The Top 10 Ways to Market & Sell Your Books Online

October 2001
by Mary Westheimer

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Even before people felt comfortable actually buying on the Internet, they’d read about titles there, become intrigued, then go to their corner bookstores for copies. Today, as the Net continues to be a powerful place for generating book sales, statistics usually have two measurements. One tells how many people shop online, and the other tells how many people actually complete an online purchase. Fortunately for publishers and authors, books are among the best online performers.

Still, marketing online is largely misunderstood and underused, although some companies are catching on. Based on a full year of testing, for instance, PeopleSoft, the human resources corporation, is shifting 25-50% of their supply chain management software marketing budget from trade shows and direct mail to online marketing… because it works.

So what are the best ways to market online? Here’s one take:

#10. Promote via listings at online bookstores.

If your books are sold through Web sites such as Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com, you can leverage the high traffic on these sites by encouraging everyone you know to review your books as favorably as possible. But don’t stop there. Dan Poynter, author of the classic Self-Publishing Manual, recommends reviewing other books in your niche as an excellent way to promote your own books. In your attribution, mention you are the author of [the title of your book] and include your e-mail address.

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