A Tale of Two Authors
Two people submit their books for review. Both are well written. Both are about the same subject. Both cost about the same. But one goes on to sell well enough for the author to write the next one, and another, making a career of writing. The other author never sells enough books to get their money back from publishing it.
Is it only blind luck that makes one person more successful than the other, or are there things you can do to be the successful author?
How To Be THAT Successful Author
Since we started our original book review in 2008, we’ve done more than 10,000 reviews, made more than 50 websites for ourselves and clients, and interviewed more than 1,000 authors. From those experiences, we’ve fine-tuned our own websites and marketing, doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t (our actual company motto).
We know it is hard for authors, and we have seen plenty of successful authors and those who failed. While we can’t (yet) help you with creating your final book (cover, editing, book description, and marketing plan), we can help you right now with one of the most important aspects – getting your website to show up in Google search results.
Hand-selling your book, scheduling author appearances, and doing social media promotion all help find readers for your book. So does having your website fine-tuned for reader discovery on the themes that fit your book(s). Sometimes, a simple change in your book description to take advantage of a new popular internet search can take a book from selling 1,000 copies a year to more than 37,000. Granted, Simon & Schuster could connect that book to a hit TV series, but those same techniques can help you as well.
The illustration below is a simplified version of how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works. Your website has the keywords describing your book in the metadata of the page. You get external reviews and mentions of your book that link back to your website, letting Google and other search engines know that other people think your website is important, interesting, or worth linking to. The more authority those other websites have, the more important Google sees those incoming links to be.
Once you have links pointing to your website, Google also looks to see how socially active those links are. Are people sharing them on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook? Are they bookmarking them to read later? Are they being reblogged and discussed on Tumblr, Reddit, and other social websites? This is were our SEO packages come in.
We work with our reviewers and other book bloggers to promote our review of your book on San Francisco Book Review or Manhattan Book Review or Kids’ BookBuzz and, as those blogs post links to our review, it provides more exposure to social media (as their friends and family see what they are posting). Having multiple tiers of links and mentions of your book and reviews provides more authority and signals to Google that your website is gaining in popularity and authority, which then helps get natural traffic from search engines as people search for those keywords.
While there is never a guarantee that SEO works, these ever-changing techniques are what allow search engines manage to figure out what websites are the best result for any given search. We use these techniques when creating our own websites and promoting them. And we can help you out as well.