promoting. Once you come up with a large enough list, test all those keywords using actual search traffic data to determine which ones will be most useful for you.

Poetry Books About Anything

There is a market for poetry books about everything and anything. You can find some great ideas in a post titled 4 Unique Ways to Make Money Online Writing Poetry on the ThinkWritten.com website. Some great example markets you can target with your poetry books are:

  • people who need poems for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays
  • people looking for poetry to use for unique displays, gifts, or artwork

When you think of it in those terms, you may quickly come to see that your poetry audience is much larger than simply people who read poetry for the sake of poetry. Does that make sense? There is as much of a market and need for poetry as there is for fiction and non-fiction. It’s simply a matter of learning how to effectively reach your target market: How to Publish and Sell Poetry [An Excerpt].

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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 Ways Authors Can Use LinkedIn to Promote Books

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place to sell books … if you do it the right way. I’ve received several emails via LinkedIn over the years from newly self-published authors who were advertising their books, trying to convince me to buy them. If you’re one of these authors, I genuinely applaud you for taking that important step toward self-promotion. That said, I’d like to share with you a more effective approach that will bring you more success in the future.

As the largest business networking site in the world, and the 13th largest social media site overall, LinkedIn acts as an online resume where you can highlight your expertise within your field. It is also a fantastic place to showcase your book. Don’t push people too hard here, though. For example, unsolicited email requests to buy your book are a no-no on this site. Build your audience gradually with relevant and informative posts.

Use the Publications Section on LinkedIn

Using a section of LinkedIn called Publications, you can link your profile directly to your book’s ecommerce storefront on Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Kobo, or even Amazon to promote it in an unobtrusive way. This is a great way to appeal to the audience that is already interested in you and your book. They’ve already chosen to visit your profile on their own. So, why not provide a link to where they can buy your book?

Join Groups on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can join groups that are related to your field. You can share book excerpts or blog entries with other members of these groups. It’s a great way to drive more traffic to your blog entries—traffic in the form of people who have already shown an interest in your topic by virtue of the LinkedIn group you met them in. They may send you a connection request and eventually buy your book via the Publications section on your profile page.

Be Interactive and Professional on LinkedIn

Build your audience gradually by posting relevant and informative blog entries twice a week to groups that are interested in your topic matter. Only occasionally post them as status updates directly from your profile page. Engage in conversations with those who post comments to your blog entries and status updates. Let your audience get to know you by replying to their posts and answering their questions. Then let the rest of it happen organically. Always be professional.

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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.




The 4 Fundamentals of Modern Marketing

Modern marketing offers several opportunties that weren’t available even a decade ago. In this modern world of virtual office environments and cloud computing, you can sell just about anything online; this opens you and your company up to a worldwide audience, no matter where you’re starting from. The Internet is the great equalizer. Webpages are the new storefronts. Money is less necessary to make those storefronts appealing to potential customers than creativity is, but four fundamentals remain.

Modern marketing

Modern marketing

Modern Marketing Understands Top-of-Mind Awareness

Just as it is for businesses inside a traditional shopping mall, your target market is a fluid and ever-changing stream of old and new customers. You need to stay in front of them. Why? So that, when they’re ready to buy what you’re selling, they’ll recall your company ahead of all the others. In the world of advertising, sales, and marketing, this is known as creating top-of-mind awareness.

Some of the traditional ways that businesses create top-of-mind awareness are to place regular ads on television, radio, and billboards, or in print media outlets such as magazines and newspapers. Repetition is the key to success in any advertising campaign, and this can get pretty expensive in these traditional arenas. We’re talking hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars per month to run enough ads to achieve top-of-mind awareness with the general public, depending on how large a trading area you’re trying to reach. Luckily, there is a virtually free online alternative known as blogging that utilizes the power of keywords to draw people in from anywhere in the world that has Internet access; there is also the benefit of free social media websites to super-charge those blogging campaigns.

Modern Marketing is Cost-Effective and Unobtrusive

In addition to cost-effectiveness, possibly the greatest benefit to blogging and social media marketing is that these are unobtrusive forms of advertising. Traditional advertising methods (e.g., print media, 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 and services. No need to try to interrupt anyone to gain his or her interest; if he or she is typing those keywords into a search engine to try to find you, it’s because he or she is already interested in what you have to offer. All you have to do is to be there in the top organic search engine results. And voilà! You’ve got your prospective customer’s attention and hopefully some new business to go with it.

Modern Marketing Uses an Attractive, Accessible Storefront

All your blogging and social media marketing efforts will be profitless unless you’re using those vehicles to consistently redirect people to the webpage where they can buy your product or service. We live in an “instant soup” society filled with customers that want quick and easy solutions to their problems. So, make it quick and easy for them to find the place to buy from you once they’ve read that compelling blog post or viewed that interesting tweet on Twitter. And make the page so attractive, they’ll want your book, product, or service even more.

Modern Marketing Includes Convenient, User-friendly Purchase Options

Some people are more comfortable with online shopping than others are. One customer may want to pay for a purchase using PayPal. Another will prefer to pay via the credit card of their choice. And there are still those individuals who would really appreciate an old-fashioned “pay by cheque or money order” option. As such, the more purchase options you can provide, the more convenient and user-friendly your online storefront will appear. It’s the equivalent of casting a much wider net to catch a greater variety of fish.

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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.



Organic Web Weaving: Modern Book Publishing, Sales and Marketing

Organic Web Weaving

Organic Web Weaving

Organic web weaving is every author’s road to book sales success. Writing is selling in the online world. Writers are natural online marketers. Polished Publishing Group (PPG) can show you how many of today’s top authors are selling thousands of books every year using some simple online techniques. Most of these techniques require effective writing.

The best way to sell books in today’s world is to utilize the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Effective digital publishing requires a little more finesse than simply combining traditional offline sales and marketing methods with modern online techniques. Doing so can actually be counterproductive. This is because traditional publishing takes time while digital publishing requires momentum. If you want to succeed at publishing and selling books nowadays, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per month. The Internet rewards speed and productivity, and the Internet is your greatest ally. Used right, it can help you stand out among the millions of books being published worldwide each year.

Organic Web Weaving Techniques That Work

"Rapid Release" Publishing

“Rapid Release” Publishing

1. Blogging: If you have published (or plan to publish) a book, you will need a website to promote it. That’s your starting point. You don’t need anything fancy or expensive; a simple blog will do. If you haven’t already done so, you can create one for yourself using either WordPress.org or Blogger.com. Just follow their user-friendly instructions along with the instructions I give you in the three books shown on this blog post.

2. “Rapid Release” Publishing: There is a form of online book sales and marketing known as “rapid release” publishing that many of today’s most successful authors are using. Many of these authors are selling thousands of books every year by publishing this way. Some of them are earning six- and seven-figure incomes from their growing fan bases. Even mainstream authors like James Patterson are jumping on this bandwagon. He publishes multiple books in short periods of time, too. He refers to his “rapid release” book series as his BookShots line.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

3. Social Media Marketing: 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. 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. I strongly recommend you read it. Yes, it is possible to sell books using nothing more than a comfortable chair in your quiet writing room, a laptop, an Internet connection, and your own God-given talent for writing. Authors around the world are proving it every day. You can join the fleet.

Organic Web Weaving Services Through Polished Publishing Group (PPG)

You can do it all yourself by following the user-friendly tips in the above three books. You can also contact PPG here to learn more about how we can help you weave a powerful web. The sooner you get started, the faster you’ll see results.

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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:
     . 
    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:
     . 
    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):
     . 
    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.



BookShots: The Hachette vs. Amazon Truce?

A few months ago, I published How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers which highlights a few highly successful independent authors who are using “rapid release” publishing (among other tactics) to sell thousands of books online. Many of them are earning six-figure incomes. One of the early pioneers earned seven figures in her first year. I’ve since come across an article from 2016, titled “James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books,” discussing how one of the world’s most famous trade-published authors is using the same tactic to sell more books to an extended audience:

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

In June, Mr. Patterson will test that idea with BookShots, a new line of short and propulsive novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting. Mr. Patterson will write some of the books himself, write some with others, and hand pick the rest. He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella.

This article states that Patterson created the idea of BookShots to try to capture the growing number of people who just don’t have/make the time read traditional 300- to 400-page novels anymore; but, considering he’s offering these novellas in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, I’m willing to bet Patterson also sees how BookShots can help him to monopolize on today’s digital selling trends. The fact is, the best way to sell a book online is to publish another book. When done on a consistent basis, as the above-mentioned independent authors do, it can successfully ping both Amazon’s and Google’s algorithms to place an author higher and higher up in the rankings. The higher your rank, the more books you will sell. Online selling has more to do with indifferent computerized processes than publicity or popularity.




I also see Patterson’s BookShots concept as a form of truce between Hachette Book Group (which publishes his books in the USA through its Little, Brown imprint) and Amazon after their epic battle a few years ago. To refresh your memory, Amazon believed that all ebooks should be priced low all the time. The Amazon Books Team went so far as to send out a mass email to all its ebook publishers seeking support of its stance. Below is an excerpt from that email which was also published by Dave Smith for BusinessInsider.com in August of 2014:

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores.…

…Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book.

Skip ahead a couple of years, and James Patterson announced his plan to publish cheaper BookShots novellas to reach the same audience Amazon was talking about. In the 2016 article, it states:

In some ways, Mr. Patterson’s effort is a throwback to the dime novels and pulp fiction magazines that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, when commercial fiction was widely available in drugstores.

There’s the truce. In November of 2014, Hachette was victorious in negotiating a deal that allowed trade publishers the continued right to dictate their own retail prices for the books they produce (as it should be, in my opinion). But Amazon got through in some ways, didn’t it? The company planted a seed with the traditional publishers that obviously grew. And now James Patterson and his team write BookShots.

The independent authors mentioned earlier may not be as famous as James Patterson. Just his name alone commands an automatic audience to sell all the BookShots he publishes each year with ease. But, as mentioned earlier, many are now selling thousands of books online each year using the exact tactics that are detailed inside How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers. I now do the same and have seen my personal blog users increase from 1,000 to over 5,000 in one year. I’ve also watched my personal monthly book downloads increase from under 5 books per month to 300+ books per month on average. Now you know what I mean when I say it’s unecessary to add a bunch of extra “fluff” into a book to get it to a certain word- or page-count to make it more saleable. That’s irrelevant in this day and age. You can sell just as many—if not more—books by writing and publishing BookShots like James Patterson does, whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

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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.