By Rachel M. Anderson, Book Publicist, RMA Publicity

   Whether your book was published through a traditional press, or self-published, one thing is for sure. You have a lot of competition for readers. According to a recent article in Forbes, there are between 600-thousand and one-million books published in the United States alone each year.

   So what will it take to set your book apart from the competition? It’s important to have a strong strategy for promotion. You won’t be able to sell a single book if nobody knows about it.

   I am a firm believer in using the traditional press to get the word out initially. A single appearance on a morning television newscast or radio program, or in the newspaper for that matter, can reach thousands of people at once. Many of my clients have boasted about selling dozens of books in the days and weeks after a story about their book is published or broadcast.

   But you can’t be on the news all the time, so it’s important to develop a strategy for keeping the word out there about your book in as many places as possible. I recommend  setting up regular book signing events in your community, participating in community events that highlight your expertise, and also developing a strategy for getting potential readers to your website.

   If you don’t have a website for your book yet, get one and fast. There are just too many books on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com for you to expect yours to standout. Sure people can find it if they are looking for it specifically. If not, they will probably never come across it. Promoting a product or a service on the Internet is much easier when you have a website.

   Having a dedicated site will not only help you boost your sales, it will assist you in building a relationship with your target market. And the first step towards creating a site is to register your own domain name.

   Some of the authors I work with have registered their own names as Web domains. Others select the book title. When selecting a name, keep in mind that sites containing a  targeted term, such as book, are more highly valued by the search engines. Since search engine traffic is free and very targeted, it is highly important to your Internet marketing success to select a name that will rank well.

   Another solid way to get people to visit your website is to blog. The reason you want to do it is to keep people coming back to your website. They may not buy your book the first time they visit, but if they like what you have to say and keep coming back, it may lead to a sale. Not to mention, search engines really like blogs, which will make the task of generating targeted traffic much easier. Another benefit is that it gives you a platform from which to interact with your target audience.

   Another strategy for bringing people to your website often is to conduct webinars aimed at your target market. Offer good content regularly for free and before long you’ll build a strong following. As an added benefit, webinars are perceived to offer high value and make you look good!

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