Selling books online isn’t hard. In fact, it’s as simple as selling most items online.
But there are some caveats. It’s easier to sell non-fiction books than it is to sell fiction using this method… In my opinion.
In non-fiction, you’re just trying to sell someone on your point of view concerning a topic in the real world. With fiction writing, you are trying to sell your fantasy world, or how you see a fantastic interaction in the real world.
Where in non-fiction, you already have the world you are acting in substantiated. In fantasy writing, you have to sell the world as well as the actions within the world you created.
But if you’re a fiction writer, don’t fret. You can still use this method… It just takes a little more work on your part.
I will be covering four steps to promoting your book. They are:
- Uploading your book to the selling platform.
- Build a promotional website.
- Write posts concerning your book topic on your promotional website.
- Collecting your sales revenue.
Upload your book information to the selling platform.
You have to get your book on a selling platform to get it out to the world. You can go with Barnes and Noble and Borders… in fact, you can upload the book information to them and they can sell hard copies for you over the internet as well as in their stores.
But Amazon.com is the behemoth in the book-selling business. This is not as cut and dry an endeavor as you thought, huh?
Here are a couple of considerations for platforms:
- Online and brick-and-mortar booksellers
- Make your own shop
1) Online and brick-and-mortar booksellers. These are places like Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Where Amazon.com is all online, Barnes and Noble also has physical stores that can carry your book as well as online.
Both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble can offer your book in E-pub format. This allows the books to be formatted for their Kindle and Nook devices respectively.
I think Amazon.com has the edge here. Even though Barnes and Noble does allow for people to see the book before they purchase, you have to print numerous books to get on their shelves (if you’re printing your own books) and I heard the Nook E-Pub editor is a pain to use.
Even though Amazon.com doesn’t offer a physical bookstore to buy the book from, if you publish the book with Amazon.com, the book printing is on demand, so the books are printed as orders are made. So You don’t have to pay money for books to stock on bookseller shelves.
I have also heard the Amazon.com’s Kindle E-pub software is very intuitive and easy to use.
You just have to do your research into these matters and determine which case is best for you.
Once all the logistics are all hammered out, you just upload the particulars of the book to the websites you want to sell on.
2) Make your own shop. You will build a second website like I will describe in the next section and put a widget/plugin into that site that turns that website into an online store.
You will then upload the background information and the cover art for the book onto your site instead of Amazon.com or other online bookseller.
If you’re offering dead-tree copies (I suggest you do), you will have to pay for them to be printed. And all your e-books will be in PDF.
This is the downside of the DIY method. It costs more for for physical copies and the formats are not e-reader compatible.
I think you will get more mileage out of option 1 than option 2.
The upside for option 2 is that you get 100% of the revenue, where in option 1, you are splitting the revenue with the platform you’re on.
You just have to make the decision for yourself which one is better for you.
Build a promotional website.
This is the simple part of the process, believe it or not. In order for the process to be simple, you have to use the right web hosting platform.
Once you’re using the right web hosting platform, the steps are:
- Register your private domain name
- Create the title for the website
- Pick the theme for the website
1) Register your private domain name. This is the first step. Your domain name is your “street address” on the internet. If you don’t have this, you’re going nowhere fast.
All web hosts that I’m aware of offer a domain registration service. A new “.com” domain usually goes for about $11-$15 per year. But the dirty little secret is most web hosts will boost this price year after year.
There is one web host I know of that will keep the price of the domain name the same for as long as you keep the website with them. If you buy a “.com” at $13 per year, the price stays there until the website isn’t hosted by them. You can check them out here.
The final consideration… You want the website to closely approximate what your world (fiction) or your expertise (non-fiction) is in. You want to be broad here, as well. You will want to use the same site to promote numerous books down the road.
2) Create a title for the website. This is easy if you picked the right domain name. Just use the domain name with spaces for the title. Simple enough and great for branding.
3) Pick the theme for the website. If you aren’t using the right web host, this will turn into a long tedious nightmare. You can go to the cost cutters like Godaddy or Hostgator, but when they build your website, you get the WordPress theme-of-the-year default. Even though the theme is clean, I like more features than the default wordpress theme allows for.
You can go to the wordpress theme area to find the theme you’re looking for (if you know the name of the theme). The problem I had was dummy admin links appearing at the top of the theme I wanted to use. The links were visible to anyone that visited the site.
I am using the before mentioned theme for this site, and the bummy links aren’t there. I am currently using this web host, and I have never had the dummy link problem with them.
The hosting platform I have been recommending throughout the article gives you a library of over 3000 themes to choose from during the build process, before the site is built. So the website will be built with the theme you want during the build process.
You can also preview the theme before the build process, too.
If you find a theme you like, you can put it in your favorites list. The next time you want to use that theme, you can go to your favorites list instead of going through the whole library.
The extra money you pay is well worth it for this theme library service alone.
One more thing, you remember those dummy admin links I was talking about earlier? I have never had those show up on my site while using Wealthy Affiliate (yep, there’s the name of the mystery web host) as my web host of choice.
Write posts concerning your book topic on your promotional website.
Now the idea is to write a review of your book(s). You want to be as balanced as possible in this process, or your readers will think that the review is canned. At the end of the review, put a link to the sales page for your book.
Now you will write a bunch of promotional pieces about various topics in your book, targeting the right keywords for traffic from Google. You will leave a link to your book review at the bottom of the promotional pieces.
As far as the structure and concept are concerned, that’s how simple the process is. Just write a review that links back to your sales pages. Then write promotions that link back to the reviews.
Collect your sales revenue
This is the easy part. If you have done the hard work, you can just sit back and collect the money that rolls in off your book sales. Congratulations on the road to becoming another best-selling author.
The process of selling books online is simple, if you have the right web host. The best part about Wealth Affiliate (my go-to web host) is they have training programs that will show you how to build a promotional website from a-z.
They go far more in-depth than I do here. So I suggest you check Wealthy Affiliate out and see what they can do for you.
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If you have any questions of comments, leave them in the comment section below and I will answer them.
And as always, good luck out there, no matter where you end up on the internet.