Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sell More Books Using Your Author Website by Radu Balas - A Review

I gave up television seven years ago and haven't regretted it once. I spend all that newly found free time either reading or writing. With the advent of Kindle, I find myself reading more than ever before. In particular, I find I am a bit of a sucker for "how-to" books, especially in the area of writing and publishing.

If you are like me, you have found that many of the books marketed as a great source for ideas on how to sell more books or improve your writing are little more than Kindle spam.

As I am moving ever closer to the launch of my first work of fiction. I have been working hard to learn as much as I can about a launching a work of fiction, something I have discovered is quite different from launching a non-fiction book.

In the case of non-fiction, you have a well defined idea of who your target audiences is (if you don't you might find there is no market for your book). A work of fiction might fight nicely into a specific genre, leading you, the author, to believe correctly labeling your novel in the right categories on Amazon is all you need to do to find an audience.

It's not that simple. You have to build an audience for a work of fiction. It's a different approach than what I used to successfully market my non-fiction books.

As I work to ready my launch and build my author website, I am finding just how much more I have to learn. One of the few books I have found that has been helpful, in large part because the author, Radu Balas, has gathered so much practical information into one book, is Sell More Books Using Your Author Website.

One of the ideas he suggests is writing book reviews of books in the same or similar genre you write in and posting them on your author website. What a great idea!

Readers looking for honest, or at least independent, reviews of books in the genre you write might find your website while in search of a review. Granted, they might not buy your book(s), but you have gained exposure for your brand. Write good reviews that are helpful, and the reader might be inclined to bookmark your site and return. Repeated positive contact should eventually result in some book sales.

This one idea alone made the book worth purchasing. I don't know if it will work, but it is a new idea, to me at least, and because I read so many books, I might as well give it a try. As new authors, we need exposure. Book reviews is one way to draw readers who enjoy the genre you write in to your site.

Mr. Balas covers a wide range of topics about building an author website ranging from the blogging process to the SEO process. He discusses WordPress and e-mail list building. I'm not a fan of social media, but he has good ideas for those who want to include that as part of their marketing/branding mix.

Blogging. We all know we're supposed to blog as authors, but few of us really know how to create an effective blog to build our brand as an author. The chapters on blogging with the idea of creating an audience (tribe) and building your brand as an author were the most helpful parts of the book for me. Topics covered in the blogging chapters:
  • Benefits of blogging for authors
  • Writing effective blog headlines
  • Dealing with blogger block
  • Becoming a respected influencer
  • Keeping visitors on a page
  • The need for unique content
Branding is a strange concept for many authors. We just don't see ourselves as a brand, like Nike or Ford. But we are and we need to develop our brand. Mr. Balas has some simple actionable ideas to help any author understand what an author brand is and how to build one.

Finally, for those of us on a limited budget but who have no coding skills or knowledge of HTML, the author covers how to build interesting and effective sites that will attract and retain the interest of readers.

Sell More Books Using Your Author Website is one you need to add to your author library. You can find books that are in greater depth and provide more information about each individual topic covered in the book. The value of Sell More Books is it gathers together in one place everything you need to know to get started. As you learn and develop your skills in marketing and branding yourself as an author, you can research the areas you need to grow in.

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