In the offline world, an appearance on Oprah can turn a
book into a best-seller—literally overnight. But what if Oprah
isn’t banging your door down for an interview? And what if
your title isn’t picked for any book-of-the-month clubs? Do
you give up on your dreams of becoming a best-selling author?
No way! Not when you’ve got a terrific tool like the
Internet at your beck and call.
Here are a few Net-based techniques you can use to increase your
book’s exposure, generate greater sales, and pave a visible
path towards best-seller status.
1. Have excerpts from your book featured in targeted
My $39.95 a year subscription to The Directory of
E-zines (http://www.lifestylespub.com) gives me access to dozens
of online newsletters in many, many different categories. It even
tells you if the e-zine accepts articles, what the requirements are,
and who should receive your inquiry.
There’s many reasons why e-zines are a great outlet to
investigate regarding excerpts. First, e-zines tend to attract
highly targeted readers. In addition, they’re almost always
looking for fresh content. They also have a rapid turnaround (from
the time you submit an article until it’s actually published
is usually less than two weeks). And perhaps most important, they
allow you to reach thousands of interested prospects at once. Some
e-zines have 10,000 subscribers or more, so just think of the
Although you won’t get paid to have your excerpts featured
in e-zines (as you might when selling serial rights to offline
publications), it’s a much faster way to spread the word about
your book. And you do receive a free “ad,” which is a
resource box at the end of the excerpt. This box will contain
information about your book and a link to your Web site.
2. Start an affiliate program.
Would you like to have hundreds or even thousands of people
reselling your book on their Web sites? An affiliate program gives
you the power to do just that.
How does it all work? Well, the first thing you need to do is
decide how much you’re going to pay affiliates for each sale.
When I set up an affiliate program to market my How to
Successfully Sell Information Products Online manuals, I gave my
affiliates $80 from a $269 sale. The more generous you are, the
harder your affiliates will work.
You must also decide how your affiliates’ sales will be
tracked. I used a program called AffiliateZone
(http://www.affiliatezone.com) for this process. Once you buy the
program, the company installs it onto your Web server. When
it’s up and running, potential affiliates can come to your
site and sign up for your affiliate program. They’re
automatically placed into a database and given the appropriate
Everything is completely automated. The software logs all of your
affiliates’ sales. All you do is fulfill the orders and send
your affiliates a check every month.
Imagine if you had a thousand affiliates! That’s not even a
high number—I got two hundred in a month. Let’s say each
person only sells one book a month. That’s one thousand
additional sales every month. I know a publisher who has 5,000
affiliates and clears anywhere from 100 to 150 sales a day from
them. That’s a lot of extra income, and you’re not
really the one doing the bulk of the promotional work!
3. Tack on a few bonus items.
It’s a well-known fact that onliners have a real fondness
for freebies. So if you want to attract customers galore, offer to
throw in a few freebies with their order.
It can be a special report, an audio tape, or a few sample copies
of a newsletter. I’ve even contracted with other authors to
offer their special reports as bonus items to my customers.
The better you can make the offer look, the more likely people
are to buy.
4. Get endorsements from well-known online citizens.
Authors of online marketing books all want Allan Gardyne’s “OK.” Allan is the editor of Associate Programs
(http://www.associateprograms.com), a weekly e-zine geared towards
people interested in affiliate programs and making money on the
If your book gets a good review in Associate Programs, sales will
almost assuredly go up. In fact, Allan’s endorsement for my
e-book Make Your Knowledge Sell resulted in hundreds of sales
within a one-month period.
Look for prominent online figures in your own niche who may be
willing to furnish you with a review. Try editors of high-profile
e-zines or Web sites, or even other popular authors. When you get
these endorsements, make sure you post them prominently on your Web
site. I can guarantee your credibility and sales will increase
because of them.
See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? A few grassroots marketing
techniques in the online world can really go a long way. It’s
simply a matter of having a plan and being willing to work
Monique Harris is the Editor of “The Infopreneur
Informer,” a twice-weekly Webzine featuring hundreds of places
where authors and publishers can promote their books online. You can
get more information about subscribing at http://www.SellYourBrainFood.com/informer.htm, or call