Marketing a book once it's written can seem like a daunting task for an author.
Many look to set up book signings, get booked for speaking gigs, get on Oprah (good luck!).
Too often, they overlook one of the most effective and easiest ways to get people interested in their book.
What is that way?
Even when I say this, many authors will immediately think of placing articles in magazines.
That's not a bad idea. However, it can take lots of time.
First, you have to figure out which magazines might want an article on your topic.
Then, you have to write a smashing query letter. (Which takes some learning and then practice to get right.)
Then, you have to send out the query letters. And wait. And follow up. And wait. And follow up again.
The payoff is that, if you interest an editor and they run your article, they're likely to pay you for it. They're also likely to mention your book's title.
However, even if someone goes and buys your book after reading your article, chances are almost certain you will never know that person. He or she will never know what else you might be able to offer. You will never establish a relationship.
The Better Way--Online Articles
A much better way to market your book through articles is to do it online.
This means you write a short article that gives people a slice of what they will get in your book.
You submit it to online directories such as ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com and any article directories targeted to your audience's interests. Just do a Google search for "ezine directories for [your audience]. I did a search for "ezine directories for writers" and came up with 370,000 results! "Ezine directories for gardeners" gave 84,600 results.)
When your article appears in an ezine directory, it's available for anyone to download and use in their own ezine. Thus is exposes your message to people who you could never get to otherwise.
But how does this sell your book and make you money, you ask? The ezine directories don't pay you (as a magazine would), so how is this superior to getting an article in a regular magazine?
The answer lies in the several advantages online article have over offline articles.
Advantages of Using Online Articles to Market Your Book
1. In online article marketing, you don't have to wait and pester an editor to accept your article. Acceptance is easier and if there are problems, you will be told what they are. You fix them, and your article gets accepted.
2. With online article marketing, you have more control. The key to online article marketing is what's called the "resource" or "author box." It's the material at the end of the article that contains links back to your website, where people can find out more about you, order your book--whatever you want them to do.
With offline articles, they usually will mention your website, but the reader cannot instantly click on the link and find out more, while they're already engaged with your material. Instead, you have to rely on them MAYBE being interested enough to write your link down, and then MAYBE finding it when they're next to a computer, and then MAYBE actually typing it in.
Nowadays, that's just too much work for most people.
3. Online articles bring you up in the search engines, thus allowing more people to find you.
The more links you have pointing to your website from reputable content sites (like ezine directories and blogs that pick up your article), the higher you rise in the search engines. The more articles you have out there, the more this works for you.
4. Online articles allow you to connect with your reader. This starts a relationship which may result in them not only buying your book (eventually), but becoming a fan who raves about your book to other people.
When someone reads your article and wants more, then clicks to your website, finds out you have a newsletter or special report, and they give you their email address, you have begun a relationship.
They may not buy your book the first time they visit your website. (Chances are they won't; less than 5 percent of visitors buy on the first visit.) However, if they like what they continue to receive from you, chances are they will eventually buy your book.
And if you have more than a book to sell them--well, perhaps you'll have a customer for life. If they like you enough, they'll tell other people about you and your book.
Not bad results for an article that you may have spent an hour on, reshaping it from the content already in your book, and submitting it to ezines.
These results multiply exponentially, the more articles you put out there.
Write as many articles as you possibly can from the content of your book.
How More Articles Help Sales of Your Book
But, you ask, won't having so much of your book's content "out there" hurt sales of your book?
Not at all. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The more people are exposed to your content, the more likely they are to buy your book.
Many authors have proven that you can write your whole book's content on your blog (Seth Godin), or give away the book in ebook form (Janet Atwood and Chris Atwood, with <i>The Passion Test</i>, and this will only help sales. These authors rose to bestseller status of their print books, despite giving away the content for free before the book was published.
If you're an author with a book already, it's as if you've already planted and cultivated a garden full of ripe, delicious vegetables and fruits. Failing to use articles to market your book is like allowing those vegetables to rot because you never bothered to harvest them. Enjoy the fruit--submit those articles!
Your Next Steps ...
1. Sign up for Jeff Herring's Article Writing and Marketing Secrets course. Jeff has built a very successful business based on article marketing--and he doesn't even have a book! Yoiu can do the same thing. He shows you how, step by step, and he knows all the little tricks and tips that make a huge difference. Highly recommended. Note: You must sign up before 3 pm Eastern on Monday, March 17, 2008 or you will have to wait until he offers the course again.
2. Listen to the teleseminar I did with Jeff Herring on this topic.
3. If nothing else, check out Jeff Herring's article templates. I wrote this article using one of his templates. I outlined it in 13 minutes and 2 seconds (using the template), wrote it and then broke it up in several articles and submitted it to ezinearticles.com in less than one hour. You can do this!