Increase Your Book Discoverability with Online Excerpts

April 11, 2013

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Increase Your Book Discoverability with Online Excerpts

Book discoverability is a priority in any good book marketing plan and online excerpts increase the odds that your book will find the right audience.

Corrin Foster-IBPABy Corrin Foster, Marketing Manager, Greenleaf Book Group

Book discoverability—how and where consumers find and purchase books—is a priority in any good book marketing plan. This happens in a multitude of ways, ranging from giveaways to publicity to word-of-mouth, and what generates the most interest is different for every book. But what if there was one thing that every book should have to help their online discoverability? One thing that increases the odds that every book will connect with the right audience? There is—online excerpts.

Utopia Texas Amazon Image

Available Amazon Search Inside and B&N See Inside

Available Amazon Search Inside and B&N See Inside

As consumers, most of us are familiar with online excerpts in the form of those handy previews on retailer sites that allow us a sneak peek at the content of a book to see it if provides the type of information and guidance we’re looking for or is written in a style we enjoy. But online excerpts do so much more than that!

Online excerpts are extremely helpful for increasing your book’s discoverability via the search results on online retailer sites and major search engines. Amazon Search Inside, Barnes & Noble See Inside, and Google Books preview all essentially work the same (before you get started, make sure you have a PDF of the interior, a PDF of the complete dust jacket, and a JPG of the cover available)—the author/publisher uploads the required files, users are able to preview a portion of the book, and the entire contents of the book are instantly searchable.

UtopiaTexasGoogleResult

Google result for “Utopia, Texas”

Google result for “Utopia, Texas”

Although only a portion of the book is available to users for preview (typically a random 20% with larger chunks of copy omitted as the preview gets further into the book), the entire contents of the book are indexed. That means that if someone searches for a keyword that appears anywhere in your book you’re going to come up somewhere in the results – the more relevant your content, the higher it will rank. That also means that your book is no longer dependent on searches limited to author, title, or ISBN in order to connect with readers. A reader could feasibly find your book while searching for the city that the story takes place in or the buzzword that your book sets out to demystifying. Allowing the content of the book to be searchable makes your book infinitely more discoverable.

At a minimum, Greenleaf activates preview features on Amazon Search Inside the Book, Barnes and Noble See Inside, and Google Books Preview for all of our titles, and we recommend that all authors do the same. Scribd, Ganxy, Jelly Books, and other book discoverability sites are also great resources with loads of upload options and monetization opportunities.

And last but not least, be sure to make excerpts available via your book and/or author website and that those excerpts easy to share with social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. Once readers discover your book, we want them telling friends!


Corrin Foster-IBPAAbout the author: Corrin Foster oversees Greenleaf Book Group’s Marketing and Platform Development departments where she develops and executes strategic marketing programs, manages project workflow and procedures, and consults with clients on brand and platform development.

Corrin earned her MBA from Indiana University and BS from Ball State University specializing in Marketing and Professional English Composition. She has more than eight years experience in account management, project coordination, and client services in both agency and corporate settings. Corrin will be speaking at IBPA Publishing University in Chicago April 26-27 – Session 904: Marketing Outside of the Box: Creative Tools to Revitalize Revenue.

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