Today, my personal money management book, Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It went live on Amazon. Yippy!
What are my first acts of publicity? The coming blogs will detail my steps - a helpful reminder for my future books, as well as for other writers who are close to publication.
1. Upload your image on your Amazon page. Having published through BookSurge, the front cover image was already up. If yours isn't there, upload it. (See the links under the place for the image for instructions on how to do this.) A book with no image appears rinky dink.
2. Allow customers to "flip through" your book. Below the image is a link called "Publisher: learn how customers can search inside this book." Click on it and follow the instructions to allow searching. It took less than five minutes to request this service.
Why allow searching your book?
First, in brick and mortar bookstores, we find an interesting book, look at the cover, then the back cover, and finally flip through to get a feel for the book. Amazon gives customers the same experience online. Don't worry, they can't read the entire book there. They just get enough of a taste to decide if the book's for them.
Second, it helps people to discover your book when searching for the topic your book covers. Example: You've written a book about losing weight and have a chapter on using vitamins to enhance your weight loss. Yet, neither your title, subtitle, nor publisher review says anything about vitamins. If you allow Amazon to search your book, those searching Amazon for "weight loss and vitamins" just might be able to find your book, since those words in your book would be considered in a search.
3. Link all your sites and blogs and social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Delicious, etc.) to your Amazon page. Not only will people who visit your social networking sites find your book, but search engines such as Google (and, I assume, Amazon's own search engine) rank pages higher that have more incoming links. In this way, people searching for information that your book contains will find your Amazon page ranked higher than those pages with less incoming links.
4. E-mail all those people who were kind enough to preview your manuscript and give suggestions and blurbs. Thank them for giving their early input on your manuscript. Tell them that the book's now out and you want to confirm their address to send them a free, signed copy. Ask them, if they liked the book, would they be willing to write a review on Amazon. Copy the web address of your book on Amazon and put it in the e-mail so that they can click on it to find your book.
Getting these reviews is critical. As Solomon recommended three thousand years ago, "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth." People believe what others say about your book more than what you say in your title, subtitle and publisher description. So before I start announcing my book to the world (radio, newspapers, magazine articles, etc.) I want to make sure that when each of these go to Amazon, they see many enthusiastic reviews.
They've already read your book. They told you they loved it. You're sending them a free copy. So now they'd love to help you out once more by writing a review.
5. As I mentioned in a past blog, in collaboration with my publicist, Stephanie Richards, I'm collecting the names of syndicated columnists and magazine editors and radio show hosts who might be interested in my book. Since I don't yet have copies in hand, I've been holding off for that step. More on that in my following blogs.