Promoting your book is important, but making sure your promotions speak and appeal to the right audience is a big key to success.
I’ve had the privilege of speaking to a number of author groups around the country. I like to use this PowerPoint slide to illustrate what’s fueling the rise of self publishing:
During the recent uPublishU session at Book Expo America 2015, I was asked to moderate a panel entitled “Get Discovered – By The Right Readers.” So I thought it was appropriate to amend my slide to include this one:
Every one of those authors with a story to tell in Slide 1 is looking to connect with an audience – but not just any reader will do. In order to realize meaningful sales levels, authors need to actively target their audience utilizing any and all tools available. What I and my fellow uPubU panelists tried to do was to share some of the best techniques and methods based on real life success stories.
Mark Lefebvre, the Director of Kobo’s Writing Life & Author Relations, stressed the importance of creating clear, consistent, and professional metadata for your titles. Indie authors need to ensure that their book metadata is as consistent with industry standards as possible.
LeFebvre also stressed that your book metadata must be optimized to appeal to the correct customers. Not just a great cover and great title, but a cover and title that is designed to appeal to your target audience.
Metadata is all about the fine details – it is the unique identification of your book so that your book is accurately represented in the countless millions of book searches. LeFebvre outlined the difference between a publisher name and an imprint name – how the two are interrelated, and how the existence of both in a book’s metadata can increase the title’s search presence.
No metadata detail is too small to sweat. Even book series metadata – entered consistently in the proper place within the field slot – is of critical importance to continued customer engagement and sales at Kobo.
Ralph Coviello, the Publisher Relations Manager of Bowker, discussed some of positive characteristics of keywords, and techniques for being flexible, faster, and utilizing natural language. One of his key points was that retailers use keywords as a service to the public and that readers prefer natural language.
Coviello discussed some of the popular misconceptions about using keywords. He also focused on some of the current best practices and illustrated some great examples within his PowerPoint presentation. He spoke too about current best practices in the industry, and how following them can be beneficial for authors in connecting with readers.
Meanwhile, Enrique Parrilla, the CEO of Pentian, shared some interesting stories from his publishing crowdsourcing company. He illustrated some of his success stories plus a very interesting project failure. Along the way he talked about how aspiring authors can avoid some of the most common pitfalls with crowdsourcing.
Finally, I spoke about some very basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies and tactics. We covered a few of the myths of good SEO practice – for instance the use of keyword stuffing. As an example, I offered up a joke as depicted by an amateur SEO copywriter whose idea of good search marketing is heaping more keywords onto a page.
“An SEO marketer walks into a bar, tavern, grill, pub, public house, Irish bar…”
More isn’t necessarily better in today’s tough search rankings.
I also made the point that SEO marketing is not a one-time occurrence. Once you’ve done the hard work of optimizing your page you can’t simply walk away from it and expect it to continue to perform. Constantly adding free new content is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your strong rankings.
If you didn’t get a chance to make to New York City to witness our presentation in person we’ve downloaded the presentation deck on this page: www.bookbaby.com/bea.
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