Website and Newsletter Promotion
If you are selling anything, you should have a website. If you are selling ebooks,
you should consider it mandatory. How many people do you know who read ebooks but
don't access the Internet? None come to my mind.
The best thing about having a website is that you can quite probably do it free.
Later, once you know what you're doing, you can choose to buy a domain name and pay
a hosting service if you want.
You can pay someone to design a gorgeous site for you, loaded with graphics,
complete with a secure server and the option to buy right there, but I didn't.
My publisher does the selling. Writing a site yourself, loaded with information and
a place to click to send someone to your publisher, is simple.
For the actual mechanics of web site construction, send a blank email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll receive
a free three-day course by email.
So let's talk strategy.
"Hi, I'm Michael LaRocca and these are my books." This approach will guarantee that
anyone looking for Michael LaRocca will find my site. But when we consider that no
one's heard of Michael LaRocca, how many people will seek out my site?
Here's a possible solution.
Let's say you've written a book where most of the action happens on a snowmobile.
Put together the best damn snowmobile page in history. Everything that anyone wants
to know about snowmobiles should be on your site. Make it the kind of resource that
any snowmobiler will go visit again and again. Then slip a little note in there
mentioning your fiction book. People will find your site, and during one of those
repeat visits they'll buy that book.
Basically, fill a need. Give folks a reason to keep coming back even if they think
they'll never buy your book. And please, put more on there than just your book. In
my case, I kept a high-traffic site running for almost a year without a single
product to sell. My site is a reference source for readers and writers. More writers
than readers, probably, but writers read too. Maybe not the most original approach,
but I write in so many genres that I haven't come up with anything better yet. I
might later on.
Being helpful is my "sales gimmick," but I just so happen to enjoy it. People don't
log onto the Internet with the purpose of spending money. They log on for
information or entertainment, then maybe make an impulse buy while they're at it.
Give them information and/or entertainment and they'll keep coming back.
If you throw in just a little soft sell, and do it right, they'll eventually make
that impulse buy as a favor to you. Hopefully after they read one of your books,
you'll hook them and they'll come back specifically to buy the rest.