Friday, June 29, 2007

21 Steps to Boosting Your Book Sales

I have been cruising around the Internet trying to find ways to increase book sales for our novel, Over Time, and for our new nonfiction book, The Publishing Primer. It seems everywhere you turn, you bump into someone that has the secrets to making a bazillion dollars marketing online. And yet when you try to find a simple step-by-step plan, there aren't any.

Now I don't know about you, but I need to keep myself motivated when I don’t see results immediately. On the Internet it takes time to build enough momentum to be effective in producing sales. So I thought I would post the steps I will be taking for the next 21 days and also post it to my blog. If you have comments or questions I'll do my best to answer them.

The basics I have in place are:

a website
a blog
two squidoo lense and

The objective is to get visitors to these sites and then hopefully they'll purchase a book. Increasing traffic, targeted traffic, increases the odds a book will be sold. It's not really a complicated process.

If you want to join me on my 21 day plan I'd love to have you.

Step One

You're going to set up a squidoo lense, but first you need to do some research on key words. Trust me this is important.

Search engines find websites/blogs/squidoo lenses through key words and key word phrases. Think about the last time you searched on Google, what were the words you put in to find the information you wanted? Now if someone were looking for your book what words would they use? Long tail key words are phrases that narrow down the number of websites that would be appropriate.

For example I could put in 'sinus pain' (believe me I know what that is) I'd get millions of relevant sites. If I put in 'natural cures for sinus pain,' I get fewer but more relevant websites. And fewer still for 'natural herbal cures for sinus pain.' So if your book was on natural herbal cures for sinus pain, you wouldn't want to use the general phrase of 'sinus pain,' but the longer phrase of 'natural herbal cures for sinus pain.'

If your book is fiction, you can use the location, setting, time period, characters' occupation, hobbies, or sports in the keyword phrases.

Let's say that your book features a wedding on a tropical island. If I use the word weddings, I get a hundred million hits. I can narrow down the competition by using a longer phrase, those long tail keywords. So instead of wedding I'll use "weddings on a tropical island" as my search phrase. Someone planning a wedding on a tropical island might very well be interested in a romance novel that features a wedding on a tropical island.

So think about your book and come up with 4 or 5 long tail key word phrases. Pop them in Google and see what competition you're up against. You can also go to Google's adword keyword generator,, Use the tab keyword variations, enter your key words and then hit the "get more key words" tab underneath.

Pick out eight to ten key word phrases.

Now go to and get your self a lense using your key word phrase as the name of the lense. Think of squidoo as a place where you can get a free one page - but it can be a very long one page - website. Set up your bio. Now write a 250 to 500 word essay using your key word phrase at least three times. Of course the essay should be relevant to your book. In the essay link to your book and to your website. You might want to use a teaser phrase to encourage people to click on the link. You can upload the cover of your book to be included in the essay.

You can then add additional text modules with more teasers and links to your book. You can add a poll, an amazon store, a news feed from google, or an ebay module. You can take a look at and to give you some ideas.

It will probably take you 3 or 4 hours to do the keyword research and set up your lense.

Go to google, yahoo, and the MSN search engine and submit the lense as a url. Go to craigslist and set up a short ad, include your long tail key word phrase for your book using the squidoo url as the link. The search engines will index (include it in their database) more quickly.

Okay that should be enough for day one.

No comments: