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3 Must-Haves to Promote Your Book Online

Authors must market and promote their book on their own, especially those who are self-publishing. To do so, you must create an online presence.

While that sounds as simple as putting together a website, marketing your book takes just as much work and thought as you put into writing it. Use this outline to organize your thoughts as you begin to build your online marketing.

Before You Begin
First, make sure you know your goals before you create your online presence. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself. The answers will affect your choices when creating your website and pages.

  • Is the book related to your profession?
  • Will you or do you have more than one book?
  • Do you enjoy getting online?
  • Would you like to have a blog?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you going to create your own online presence or hire someone?

The 3 Must-Haves for Marketing Your Book

Next, every author must have three things: a website, a sales page, and a landing or bonus page. Here is how all those work.

Website
The goal for a website is to inform and to present you as an expert in your industry. Because of this, the site can address more than one goal. A website can include:

  • A blog
  • Product(s) link
  • Services
  • Resources
  • Links to landing pages
  • A contact page

Sales Page
The goal for a sales page is to convince the person to buy your ONE product. Each of your products has its own sales page. The page tells a short and succinct story, so a visitor will know exactly what he/she is getting. The sales page shows them a picture of what they’re going to get and makes it easy to buy. There is no navigation because we don’t want them going anywhere else, and the copy has to be compelling. A sales page should include:

  1. Headlines that make promises and demand attention. If you don’t nail the headline (the single most important part of your sales letter), no one will stick around for the rest.
  2. Opening paragraphs that promise and persuade. There’s a reason opening paragraphs are often called “teasers” — they’re meant to show just enough to make the reader want to see more.
  3. Stories that reveal the reasons behind the offer. The old expression “Words tell, stories sell,” is still 100 percent true — people become more emotionally connected with copy that tells a story.
  4. Details that foster rapport and credibility. Many sales letters include a “Who am I and why should you listen to me?” section meant to establish credibility (and more backstory) about the product author.
  5. Two Calls to Action – offers they can’t refuse. One above the fold, one below.

Design Tips for a Sales Page
The simpler your page and its design, the more likely it is to convert.

  • Remove the navigation.
  • Maintain your brand.
  • Include your logo and book cover.
  • Use few images and larger fonts.
  • Include testimonials with pictures if possible.
  • Include an About the Author section that shares why you are an expert.

Landing (Bonus) Page
The goal for a landing page is to gather the most valuable currency in the world today – the email address!
Rather than directing visitors from those sources to your general website (where they may have a hard time finding what they’re looking for), you can direct them to a specially designed landing page that steers them in exactly the direction you want them to take — filling out a form with his/her email address. Usually, you do this in exchange for a gift of some kind.
Landing pages need to be incredibly simple compared to many other website designs. Landing pages have concrete goals and shouldn’t include any extraneous information that might distract your visitors. A landing page includes:

  1. A Clear Call to Action: This is possibly the single most important part of any landing page. Your call to action should be explicitly tied to your goal; everything on the page should be support that goal, from headline and body copy to images and overall layout.
  2. Concise Copy: Every single sentence and word on your landing page should serve a purpose, and that purpose should be to support your call to action. If it doesn’t do that, cut it. Edit your copy ruthlessly. Tell your visitors what they want to know in as few words as possible, and get them to respond to your call to action as quickly as possible.
  3. A Form: Make sure it’s only asking for the most vital information. If you’re trying to get visitors to sign up for an email newsletter, make sure you’re just asking them for their email address. Anything more than that decreases the chances that they’ll finish and submit the form.

Design Tips for the Landing Page
When it comes to landing pages, less is definitely more. The simpler your page and its design, the more likely it is to convert.

  • Remove the navigation.
  • Maintain your brand.
  • Include your logo and something that can identify you or your business.
  • Make the landing page short – so there isn’t a great need to scroll the page.
  • Keep your call to action (CTA) above the fold.
  • If your landing page must go below the fold, include another CTA below the fold.
  • Use few images and larger fonts.
  • Match the look and feel of your emails.

Landing/Bonus Page Follow-Up
After someone fills out the form to submit his/her email address, your landing page must do two more things:

  1. Send the person to a thank-you page with instructions. This page will say thank you and explain how the person receives his or her free gift. I prefer to send the gift as an email because this will help manage spam and make sure Google or someone else doesn’t find your page and get the gift without an exchange.
  2. Send the person the email with the downloadable gift. From this email, you can also encourage them to follow you on social media as well as your blog/newsletter.

While there is far more to building your online presence, this should get you started. 

Print and Web Designer works with authors all over the country to design a web presence that helps sell books. Contact us today to learn more.

Click here to LISTEN and WATCH a Myra Ray and Diana Needham present How to Promote Your Book Online

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