Get Free and Effective Online Book Marketing, Author Publicity and Brand Equity

To sell books, authors use social media networks as marketing tools for building brand equity and getting free book publicity by sharing online conversations, posts, book excerpts, links, videos, photographs and text files with family, friends, fans and professionals.

Book and eBook authors are creating internet presence using social media and free internet publicity tools by marketing books and services using internet communities, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Digg. In addition, there are free opportunities to market books on Google and Yahoo through their search engine submission services, communities and blogs.

By having your book appear on all or some of these websites, you can begin to build brand equity, the perceived value assigned to your name, the name of your book and your services in the marketplace, which in this case, is the internet. As you build a target audience that has an interest in you, your name, book and services derive real commercial value to accompany your brand equity, causing your stock to rise, so to speak, and allowing you to cash in on your name and reputation.

Using a larger group of online fans on Facebook, for instance, you can further define smaller communities to build around you as an author, expert and public speaker, establishing yourself as an authority and giving this target audience a better chance to get to know you. Acquaintance with what you have to say could encourage an online fan or friend to consider hiring you to speak to their civic, social or professional group. which may lead to consulting contracts in your professional area.

Many authors write books as extensions of articles and in-depth investigatory projects that may have been part of their academic curriculum, research, literary collections or newspaper and magazine columns. With this professional background, authors can truthfully claim a specialty in particular professions and bill themselves as such. Other authors have written books about their hobbies, such as gardening, cooking, design, sewing, dance, boating, travel, photography. Get the picture? Don’t forget to take pictures and video to use in your online marketing or eBook production.

With all those text files, photographs and video, collected for your book or eBook, you can now generate scripts for a video production or a series of video projects for YouTube, adding to the amount of free book publicity available to you. Videos can give potential audiences a chance to see and hear a sample of your presentation. Try to make this presentation into a mini production and not just a talking head. Add graphics, photographs or other video clips over your voice to give the presentation interest and additional value. Videos can be made into book trailers, short author biographies and video business cards. You may need a bit of professional assistance to get your video project started. The more professional your video productions look, the more likely they are to be picked up by other video services, giving you even more exposure, free book publicity and brand equity.

Whatever your reason for writing a book, it doesn’t take a large number of internet fans, friends and followers to effect the momentum you need for success as an author, expert, public speaker and professional consultant. One online contact is all it takes to get the free book publicity sequence started. You tell the audience you are available for personal appearances, public speaking events, book signing engagements, consulting and coaching; and then direct them to your internet pages to read about you, your book and your professional specialty. Imagine, one contact responds to your message. There you go! But remember, no one can read your mind or between the lines. Spell out clearly what action you want your audience to take. Then give them step-by-step instructions on how they should take each action.

Buy your book?
Hire you to speak?
Contract with you as a consultant?
Employ you for staff coaching?

Social media networks can help you build relationships and establish or enhance your internet presence because, within social media networks, you can create interest groups with whom you may talk about appropriately selected topics. If you are an author, these topics should include your book, a point of interest for online and live audiences, as well. Most times the intrigue my audiences have with me as an author is the fact that I have done what many people in the audience either want to do or think they can do–write a book. Many questions center on the writing process. Don’t discourage their curiosity. Use whatever you have to capture interest. Then, show them a video and talk about your book, how you went about writing your book and how your book supports your consulting specialty.

The facts are these.
Technology allows us to tell our online friends, fans and followers about our books
Internet communities can be supportive of our books and events
Audiences must believe we are being informative rather than exploitive
You are not allowed to sell books and services in some online communities

BE SURE to read the fine print in the terms of use section before you check the box. As competition for membership in certain internet groups becomes more competitive, those groups are beginning to take the terms of use section more seriously. When you check the box and type in the code, you are signing a legally binding contract to abide by rules and to uphold standards of that particular online community, which may not allow a participant to sell on its website. Those sales compete with paid advertisers on the website. Don’t take for granted that all communities have the same policies about sales. They don’t.

Some websites that do not allow you to sell your book or services may still be a great place for branding your name and book. Beyond official policies, community members have their own ways to deal with those who deviate from accepted community conduct. Many members belong to several similar online groups and will be on the lookout for you and your tactics. They have the option of removing your posts from their pages where their friends may have seen your posts; or they can de-friend or un-follow you. Like in the community where you live, your un-neighborly reputation will follow you from community to community, where you will eventually find yourself friendless and alone with no book sales, speaking events or consulting contracts.

Be Subtle
Tell Your Story
Don’t Sell

Evolving social media marketing for free publicity and brand equity can lead to book and services sales and public speaking events. However, the use of social media can backfire! If members of your online communities believe you are trying to take advantage of them, they will reject your message. Remember, these are real people, not inanimate technology or extensions of search engines. Make sure what you are offering–how-to instructions, free sample products, gifts, coupons, discounts, invitations, advice, jokes or whatever–is something they can see as being useful in their lives or careers.

In your social media network or online professional community, treat people with respect. Speak to them as equals and communicate with them in the same way you would communicate with friends in other areas of your life. If you do not treat people with regard, you will alienate your potential target audience and you will not receive an abundance of book sales or invitations for public speaking events or consulting and services contracts.

ALL OF THIS may sound foreign and daunting, but effective book marketing through social media can be achieved easily by grouping friends and fans into categories to suit the conversations and discussions you intend to share with each online group. Conversations, discussions and posting can lead your target audience to read an excerpt from your book, an excerpt that you can upload in an online press release or article. Write your own promotional materials. You can do this! After all, you wrote a book!

My college journalism professor and advisor at Texas A&M University, the late Skip Leabo, told me, “If you can write, then you can write your own ticket to a good life.” Skip gave me that nugget before we arrived at the door of the World Wide Web. It took me a number of years to understand exactly what he meant. Now, I know. As the writer, I can assume an active role in my destiny.

Write my books using online tools
Use free technology to publicize my events
Shape public opinion about my books
Brand my name and my titles

As an author you will most likely want to join author groups online to increase your visibility among other authors, publishers and literary agents. Literary agents and publishers are attracted to author groups because these groups provide a large talent pool. Also, author groups give you unlimited possibilities for enhancing the standing of your book, while creating a community with whom you can share your book, press releases, articles and author biography.

Further, your membership in social media networks gives members a chance to share their books, articles and press releases, giving you the opportunity to comment on those pages. Comments on other writers’ pages can get you professional recognition, which will lead readers to your website or blog that contains your information and excerpts. On those pages, potential target audiences can get a taste of your creative side and a glimpse of who you are. Your social media community may read your author biography and book excerpt, and be inspired to invite you to speak in front of their group.

Once you get yourself comfortably in front of an audience at a public speaking event, you can deliver your message about your book, let people get to know you and, at the same time, persuade them that you are knowledgeable about writing, editing, marketing or other services you offer for a fee. In front of your audience, you can sell yourself, reserve further public speaking events, and attract lucrative consulting contracts. All of this can be accomplished using social media. Be sure not to use hard-selling tactics in public speaking events. The best way to sell anything–anything at all–is to sound not like a salesperson, but to sound like a friend.

To take full advantage of your social media network, you could invite your local social media community to an event you have arranged or one in which you have been invited to participate. At these events, you have the opportunity to place your book on the table at the back of the room. If you wrote an eBook, your sales will be handled exclusively through the internet, perfect for involving your social media network because the internet is the location of the community and also the location where they purchase the eBook.

LET’S HOPE you have written a book that excites people, a book they will share with their network and so on and so on. That makes your book excerpts nearly as important as the book itself. So, pay attention to what you post because the excerpt will either cause your community to attend an event or make them want to read more of your book and make the purchase. Your social media network can help you sell book and get public speaking events if you provide them with as many places as possible to read about you. Press release publishing websites will publish and distribute well-written press releases and articles, which will get you free book publicity. Check them out and pick a couple of websites to start.

Press releases accomplish a number of goals, including free book publicity and getting your biography and data files into the hands of folks who can hire you to speak to their groups. How Authors Use Social Media Networking to Sell Books will help you learn more about using the internet to promote your books and career.

Online press release services are not all the same. Write an article and upload it. Be prepared to wait a few days while some services review your article. If it is accepted and published, check your search engine ranking after a couple of days and see if the website is working for you. If not, move on to another one. In some cases, it is not the website, it your writing that is not working for the search engines. Be aware that writing for internet distribution and search engine optimization is a different type of writing.

As you write more for internet distribution you will need to learn about headline writing for search engines, text optimization and keyword strategies. Involve your social media network in getting you book sales and public speaking engagements by providing the network a means of purchasing your book or eBook. This can be done through your website, blog, press releases or articles, all posted online for the convenience of your network. The challenge in selling online is having a method of receiving payments.

There are numerous methods available. Do research and find one that suits your needs. When you secure a public speaking engagement, you have the opportunity to hand out printed materials that include a biography, book ordering information and other pertinent files that your audience may access on the internet. Other files may include the site addresses of internet press releases about your and your book, online articles and reviews about your book, and postings and reviews you have contributed on others’ writing blogs and websites.

SOCIAL MEDIA tactics such as those I have suggested will not work for you unless have an online presence. If you don’t have an online presence, get one. Your social media network will expect someone who professes to be an author, expert and public speaker to have a viable online presence. Here are suggestions to help you get started.

Post a Blog
Develop a Website
Write Internet Press Releases
Distribute Online Articles

To acquire public speaking engagements, online press releases about your book should have appropriate contact information. Some services have contact information categories in which you can include as little or as much as you like, from email only to physical address. Be careful about the amount and nature of the information you post. What you place on the internet is likely to stay on the internet. Use caution in what you put out there, including specific fee quotes. Because of the delicate nature of pricing, talk about fees on a project by project basis in proposal estimates. However, a list of services with corresponding costs is acceptable as long as you include a disclaimer about price changes. You might want to mention whether or not you are willing to travel and what your requirement are.

For those in the audience that may wish to contact you later, when they need your services, provide them with an easy way to do that. As mentioned before, in the handout, include your contact information. And please do not forget about the trusted old-fashioned business card and don’t rely on your audience to keep up with your business card. They have picked up several at your event that do not belong to you. Get their business cards, all of them so you can contact them for followup meetings, email addresses and social media relationships. In your online publicity and at public speaking events, be sure to offer helpful suggestions. Good suggestions will encourage your audience to accept your offers for social media relationships.

In your presentation, try to refer to your own book or your own work. If you are an author with your own book on the table at the back of the room, promote your book and your work in your speech and also in your handouts, prepared in advance. If your book has been honored, mention it in your online press releases and other publicity. Also in the audience handout include a statement about your writing honors or awards your book may have received to make yourself more attractive as a prospective public speaker and consulting contractor, friend and follower in social media networks.

At your speaking events, don’t forget to read a passage or two from your book, regardless of its genre. In the reading, showcase your writing style to acquaint the audience with the book you are asking them to buy. Don’t be too dry in your presentation, but try not to be overly dramatic. That can sound phony Be sincere. Sincerity counts in every word you write, every speech you make, everything comment you post, every book you sell, everything you do.

How to Get Publicity in the Print Media

Print Media

The foundation for business-book publicity campaigns centers around the print media. For most, print is the bedrock, the one basic on which their campaigns are built. When you start developing your campaign, plan the print publicity component first. Make print your priority and concentrate your resources on it.

Print publicity is essential because it reaches the primary audience for business books. Placement in small but targeted business press can produce huge returns. Unlike information presented on radio and TV, print items can be easily torn out, copied, saved, and e-mailed. E-mail has become a highly popular distribution source. With little effort, you can e-mail a print item to your boss, clients, customers, associates or pals, and other media-and they can read the actual text. As a result, an item about your book can have staying power and be more than just a quick buzz in listeners’ ears.

Another advantage of print publications is that the business media is sharply focused and highly respected by readers. Readers don’t have to search all over the place to find items of interest, and they tend to believe what they read. Print publications are considered required reading for serious business types, so early in their careers, they form the habit of regularly reading the business media to get news and information. On the whole, business writers, especially those employed by respected publications, have a strong reputation for honest reporting, good information, and valuable insights

Items can be placed with the business media in various formats, including the following.

Reviews

Reviews of business books carry great weight because reviewers are selective and usually cover only top books or books by top names. Busy business-book readers look to reviewers for information and tend to follow their recommendations. Book reviews usually stick to consistent length and regularly appear in the same place and issues. For example, on each Thursday, reviews will appear on page 2 of the business section. Good book reviews make fabulous promotional blurbs that are especially useful for future marketing efforts.

A strong review in The New York Times, Fortune, USA Today, or Inc. can send your book right to the top of bestseller lists. Two weeks before Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value, by Bill George (Jossey-Bass, 2003), was in the stores, the New York Times Sunday Business Section gave it a rave review. In a matter of days, the book rose to the ninth bestselling book position on Amazon.com, based on that review alone. And, supported by a strong media campaign, the book remained in the top 100 for some six months.

Feature Articles

Articles can be longer and provide more depth, information, and explanations than book reviews. Features vary greatly in length. Articles frequently go beyond a book’s content and give information that can make you and your book more enticing to potential buyers. They can cover some parts of your book, but also go into related material that may make it even more interesting to potential buyers.

Author-Bylined Articles

Writing your own articles is an excellent way to promote your book and inform the public about it. Business books lend themselves to byline articles that can be placed in key publications relating to your core market. They can be placed as editorials, features, or op-ed pieces in newspapers, magazines, and trade publications and on influential Web sites such as cbsmarketwatch.com,

When bylined articles are placed in publications with targeted readership, it can increase your book sales and convince companies to call you for consulting jobs. For example, if you’re a financial consultant, consider placing an article in Medical Economics magazine. Although bylined articles are not about your book per se, they often features ideas from your book, so they will generate excellent publicity.

For bylined articles, it may be tempting to submit little more than an excerpt or summary of material from your book, which can be dry and less than effective when read in isolation or out of context. So redraft your article to suit the publication in which it will run.

Profiles

In profile articles, you are the centerpiece. In a feature article, you may be only a part of the story; just two paragraphs of a three-page article may highlight your thoughts. In a profile, the entire article is about you. Good profiles are tightly focused and provide lots of interesting information. They also tend to go into more depth, run longer, and include your photograph; profile writers often spend considerable time with you. They can create great interest in both you and your book. After reading them, readers usually feel that they know you better, more personally, which can increase their interest in your book.

Questions and Answers

These are articles written in the question-and-answer format. Interviews are frequently presented this way. Q&As position you as an authority and inform others about important or breakthrough information in your book. Readers may use that information and credit you. Q&As work best in a supportive role and make outstanding sidebars or fillers. If you can’t get fuller, more comprehensive coverage, be happy with Q&As, which can produce good publicity. On complex subjects, try to give the gist of the story without getting sidetracked or hung up on details that could put readers to sleep.

Source Quotes

When you are an expert that the media comes to for explanations, opinions, or quotes, we call what they write source quotes. Although your words may appear in only a short paragraph or two of a twenty-paragraph article, source quotes give you great exposure and they usually include mention of your book. The media constantly needs explanations and quotes from experts on any number of subjects. If you always make yourself available, you will become a valuable, ongoing resource for the media. As a resource for the media, you can get into lots of media outlets and get terrific exposure. In the process, you will be building strong relationships with the media that can help you in the future. For instance, if you have a book coming out, the media could write a profile on you and your new title in response to the help you’ve provided.

Media Outlets

Business books can be promoted in numerous print outlets, and when items about a book are published in the right publication, it can launch the book and help make it a success. However, placing a book in the right outlet isn’t easy! Creating great placements is an art, a skill that takes planning and can’t be handled on a hit-or-miss basis.

Your book will be of interest to the general business media, but it will also be attractive to the subset of the business media that concentrates on specific business areas. With the general business media, it’s hard to go wrong. But if you pitch inappropriate media outlets or submit items that don’t fit, your credibility can be damaged and they may be less open to your overtures in the future. In contrast, when you bring them items that fit, they will remember and be more receptive to items you want placed.

Learn to make the best matches by reading publications that could print items about your book. Before you pitch them, study them; find out their styles, preferences, tendencies, likes, and dislikes. Check their Web sites and request copies of their submission requirements before you approach them. Then, zero in on those outlets that would make the best fit for your book and frame your submissions in accordance with their styles.

“In choosing print outlets, match the subject matter of your book to publications that cover that subject matter,” David Hahn suggests. “For example, if your book is on marketing or advertising, consider Ad Age, Brand Week, and Sales & Marketing Management. If it’s on risk, try for CFO magazine. If you’re writing on corporate strategy, contact Harvard Business Review, Across the Board, Strategy & Business, and Chief Executive.

The following are some of the categories of print outlets that publicize business books. Examples of publications in each category are also provided.

They include:

National business magazines:
Fortune, Business Week, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc., Forbes, Business 2.0. As general business publications, these magazines cover many different business topics. So your topic might be of interest to all of them. You want to be very broad when dealing with the general business press because they are so inclusive. But when you drill down to publications with more specific focuses, you must offer a tighter fit.

National daily business newspapers:
Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, Financial Times.

Major daily newspapers:
New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News.

Newswires:
Associated Press, Reuters, Gannett, Knight Ridder, Scripps Howard.

City business journals:
American City Business Journals own publications in forty markets that deal with local business authors and topics. Crain’s Business Journals are published in Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, and Detroit. These local publications deal with local business, local topics, and local authors.

Syndicated writers:
Joyce Lain Kennedy, Jim Pawlak, Paul Tulenko, Bob Rosner, Tim McGuire, and Carol Kleiman. They tend to be tightly focused on what they write about. If you have a career book, you want a syndicated writer who specializes in writing about careers.

Industry trade publications:
Jewelry Today, National Real Estate Investor, Automotive News, Air Transport World, Chain Store Age, Modern Healthcare, Restaurant Business, Network World, Supermarket News.

Airline magazines:
American Way, Continental, Spirit, Attaché, Hemispheres, Sky.

Freelance writers:
Freelancers contribute features that appear in influential business publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, Continental, Wall Street Journal, Brandweek magazine, the Boston Globe, and 800-CEO-READ. An article by a freelance writer about you or your book can provide invaluable publicity for your book. Freelancers will often cite authors and their books as sources in their stories, and they write book reviews.

Familiarize yourself with the freelancers who write about your area of interest by reading business publications and visiting business Web sites. Find additional names of freelance writers from search engines, Profnet, and Bacon’s Business Directory. Some well-known freelance writers are:

Dale Buss
Robert McGarvey
Amy Alexander
Joanne Krotz
Mark Henricks
Dayton Fandry
Tom Ehrenfeld
The Most Influential Business Media

The following print publications wield the greatest influence in promoting business books. Although they cover books in various ways, the following generally describes their book review policies:

New York Times-Usually reviews business books in the Sunday Money section, not in the Sunday Book Review section. Covers a variety of business topics and writes in-depth reviews of single, high-profile titles and thematic reviews that incorporate examples from three or four books in one article.

Fortune magazine-Publishes some book reviews but primarily runs features of CEOs and business thought leaders.

BusinessWeek-Tends to write highly analytical book reviews. Concentrates on titles by CEOs, business journalists, and academics.

Wall Street Journal-Occasionally publishes reviews but does not review business books in a regular column. Reviews books of interest to businesspeople on topics including politics, sports, travel, and entertainment.

Harvard Business Review-This highly prestigious publication regularly runs reviews and in-depth, bylined articles by thought leaders.

USA Today Book Review-Publishes reviews in the Money section, usually on Mondays, on a variety of business books.

Fast Company-Asks readers each month which of five books should be reviewed and reviews the winner the following month. Being selected is an honor.

Airline magazines-Most don’t run reviews, but publish articles on business topics by business-book authors. Have cut down on business articles.

Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years.

Working with many of the top book editors, literary agents and publishers in America, including Simon and Schuster, Random House, Wiley, Harper Collins, Pocket Books, Penguin Putnam, and Hyperion Books, he has worked with best-selling authors including Mitch Albom, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Stern, President Jimmy Carter, Mark Victor Hansen, Nelson DeMille, John Grisham, Hugh Downs, Henry Kissinger, Jack Canfield, Alan Deshowitz, Arnold Palmer, and Harvey Mackay.

Free Online Book Marketing for Authors

Free online book marketing for authors complements print book marketing and places your name, books, products and services in front of millions of customers, clients and web browsers to increase your income and save you money.

Millions of people browse the web and shop online to make purchases. Why not create web content promotion and purchasing links that point to you, your books, services and products? Changes in the publishing industry, like digital formats and reading devices, have caused publishers to scramble for survival in the digital age, leaving authors the responsibility of book marketing–print and eBooks.

A solid publisher’s book marketing campaign may only consist of traditional methods–newspapers, magazines, book reviews, trade articles, literary journal excerpts, publishing industry listings, library recommendations, book signings, public speaking engagements, television and radio interviews, and personal appearances. Although your publisher may also sell your book online, it may be a good idea for you to encourage your publisher to create Internet buzz that will increase your book sales, literary credibility and income opportunities.

However, publishers’ book promotion budgets are so tight and getting tighter that you can bet you will not be able to ask for and receive a more extensive marketing program than the one your publisher offers other authors. With this in mind, investigate the idea of doing your own Internet book marketing to augment your publisher’s efforts. There are several ways to make and save money using free web resources to create web presence, Internet buzz and a free book marketing campaign.

Web Content as a Way to Increase Book Sales

To increase your Internet visibility, arrange a free web presence campaign to complement the book marketing campaign that your publisher conducts or an independent book marketing campaign if you are self-published. Write and distribute free online press releases and articles to increase interest in you and your book. In these web distributions, include links to:

Reviews of Your Book
Excerpts from Your Book
Your Author Biography
Book Ordering Information
Literary Contributions
Publication List
News Coverage
Speeches You Have Made
Public Service

To entice web news services to pick up your story for their target audience, keep your web content newsworthy and lively, and not reading like promotional material. Following news guidelines, you may be quoted by news services. Being quoted increases your chances for subscriptions or syndication.By keeping the writing fresh–meaning not copied directly or duplications of other writing you have already placed on the web in previous articles or press releases–your stories will continue to receive search engine attention.

When you recycle web content from articles and press releases you have written for submission in locations around the web, be sure to thoroughly re-write and edit the copy, adding new text, links, videos and photographs (if the service allows images and videos). By the way, before you chose a submission service, free or paid, note what features they have available for you to upload images and video, and add URL links.

If you are not an author, but intend to use your web presence campaign to secure public speaking engagements to increase product sales or promote your business, your Internet press releases and articles can cover new product descriptions, announce personnel promotions or publicize where you have spoken in public or will be speaking in the future. Be sure to include in your promotional materials as many live links to your relevant websites, blogs, contact page, ordering information and catalogues as the free press release and article submission service will allow. And explore several services to maximize your reach.

Compile a list of free internet press release and article submission services that you can regularly use on a periodic basis to file items. Then, use the same Internet promotion tools to market yourself, not only as an author, but also as a public speaker, editor, editorial consultant, ghostwriter, professional writing coach, scriptwriter, speech writer, producer or whatever your specialty may be.

Another method to make browsing searches easier for prospective customers to purchase your book and clients to contract your services is to build free websites, free blogs, free video channels and social media networks. Cross promote all of the Internet media for your web presence campaign by using URL and blog directories, social network bookmarking, Internet conversational groups, free search engine submissions, forums, virtual communities and the cloud. For example, write search engine optimized Internet press releases, articles, blog text, website copy and comments on blogs, in which you may include active links that point to contact and ordering information for your books and digital products.

A Pocketful of Internet Savings Coupons

Free web content to establish and manage your online presence are like savings coupons and they are all over the web. Using free resources, you can literally turn the contents of your computer, bookshelves, forgotten boxes under beds, file drawers and storage units into cash! There are great ideas hidden under that junk! Don’t let these writing ideas turn into dust! You can use them to market your books and products. Re-write and sell yourself with what was once useless stuff taking up precious space in your house and expensive space in commercial storage lockers.

Being a writer may mean that producing copy is easy for you. However, simply being able to produce copy is not enough. Even copy considered good for print media may not be such good copy for the Internet. One must either learn to search engine optimize Internet copy to take full advantage of technology or hire a reputable professional to write credible copy and provide search engine optimization (SEO) for maximum free internet exposure. But remember, you can’t fool the search engines, which are being updated constantly to catch your clever tricks.

The only way to win the search engine optimization game is to provide lots and lots of original, well-written copy on a regular basis that appeals to a wide audience. Many website masters and designers are learning the hard way that they still must also appeal to the human reader. The copy must satisfy two audiences–search engines and people–each of which has a different set of needs. The only trick in the search engine optimization game is to strike a balance between technology and humanity. And the balance is weighed by the use of appropriate words for each in the same copy, without overuse or under-use of words for human readers or keywords that lead a human reader to a search engine result.

Creating Web Content & Free Internet Buzz

Internet press releases, social media networking, Internet articles, blogs, websites, forums, virtual communities and the cloud, not only can create free web presence, but also can enhance brand equity and sell books, public speaking engagements, writing proposals, consulting contracts, editorial services, products and digital media. Free web tools can be useful in today’s competitive market, but one of the first places to concentrate is your website. To produce a free website:

Find attractive free hosting service
Write website copy
Edit website pictures
Format web pages
Produce & upload videos
Publish the website
Promote the website

Hundreds of services host free websites and blogs on which to create web content. Many professionals are chosing to use the blog to publicize and promote their products and services. Blogs are proving to be more effective in getting search engine attention because they are updated regularly–some on a daily basis–with fresh web content for search engines to crawl. However, blogs require constant upkeep and will be forgotten by browsers if they are not updated in a timely manner with fresh text.

Traditional websites can lose their appeal when copy is static. Increasingly, free website hosts are offering free blogs as part of the package. In these packages, you have a website with a built-in blog that you can update periodically to keep the website fresh for search engines. Think about an information or news blog to add value to the needs of your readers, customers and clients.

Don’t just use your free web space to try to sell things to your target audience. If all you do is try hard to sell, people won’t like it and will not return to your website or share your link with their friends and connections on social media networking sites. It is a good idea to give them something in return for their loyalty. Give away information they can use and, as a side offer, tell them about something you have to sell that may be useful to them or help them in their businesses or creative endeavors.

Key free blog hosting service into your search engine. Hundreds of services will appear. Be careful when you chose a free service. Like free press release and article submission services discussed above, some free blog and web hosting services offer limited tools for free. Once you have signed up to join the service, you find out they want payment for additional services that are required to make your efforts worthwhile.

In addition, some free hosting services are not built to upload images and video. Some free hosting services can only insert images and videos from other locations around the internet, via a URL. Some free hosting services do not allow you to include your existing URLs from other web locations where you may already have press releases or advertisements. Others do not have URL-text anchor capabilities. Many free hosting services will not allow you to sell your own products on their free site and saddle your free site with awkward ads and pop-ups that will annoy and discourage a visitor to the site. Here are a few questions to answer before you commit to a free service:

URL Inclusion?
Image Upload?
Video Upload?
Selling Your Products?
Pop-ups & Unrelated Third-Party Ads?
Good Design Tools?

Some free website and blog hosting services offer fixed designing tools that cannot be formatted with the precision that many developers desire. Some sites are not at all friendly to novices who want design to be as easy as possible. There are a few hosting services that will let you try their tools before you commit. Remember, if the service advertises itself as free, do not leave credit card information. You may be sorry you did. Be wary of trial offers that can expire and end up charging your card without notification. If that happens, you probably will not get your money back. The fine print, you know. Be sure to read Terms & Agreement.

Headlines go a long way in getting what you write noticed on the Internet. The first words search engines find in their crawl on the web are headlines. You can write a great article that will be ignored altogether if the headline is poorly crafted, giving no clue as to the web content you are promoting. Learn some tips on how to Write Amazing Headlines for your free online press releases and articles.

In today’s competitive employment and contracting market, a professional needs every advantage available.Once you have created the website or blog, the promotion of the site–free or paid–is the next most important step in utilizing free internet publicity. Without promotion of the website or blog, no one will know about your site or be able to click to find you. Be sure to also consider a video promotion to include in your internet promotional package.

Sunny Nash is the author of ‘Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s,’ chosen by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations, listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg in New York and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Nash has work in the African American National Biography by Harvard and Oxford; African American West, Century of Short Stories; Reflections in Black, History of Black Photographers 1840 – Present; Ancestry; Companion to Southern Literature; Texas Through Women’s Eyes; Southwestern American Literature Journal; The Source: guidebook to American genealogy; Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics; and others.

“My book, ‘Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s,’ began in the 1990s. I was writing for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers. The stories were from my childhood in the Jim Crow South with my part-Comanche grandmother, Bigmama, my parents, relatives, friends, and others. A managing editor at Texas A&M University Press, Mary Lenn Dixon, saw the merit in compiling these stories into a book and approached me about creating a manuscript of selected articles for review and eventual publication. What a break! I agreed. And the book was born.” Nash said.

6 Tips for Building Book Buzz With Technology

Successful authors know that generating book buzz involves more than getting their book title into magazines and newspapers or appearing on radio or TV talk shows. They need good word-of-mouth marketing working for them and a strong online presence.

To do this, they support their more conventional book publicity efforts with campaigns that tap the power of everyday technology to generate book exposure. Here are six unconventional steps they’re taking that you can incorporate into your book marketing campaign.

1. Use your e-mail signature to sell. Include your book title and cover and a “Buy Now” button linked to a product purchase page at your Web site or at a popular online retailer like Amazon.com.

2. Blog in an existing online community that allows you to make connections. Social networking sites MySpace.com and Xanga.com are popular because they allow members with shared interests to connect more easily. Use the sites to widen your circle of influence so you meet people who might be interested in your book. Don’t use a hard sell, though. It will alienate people.

3. Create a compelling, useful e-zine or e-newsletter on your book’s topic and use it to create a viral marketing campaign. Make your newsletter content helpful and informative and subscribers will forward it to others – who will subscribe and forward their issue to still more people.

4. Make a direct connection between your online presence and your book. Your Web site URL needs to represent your book, not your name or your company’s name. If you have created a page for your book on an existing site, put the book title into the page’s address: [http://www.authorname.com/booktitle.htm]

5. Explore and capitalize on the latest technology. Turn a PowerPoint presentation about your book into a video with Windows Movie Maker and upload it to YouTube.com. You’ll get a URL for the video that you can use on your Web site and include in your e-mail signature.

6. Look for interview opportunities with online longevity. Approach radio stations that archive interviews online. Do podcasts. Ask bloggers to interview you.

Appropriate and innovative use of technology can give you a competitive advantage in the highly-competitive book buzz environment. If you find it intimidating, get help. Ask a tech-savvy friend to set up systems for you or hire a specialist to do it. Once you master the tools, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner.

Use Article Marketing to Sell More Books

One of the most cost-effective ways to promote your book online is through “article marketing.” This tactic involves writing short, informative articles related to your book’s topic and sharing them with people looking for content for their Web sites or e-zines. You make them available for reprinting through online syndication sites such as EzineArticles.com or IdeaMarketers.com.

Articles that get reprinted the most provide helpful or thought-provoking information. How do you decide what to write about? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Review your book’s chapter subheads in your table of contents.

How many of them would make good mini-articles? Most, probably. For example, one of the subheads in the book, “Publicity for Nonprofits,” is “Identifying what’s newsworthy.” That’s a great article topic.

2. Scan your author Q&A in your online press kit for ideas.

What questions stand out as good instructional topics? You won’t want to write an article answering the question, “Why did you write this book?” but your answer to “Your characters have such interesting names. How did you select them?” could easily be expanded into an interesting piece on the significance of character names in novels and how to create them.

3. Make a list of the questions that are asked the most when you’re doing media or blog interviews or when you speak to groups.

Turn those questions and your answers into articles that will showcase your expertise and generate interest in your book.

4. Find the nonfiction nuggets in your fiction and use them as idea springboards.

Did you shadow a police officer while researching your mystery? Write about the essential steps law enforcement officers use to stay safe in dangerous situations and how the rest of us can incorporate them to stay safe, too. Is your protagonist a black belt in karate? Write an article or essay about the advantages of studying martial arts. The possibilities are almost endless if you’re open to seeing how your fictional elements can be helpful in the “real” world.

5. Turn your blog postings (especially those that generated many comments) into articles.

It won’t take much more work, will it? Some of them could be fine as is while others might need to be altered.

For maximum pick-up, keep your articles to 400 to 750 words. If you’re offering “how-to” information, put the steps or tips into a numbered or bulleted list so that they stand out and are easy to read.

All article marketing or syndication sites allow an author credit or “resource” box at the end. That’s where you summarize your relevant credentials, mention your book title, and provide a link to your Web site in two or three sentences.

With your content in place, you can write your headline. Throw out everything you know about writing something eye-catching or attention-getting and focus instead on creating a headline that includes the keywords people will use to find your article. For example, I used “Book Signing Tips” for one of my article headlines instead of “6 surefire ways to sell more books at your book signing” because people are more likely to type “book signing tips” into a search engine to find the information I provide.

Once you’re satisfied with your first article, use the list of article syndication sites at http://tinyurl.com/6nr5yq (scroll down to the most popular sites in the short list under the long list) and follow the posting instructions on each site.

Finally, make sure you’ve got Google Alerts in place to tell you when your article gets used online. Contact those users, offering to send them more articles or to do an interview. Use article marketing to widen your circle of influence, drive traffic to your Web site, and increase your book’s visibility – all good things!

E-BOOK History

E-books find its origins back in 1971. Michael Hart was the creator of this innovation and the founder of the Project Gutenberg of Illinois University, a public library of digital books, which enjoys a collection of more than 2 thousand books, among which we find a great number of classic works.

In 1981 the first electronic book with commercial aims was launched on the market: a dictionary by Random House. However, the striking development of digital books would take place only 20 years later.

In 1998 the first e-Book Fair took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland in the US. At this event, the Norm Open e-Book, a series of regulations to standardize the format of electronic publications, was presented. A year later the specification Open e-Book Publication Structure was established, which set HTML and XML as the standard platforms for this type of books.

The e-books boom started when Riding the Bullet, a Stephen King’s well-known novel, was launched exclusively on the Internet in 2001. This digital work was a resounding success, with a great amount of copies sold in only 2 days at a very affordable cost-$2.50. Later, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, had his memories published in the same format.

From this moment on, many electronic publishers and virtual book shops with digital texts catalog’s have appeared. Today, the Internet provides not only a great variety of books on sale, but also free ones, which allows great advancement of cultural dissemination. Because of the advantages that this type of publication provides, e-books business is expected to continue to grow in the foreseeable future.

Beyond Book Sales Income – Marketing and Diversification

I love the internet… you can find almost anything and learn just about anything by doing a search. My latest learning session was on a teleseminar and the guest speaker was Jack Canfield. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of him (this would be amazing if you are in the writing field), Canfield is the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had a dream. They would have a New York Times best selling book. But, the road to success wasn’t easy… they received 144 rejections from publishers. This did not stop them-they moved forward with visualization and positive projection techniques. Chicken Soup for the Soul came out in 1993. Since they didn’t have enough money for a publicist, they did their own marketing. By 1995, they won the Abby Award and the Southern California Publicist Award.

The information offered during the teleseminar was geared toward the strategies needed to make money publishing books through marketing and diversification.

Tips to Make Money Along with or After Book Publication

1. Have a platform

Start your platform when you are thinking of writing a book-don’t wait until you are published. Creating connections, contacts, and readers takes time.

2. Realize you will most probably not get rich writing books.

Yes, that’s right, you will not automatically become wealthy from book publication. But, while you won’t get rich, it will open doors that will not otherwise be open. This is the opportunity for diversification-don’t just look straight ahead-use your peripheral vision.

3. Learn how to market and sell YOU and your books.

Never stop learning about writing, marketing and promotion. Read about the subjects; attend conferences and teleseminars; join writing and marketing groups, and follow blogs that provide valuable and up-to-date information. But, remember, you don’t want to just sell your books, you want to sell what you have to offer along with your books.

4. Research areas you can diversify in

If you are published, there are a number of doors that will magically open. You can create e-books; you can present teleseminars or workshops; you can offer classes or coaching; you can even write a book about your experiences and successes.

Tip: Before you start charging for your expertise, offer some free services to help others learning to write and learning to market their books and themselves.

6. Never stop selling

Find new avenues to sell your books and services. Utilize some of the suggestions in #4 above.

7. Believe you can do it

This is probably the most important tip for success. Canfield is a firm believer in the power of tweaking your subconscious, and projection.

8. Pay it forward

As the Bible tells us, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” New World Translation, Acts 20:35.

Aside from being good for you as a writer and marketer, giving back is good for the universe and our troubled world.

The Relevance of Proofreading and Editing in the World of E-Books

Proofreading and editing is highly relevant in the e-book world. Writers can avail themselves of online e-book editing services. These services provide an e-book editorial service which will not only review a manuscript for syntax, spelling and grammatical errors, but also provide useful recommendations on organisation, flow and content of an e-book. The critiquing, editing and proofreading required for writers, interested in publishing for the e-book world are an essential process to achieve the desired results. Words are a projection of the author; an extension of their literary self. Readers continuously judge an author’s credibility, and if an incorrect synonym for example, is used; their credibility and lack of craftsmanship is at stake.

When the author has established the desired layout for their e-book, and decided that the goals they envisage for their work have been set, a qualified editor can offer constructive criticism, and advice on conceptual and style issues that may need further clarification and polishing to ensure it will reach the targeted audience. A competent editor is like an essayist, understanding and working with literary and traditional aesthetic forms, to achieve a final crafted result that appeals to readers.

Tweaking and revising a manuscript, is an author’s opportunity to obtain an objective review of their work. However, the prospective author must guard against succumbing to over-editing and becoming too pedantic, as this will unnecessarily delay publication of the manuscript. The author should reflect on whether they have responded appropriately in terms of the implicit promise to their potential readers. Reviewing chapter titles is a quick guide as to whether the author has addressed the major points, the book seeks to address. An author should embrace the review process as early as feasible, as at that stage, their investment in the written work is not as extensive as it will be as the work progresses. Proofreading and editing of potential e-books is no less important than for traditional books. Author credibility and acceptability is not altered by a change in the delivery mechanism. Readers will be attracted or disenchanted by an author’s writing style and craftsmanship, irrespective of how they make contact with their work. Whether writing for traditional or e-book audiences, authors should meticulously plan their proposed work and have a clear insight into what they hope to achieve.

Reviewing of a manuscript is best done by a competent and qualified person who has no personal interest in the success of the project; objectivity is worth paying for, to obtain clear and constructive feedback.

The literary world has changed dramatically since the introduction of e-books; however, the relevance of proofreading and editing manuscripts to make them suitable for e-book publication is still paramount for success. In an era where authors can self publish online, and anyone with internet access can bill themselves as an author, the reader can afford to be very discriminatory in their selection. Sloppy and poorly written work will rapidly sink along with the author’s credibility.

Affordable Book Promotion Offerings Online

Without media attention, your book will languish on bookshelves, in a warehouse, or in your garage. Or, in the case of print-on-demand books, your words will languish – unprinted and unbound – inside a computer unless you let potential readers know about your work. Your challenge is to let potential readers know about your expertise, and your title, so that they’ll be motivated to buy your book. But how can you get your message directly to your intended audience?

The media can help, but you have to approach the right people at the right media outlets in the right way if you want them to make their radar screen. And you have to make your pitch stand out from the hundreds of other pitches that producers and editors receive each week or, in some cases, each day. That’s a challenge, even for book promotion professionals.

Admittedly, promoting books is an endeavor that takes time and experience. If you can afford to hire a book promotion firm, then go for it. Or if your publishing company is offering you a book promotion campaign as part of your publishing contract, by all means, take it. Otherwise, the dilemma is this: how can you grab the media’s attention and get just a small share of it for your book – when your budget is far more limited than your willingness to learn and your eagerness to succeed?

There are a lot of book promotion information online, and just as you’d expect, a great deal of it is free. Book promotion blogs are available, and a quick search will turn up many that have been around for awhile and have established a respectable number of visitors. You’ll also find several traditional and eBooks about book promotion that convey the art and science of promoting books, and even many that reveal “trade secrets” that can make all the difference for book sales. Additionally, you’ll also find book promotion tips and tools online – many of them low-cost or no-cost — if you look in the search engines.

Examples of book promotion tips you’ll find online are:

o Watch the calendar. Seasons and holidays (the big occasions, such as the Fourth of July, and the more esoteric ones, such as Grandparents Day or Nutrition Month are predictable, and if you figure out ways to tie your messages into various months of the calendar in advance, you’ll be a sought-after expert all the time.

o Contact your alma mater’s media outlets. Every college and university (and just about every high school) in the country has a magazine, Web site, or at least a newsletter in which they can announce alumni news.

o Keep track of your media “hits” so that you can see patterns about which pitches worked and why. Build on those successes, and use them as a blueprint for future pitches.

o There’s usually more than one decision maker at a media outlet. If one producer or editor rejects your story pitch, try another media decision maker at the same outlet – but do so tactfully.

o Send out books. No matter what your budget, you have to send out some books (and probably more books than you’d like) to score interviews. Books and postage are relatively inexpensive compared to losing book promotion opportunities.

Book promotion is something of a moving target in that techniques change all the time. One day, successful authors are blogging their way to success. The next day, the same authors are podcasting to reach potential readers or using social networks to win “friends” who, ultimately, will buy their book. Even if you’re working with a book promotion specialist, there’s likely more that you can do without getting in the “expert’s” way.

In fact, authors are the best experts on their books, while book publicists expertise lies in book publicity and in keeping up with the latest and greatest book promotion techniques. But let’s face it. Who has a better grasp of which messages, and which media outlets, will best reach the executives who need to know about your management book: a book promotion specialist or the CEO who wrote the book? And who knows the hearts, and the minds, of those who read romance novels better than the novelist who writes for that audience?

So, this year, make a point of surfing the Web to find new sources of book promotion tools, techniques, and tricks. It will allow you to compete with all the other authors and publishers who are out there, every day, gaining visibility for their books. And it will keep you working toward the goal of establishing, and maintaining, a media presence so that you can sell books, bring visitors to your Web site, enhance your credibility, and build your brand.

Writing A Book – How Physicans Can Get It Right

Consumers to have an insatiable appetite for information about cosmetic procedures and age management. Many well known medical authors have used the power of print to effectively grow their practices and expand their profile in the specialty. A professionally published book can be the ideal jumpstart for expanding your cosmetic practice. Being an author gives you instant recognition among consumers, the media, and your peers, and adds to your credibility in the field. It also gives a physician a venue to get his message across in a professional way.

To write a successful book takes time and perseverance. In most casts, for busy physicians, that means enlisting professional help in the form of a ghost writer to begin the process. First you will have to zero in on a hot topic and target your reader. Book topics should neither be too broad or too specific, but designed to reach a large audience. You also have to understand the book marketplace, which is often a new world for physicians who are more accustomed to writing papers and articles for peer-reviewed medical journals, rather than for the lay public.

The best reason to write a book is because you believe you have something to say that hasn’t been said a hundred times before, or to establish yourself as an expert. The market has become saturated with books written by cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, so many well established publishers are not inclined to pay advances for manuscripts unless the author has a nationally recognized name with a big budget for marketing.

Working with a Writer

Writing a book is always more work than it would appear at first glance. Most doctors simply don’t have the time in their busy schedules to devote to developing a book concept, doing the research, getting the writing done, fact checking, and organizing the elements required to have a book published. Consumer books have to readable and entertaining to hold the reader’s interest.

In view of the time constraints of contemporary practice, many physician authors need assistance translating complex theories into consumer friendly terms. Doctors are accustomed to communicating with other medical professionals, and often struggle with expressing their opinions in lay terms. Writing for the general public requires establishing a voice of authority while keeping the reader interested and entertained. A consumer book should be simple, informative and educational. Books that are overly technical or complicated and resemble textbooks are not suitable for a consumer audience. Working with an editor who understands the specialized needs of doctors will be able to represent your professional image in an appropriate manner.

One basic rule of writing is to stick with what you know. Write about a topic that you are passionate about so you can draw on your longtime experience with patients. Your book should also reflect your own personality and specialized approach. Choosing a great title that has flair and is memorable will go far to create a buzz around your book. The final key element is to optimize the front and back cover for maximum effectiveness. Covers that pop will lead prospective book buyers to pick them up from the crowded shelves in bookstores.

Your book title should be attention-grabbing and memorable. It is helpful to survey the market to see what other titles are out there, check for books in print, and run your prospective title through internet searches to determine its availability. In preparation, visit Amazon.com or your local Barnes & Noble to see what books are in the category now, and how they are positioned. Your topic should be broad enough to appeal to a sufficient number of readers to make it viable for booksellers. The title should convey what the book is about in a concise manner. The subtitle can explain the book’s content in greater detail. Along with the importance of a catchy title, the cover design is what the bookseller is looking at to determine the book’s marketability, and what consumer sees first on bookstore shelves.

Allen D. Rosen, M.D., is a board certified plastic surgeon in Montclair, N.J. and co-author of BEAUTY IN BALANCE (MDPUBLISH, 2006). As he says, “Consumers have never been as confused as they are now about what they can and cannot expect from aesthetic surgery. The excessive media hype of cosmetic procedures, guerrilla marketing by physicians with limited formal training, and the unreality of popularized television programs have contributed to this confusion. Plastic surgeons writing consumer books containing reliable information on aesthetic surgery will help to dispel some of the current misinformation for consumers.”

Finding The Right Publisher

While some books are still bought out of the pile of manuscripts that come over the transom into publishers, the overwhelming majority are not. Large and well-established publishing houses deal almost exclusively with agents, and many will not even look at a proposal that is not submitted by an agent. Most agents charge 15% of the advance for their services.

Ideally, you want to find the best publisher to get your book into print and make your book a success. Perhaps the most important element of any book project is the marketing plan. All prospective publishers and booksellers will want to know in precise terms what the author will do to help sell this book. They are interested in your public relations efforts, potential distribution outlets, and other unique ways that your book may be promoted. In today’s competitive book market, books do not sell themselves. The best advice is to hire your own PR firm, preferably with well established book publicity experience.

The self-publishing route is the natural choice for many physicians. The main advantages of self-publishing are that it affords the author complete control over the content, structure, timing and overall design of the book. Look for publishing services that can deliver quality printed materials in a cost-effective and timely fashion including writing, research, editing, design, typesetting, artwork, print and production, as well as marketing and promotion.

WENDY LEWIS is President of Wendy LewIs & Co Ltd, a global aesthetics consultancy based in New York and London. She is the author of 10 books, including PLASTIC MAKES PERFECT (ORION) and is a frequent guest lecturer at medical conferences and industry events in the USA and Europe and a contributor to many publications. She is also Co-Founder and Editorial Director of MDPUBLISH.COM, a comprehensive medical marketing and publishing group that produces quality practice materials, websites and books for physicians.