Friday, November 6, 2009

When promoting your book, remember "vote early and often"

The famous advice to "Vote early and often" has been attributed to three notoriously corrupt men from Chicago: Al Capone-- the gangster, Richard J. Daley-- mayor from 1955 to 1976, and William Thompson-- mayor from 1915-1923 and 1931-1935.

It's possible that Thompson said it first, and the others copied him.

While it's not a legitimate strategy for winning an election, it is effective for promoting a book online.

As soon as you know your book's title and approximate publication date, start promoting it online -- even if you have six months or a year of writing and editing ahead of you.

Become an active participant in online forums, discussion groups (on Yahoo Groups and elsewhere), and email lists. Every time you write something, mention your book and provide a link to your website.
Submit brief articles to ezines that gobble of lots of content. Every time you write something, mention your book and provide a link to your website.
Contribute to the growing number of “free content” websites that provide material for other websites. Just Google “free content” to find them. Every time you write something, mention your book and provide a link to your website.
Use pages on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, MyLife, and other social network websites to promote your books and your website.
Use Twitter to tell the world about your book (if you think anyone will care).
Exchange website links with other compatible but not competitive websites.
Write a blog that promotes you, your books, and your website.
Include your website address on business cards and letterheads.
Get listed in directories of people in your field.
Make sure any membership lists, especially online, include your website address if possible.
Get your website linked from school and association websites.

I started writing -- and promoting -- my book on self-publishing back in February.

As of this morning, there are 971 Google links for the title, and the number has been growing by about 20-30 each day.

A Google Shopping search for the phrase "self-publisher" shows about 220 links. My book has the first two positions (and at least one farther down), and I'm ahead of books that have been out longer and were written by better-known authors.

A Google Shopping search for the phrase "self-publish" shows about 530 links. My book has the less-impressive #53 position, but it's still ahead of books that have been available much longer than mine.

I really don't know how many people use Google to search for books. A study three years ago showed that Google had 91 million searches per day, so now the figure could be 100 million, or more. I'll gladly settle for a tiny percentage of 100 million -- especially since I didn't spend a penny to get Google to notice my book.



  1. Almost 100% of my book sales come from Google Adwords-- but I sell a niche non-fiction product. I think it's the best way to marekt non-fiction-- say, a book on gun ownership, or fly-fishing-- something like that is ideal.

    I promote my books by getting my listing up on Amazon early, using the Amazon Advantage program. I'm going to do it again next year, too. I submit my books in advance, wait for the pre-orders to roll in, and then actually publish the books with CreateSpace. Easy Peazy.

  2. Christi ...what is the amazon advantage program?? Please tell me more?? Thanks! Ingrid