Book Review - Plug Your Book! by Steve Weber
With the ever-increasing number of authors taking the independent publishing route, the issue of how to publicize your work takes on a greater importance. Even for those who *do* go the normal publisher route, there's still quite a bit you can do to influence and enhance the success of your book. For that, I would highly recommend Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networking by Steve Weber.
Contents: Introduction; Electric Word of Mouth; Amazon Bestseller Campaigns; Amateur Book Reviews; Building Your Author Web Site; Blogging For Authors; Author Blog Platforms Up Close; Blog Tours; Social Networking; Tag - You're It!; Advanced Amazon Tools; Social Search; Google, Amazon, Digital Content; Book Promotions With eBooks; Syndicating Your Content; Beyond The Blogosphere; Revenue From Your Web Site; Pay Per Click Advertising; Power Tools; Selling On Amazon, Beyond; Other Major Online Retailers; Ethics Of Online Marketing; Recommended Reading; Index
It's tempting to think that once a publisher puts your book on Amazon or the store shelves, they'll do everything possible to promote your title. That may be true if you're Harlan Coben or Janet Evanovich, but let's be realistic. Not everyone will get that sort of attention. So regardless of who publishes your book, it's still up to you to get the word out. Steve looks at all the different online options you have available to you as an author to generate buzz. Since Amazon's such a giant in the book sales industry, quite a bit of the content revolves around how they work. From sales ranking to paired placement to "others have bought", he gives you enough information to figure out how best to make sure your book gets seen most often by the people most likely to want to purchase it. He also covers the importance of book reviews (of which this qualifies), and it's a vital piece of the puzzle. Making sure you have reviews attached to your book gives others something to go on if they're considering a purchase.
Stepping away from Amazon, there's a whole array of options available to get your name out there. Having a blog is an excellent way to attract potential readers (and to keep actual ones) to your brand or book. He shows how a blog can open up a conversation with your audience in a way few other options can. I hadn't considered social networking (like MySpace) to be a potential promotion route, but after reading the book I understand how that could work. I've even opened up my blog to an author who was doing a virtual blog tour. In that case, the book was backed by a large publishing house and will likely do well on its own. But the authors were wise in making sure they were doing what *they* could to create interest and sales.
Whether you're a new author going the self-publishing route or an experienced author working on yet another book, you really can't afford to let your marketing be completely handled by others. Nearly all the ideas in Plug are little to no cost, and the payback can be swift and rewarding...