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How Authors Can Sell Their Books in a Technological World

In 2013, the Borders bookstore chain closed its doors for good. Barnes & Noble closed at least 20 stores in 2014. B. Dalton Booksellers and Waldenbooks used to be found in malls across the country, but now both are defunct. From all appearances, the traditional brick and mortar bookstore is dying, leaving authors and publishers wondering how paperback books will survive in a world dependent on Kindles and Nooks.

The good news is that brick and mortar bookstores and traditional books can survive if authors and booksellers make technology a friend instead of a foe. Today, we’re going to discuss some key things authors can do to sell their books.

VineUse YouTube and Vine

As we mentioned in a 2014 post, YouTube is an overlooked marketing tool. In fact, many business owners brush it off as a place people go to waste time watching funny cat videos and talk show reruns. In reality, YouTube is an easily accessible, technologically savvy tool that’s fantastic for reaching every age group, especially millennials.

Today’s authors often create book trailers to sell their books. These are similar to movie trailers; they use legal stock footage and music clips to create a teaser. Authors use short phrases packed with specific nouns and strong verbs to communicate the essential details of characters and plot. Because anyone can create a YouTube, Vine, or other video account, traditionally- and self-published authors have equal access to this tool.

Learn About SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) measures how well Google can locate your website. Most authors don’t take advantage of it. When they Google themselves, they might type in, “Eric Anderson’s latest book” and be surprised to find millions of hits pop up, a great number containing duplicates. Duplicates and non-specific keywords will drive your SEO down, making you less visible to internet browsers. Set up your website using long-tailed keywords such as “[Title of book] by Eric Anderson” or “Julie Klein’s new book releasing March 17.” Users are more likely to find your website and other pertinent information.

Make Your Website Unique

Most authors have a website, so the key to making yours memorable is determining what makes you different from authors in your genre or market. If you’ve spent several years in a foreign country, dedicate a section of your site to your travels, explaining what you learned and how it influenced your writing. If you’re a children’s book author, make a game or quiz centered on your characters. If you like discussing what you’re reading, provide potential readers with PDF discussion guides for your books.

Need help finding your way in an online world? Contact us at SteerPoint Marketing.