article discusses internet book marketing for the independent publisher

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Small Publishers Association of North America

Issue 7/2006

Initial Thoughts on Internet Marketing

Initial thoughts are exactly what I mean. Thatís where I am at the moment. Today I put the proof of my first title back into the mail to my offset printer in Nashville. It should be ready before the end of August and Iím on schedule for my September 2006 publication date. Iím still not ready for distribution. Not because I havenít given that particular aspect of self-publishing a lot of thought and not because I havenít been researching the problem.

If you read my 05/2006 newsletter you know that my preliminary hopes for pre-orders from independent bookstores in the South have not worked out as I hoped. Iím still confident I can get my book in some of the stores, but I think I will be better off promoting the finished book in person.

Another tactic I intend to employ is internet marketing. I already know about Amazon Advantage and Barnes and Noble and recently Atlas and Alibris have sent me e-mails regarding their author-support programs. I have my website, of course, but I really do not have a good idea as to what Iím missing regarding promotion and sales on the internet.

To fix that problem, Iíve returned to my faithful "education 2 go" on-line curriculum provided through my local community college, and I found a number of courses that drew my interest. The first I signed up for today: Introduction to the Internet. Sure, Iíve used the internet for years, but like my brain, I donít think Iíve come even close to realizing its full potential. I doubt this course will provide me an understanding of the internetís full capabilities either, but Iím figuring it will take me above and beyond my present abilities to receive-send e-mail and doing Google searches. My major interests include on-line stores and selling over the internet. I want to promote, too. Iíve signed on to a webring, but I donít have a comfortable feeling for how the thing works, and there are several more I would like to be part of. Iím hoping this course will give me insight to all these goals.

After Introduction to the Internet, Iím going to take a course called Achieving Top Search Engine Positions. Since Iíve established my own company, I occasionally get advertisements in the mail offering me subscriptions to listing services. Iím not positive this course will teach me to do my own listing service (ideal) or simply give me some idea as to the value of a listing service, but I do know that I want to draw potential buyers to my website, and thatís what this course teaches me to do. Next comes Marketing Your Business on the Internet, which, according to the syllabus, will go hand in hand with my search-engine course.

By this time, I will have had books in hand for more than a month and should be hard at work marketing. Iíll keep you informed on how my sales are going over the internet.

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