Nowadays, it really pays off to have a baseline knowledge of how the Internet works. And in self-publishing, it’s especially useful. If you’re a self-published author, the Internet is going to be the number one way you sell your book.
That’s why it is pertinent that any self-published author learn how to best utilize the Internet—both social media and search engines. Sites like Amazon and Bookblues may make it seem easy to sell your book—you just put it out there!—but there is actually complicated algorithms and coding that go along with people finding your book online.
Now, unless someone knows specifically to search for your name or your book title, odds are you’ll want to use social media and specific keywords to make it easier to stumble upon your self-published book.
How to Use Digital Marketing to Sell Your Book
Whether you choose to sell online or off, one thing is certain: you must make buyers interested in your book. This may seem pretty basic, but many self-publishers don’t realize what a good description and/or reviews can do for their book. But, before you can make buyers interested, you must first get them to find you. This is where social networking sites (SNS) and search engine optimization (SEO) come in handy.
SNS and How the Self-Published Author Can Promote on Them
Social Networking Sites (SNS) are more than just social. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and even Instagram can be used to your advantage. With more than one billion people active on Facebook and over nine hundred million on Twitter, SNS are where you want to be marketing your book. We’ve written about it in the past, but a good way to attract potential customers is to a have a clean, professional social media profile. Always use a photo of yourself, include any links to your website, blog, or book in your “About Me” section, and interact with other users. Offer “sneak peeks” of your book to your online followers. This makes them feel in the loop, and they’ll be more inclined to buy your book. No matter what, remain active, engaging, and professional on social media and plug your book often.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of attracting as many people as possible to a certain website or webpage. The way SEO achieves this by pinpointing and using certain popular keywords to ensure a page ranks highly on a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. The whole point of SEO is to gain “organic” traffic—i.e. not paid for.
How Can You Master SEO?
Authors can use SEO to their advantage. One influential way is to have a blog. You can advertise your own book on your blog (free advertising!). Make sure your blog posts have good headlines. Certain blogging sites, like WordPress, now have plugins that analyze your SEO and tell you how much impact the post will have.
There are two simple steps to being “good” at SEO: write original, quality content with unifying keywords and make it shareable (i.e. links!). Every time you write a blog post about your book or yourself as an author, you should be using the keywords you’ve established for your book. Maybe that’s “Sci-Fi Thriller” or “New age self-help”—whatever words describe your book. Use Google Analytics to find out what phrases people are searching for that are leading them to your book/site.
How Will SEO Help Your Sales?
Simply put, SEO will lead people to your book. It can’t make them buy it, but it can nudge them in that direction, certainly. So long as you use keywords that can be specifically connected to your book, remain consistent with them across all of your platforms, and provide links on your pages, people will find your book.
Using SEO and SNS in combination can attract more and more potential buyers to your social sites and/or blog.