Copyright © 2006-2007 Alastair Hall
|One of the common and obvious ways to market a self-published book
is having your own website. The harder part is how to attract your
target audience and then convert the sale.
The three general ways of attracting traffic are:
* Good original keyword-rich content
* Using meta tags (it's not all about Google)
* Having lots of external links coming to your site from high-ranking web pages.
This is obvious so far. What is less obvious is how to do this.
ORIGINAL KEYWORD-RICH CONTENT
Using extracts from the book is an easy way to get original keyword-rich content.
Your extract may be on Amazon, but it isn't in a format that can be read by search engines. Your extract may also be on Google's book search, but it won't appear on other search engines, nor will it appear as a webpage. For your book to appear on Google's book search, potential readers will have to have typed in the keyword "book" after whatever they were looking for.
|HTML is the only format of choice since it is easy to read, quick to
load, and the easiest format to be read by search engine spiders. It
is tempting to publish your book extracts in PDF, but only Google
will touch them with any degree of success and even then it is still
an inhibiting format.
I have found the best way to convert text-intensive books from PDF to HTML is by cutting and pasting into a web program such as Dreamweaver. This allows me to use simple HTML. If you save the PDF as an HTML document you will get a document which has HTML scattered everywhere on each line. This takes forever to edit all the mistakes in the conversion and is less search-engine friendly. Keep it simple.
USING META TAGS
This means giving each page a title and using the description and keyword tags in the header of a document. Below is one of my examples.
<title>Lewis and Clark: Voices from the Trail</title>
<meta name="Description" content="Journal of Lewis and Clark, describing an encounter with bears during their exploration of Western America">
<meta content="Lewis and Clark, journal, diary, explorers, exploration, bears, Indians, Minnetarees" name="keywords">
Without me re-inventing the wheel, here is an article on sitepoint.com by Sumantra Roy ( http://www.sitepoint.com/article/link-popularity-site/4 )
describing which methods are best at attracting external links.
He mentions that one of the best methods by far is article writing. This works because a lot of websites are hungry for material to keep and attract readers so that they can earn more with advertising. Your article is published on several sites with a link to your website in the "about the author" box at the end of the article.
For example, at the end of Sumantra's article it says "Sumantra is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. For more articles on search engine placement, subscribe to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by sending a blank email to mailto:1stSearchRankingfirstname.lastname@example.org or by going to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com". Articles have their highest publication rates when they have less than 7 lines of 65 characters per line in the "about the author" box.
How does this work with books? Simple. Turn your extract into an article. It's not as hard as it sounds. You will need to add a little white space, possibly an introduction and a couple of subtitles. If you can find an extract that is informative or educational, and name the title as such, then you could be on to a winner. But be careful not to exceed an article length of more than 1200 words. The best publication rates are those articles which are 600 to 1200 words in length.
Finally, how do you distribute an article?
You can follow Sumantra's tip by submitting your article to ezine publishers. But this is extremely time consuming. A far easier and more effective way is to have your article submitted by article distributors such as http://www.thephantomwriters.com . These people cover thousands of websites for a little cost, but no hassle.
This is an avenue I have found to be worth trying. If the article isn't picked up much you can always try another one or tweak your first attempt.
About The Author:
Alastair Hall is the owner of http://www.browsebooksforfree.com
He offers authors and publishers the opportunity
to receive more hits to their website
and the chance to increase book sales.
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