It's all in the name?
- By Hajni Blasko and Marion Elizabet
Search engines > yellow pages.
Think back to the last time you were looking for, say, a great new place to eat Indian food. Did you flip open your laptop, pop open a browser window and immediately type the name of a restaurant? Probably not, because you most likely didn't know yet where you wanted to go. It's more likely you would have entered something like this: 'great Indian restaurants near Main and 6th Ave.'
The same rule applies to books: readers browsing for a fantastic new author are not going to have that writer's name already at the tips of their fingers. Instead, they are more likely to search Google or other engines for titles matching their criteria of what they want to see in a book. It's a pretty common mistake for authors to equate high-listing results for searches based on their own names or titles with successful engine marketing. However, a successful promotional approach means putting yourself in your audience's shoes. Think like a buyer. Whether searching in Amazon or on the web in general, prospective buyers are going to be browsing by subject matter and genre, not by the title of a book they've never heard of. So the best way for your book to be seen by more people is to make sure your title's web presence is optimized to its genre.
Who else do you want to impress, as an independent author? Maybe a publishing house? In this case, it's even more important to have a strong web presence which is not dependent on a preexisting awareness of your name. Publishers, libraries and bookstores all have mandates to fill based on subject matter, so this is the single most important factor in their searches for new titles. We are not saying that having an attractive website and strong branding image aren't important; they are. But no matter how good your site is, it won't help you unless it's being found and that means optimization for your title's content.
Facebook = yellow pages (sort of).
Facebook, unlike engine marketing, is all about searching by name. This is where we go to catch up with old crushes and scope the cutest cat pictures. It's also a fun place to share your latest news with friends and other authors. But it's important to recognize that facebook is not a search engine, nor is an fb page the equivalent of an independent website when it comes to exposing your writing to potential readers and industry professionals. Stepping back into the buyer's shoes, we see that social networks are en extremely inefficient way of finding what we want. That search for 'great Indian restaurants' doesn't work here, so anyone who wants results will rely on Google, not facebook.
Essentially, great online marketing is about one thing: exposure to a new audience seeking books of your genre. If you would like help in any way to accomplish this, let us know. Contact the publicist!
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Online Book Publicist
& SEO Specialist
WOW, WOW, WOW! Major confusion about facebook profile pages and facebook product pages!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Usability Tips for Authors Looking to Sell
How Social Networking Can Hurt your Book Sales
Book Trade Show Tips
Graphic Design Tips for your Website
Articles in print:
Webrings - Book Beyond the Bookstores
Custom-Designed Websites vs. Websites Created on Social Networking Platforms - Writer Watchdog, 2009.
If you would like to meet Hajni in person, please refer to her Event Schedule.
If you are an authors or small press publisher looking for online exposure, don't hesitate to email her or to fill out the form on the right.