With book coverage in print and newspaper sales declining, authors and publishers must extend their reach to the Internet if they want to boost book sales and publicity. Furthermore, authors are more involved in marketing their books than in the past as publishers can’t or won’t do enough.
Print publications still play a valuable role in books’ lives though the Internet offers many other advantages for promoting books:
- No need to rely on battery power, electricity, or a working Internet connection to read print.
- People leave finished copies of printed resources in doctor’s offices, coffee shops, and other public places for others to pick up.
- No shut down needed upon flight take-off and landing.
- No taking it out of your carry on or briefcase to get through airport security.
- Fewer distractions and information noise as you don’t have links and animation enticing you away from your reading.
- Knowing where something starts and ends. The Internet consists of connected pages making it easy for someone to jump from page to page endlessly.
- Just open and read. No booting up, waiting for loading applications and pages, signing on…
Authors and publishers need to make the Internet their partner in marketing books. The Internet offers the following benefits:
- Cheap: It costs as little as $5 a month to have a Web site and $0 for a page on sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Bookhitch. Plus, add the book to your e-mail and discussion board signature for noticing when people read your e-mails and posts.
- Search: Search engines and Web sites help people find books on topics of interest.
- Access: Contact reviewers and bloggers who cover your book’s topic offering to send them a review copy. Also, contact sites that publish book reviews like BlogCritics. The Internet also provides a great way to connect with reading groups. Many reading groups invite members to submit questions for the author to respond or hold a conversation online through chat or a Web-based application.
- Network: Forums, online groups, and social networks allow you to connect and interact with potential readers and reviewers.
- Link: Contribute articles to article libraries, online magazines, and other online resources where you can have a byline that links to your Web site or book ordering page.