2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006: Named one
of the 101 best Web sites for writers by Writers Digest Magazine.
Ten Top Reasons Authors Need A Web Site
You may think, "Why not let other Web sites sell my book?"
That's a good plan to get started, but one of the dangers is that Online publishers or book-selling sites may not pay you on time, pay you enough or just go by the wayside because of low profits. They pay around 30% royalties for print books and 50-70% royalty for E-books, and send you checks periodically through the mail. If you have your own Web site for your informational products, you will get to keep all of the money after expenses--always a great advantage, and you will be seen as a market leader in your field.
1. Enhance your Online and brand presence with your particular "branding"--why your product or service is the right choice--why you are the preferred expert over your competition. For instance, the one who says I can help you make your book dream a reality, faster, cheaper, and easier. How? Through designing every part of your book to sell copies--before you write a single chapter applying the essential "hot selling points," and how to write each chapter much faster with less editing using the "fast-forward" technique.
2. Enhance your product awareness. When your targeted visitors come to your site to see your free articles and tips, they will become aware of the products you offer. They may not buy the first time, the second time or even third time, but if you keep your site updated with new information every week and mark your site that you have done so, your visitors will keep coming, and up to fifty percent will buy.
3. Boost your leads fast. When you entice your reader with a testimonial or a free bonus report to leave their e-mail address, you will be able to continue to stay in touch with them. Allow them to download a free chapter or excerpt of your e-book. Illustrate with benefits and a testimonial why they should sign up for your free e-zine.
4. Reach new customers worldwide. Once you get up on the Web, many people will come to your site from all over the world. Your e-zine or teleclass can connect with people outside your area because your subscribers or participants think so much of you that they forward the good news to their friends and associates. Only targeted buyers come bringing a much higher rate of sales.
5. Add a new sales channel. Maybe people know you or your products offline through networking groups or other business ventures. A Web site makes you even more respected, and Online people expect you to have a Web site because they love the convenience and speed of online ordering.
6. Increase your existing sales channels, such as post cards, talks, book signings, or radio interviews where you do business with an 800 free order telephone number. Offer improved customer service and support because so many people like to buy online.
7. Reduce support costs. You would spend far more on rent for a real office and need more equipment and furniture plus more support staff. Online marketing is far easier, cheaper and more effective than the mail, telephone or fax.
8. Reduce the cost of doing business. In your home-based virtual office, you will have much less overhead. For e-books, you won't have to spend time or money on postage, packaging, or mailing. You reduce your dependence on other sales channels such as the brick and mortar bookstore, which only take your book through a distributor or wholesaler. All of these folks take a hefty percentage to greatly reduce your profits--up to 90%. Online bookstores will accept your e-book or print book readily by your filling out a few forms and agreements.
9. Increase your profits up to ten times. When you sell your e-book or product to an online book-selling site, you may receive a commission up to 70%. When you sell your print books online, they will give you around 30% royalties delivered by check every few months. These monies support the author, not the unwieldy publishing monolith who spends most of its time and money on big-ticket authors.
10. Reduce your marketing time because e-mail communication is short, fast, and gets to the point quickly. You don't have to spend time buying stamps and special envelopes and stationery. With a virtual assistant, you can look like Barnes and Noble reaching many thousands of online buyers by putting ongoing attention and maintenance on your site.
If you are like me, you will enjoy keeping track of your increasing sales each month. You will enjoy staying in touch with your buyers. When they order on your site you can keep track of them, put them in your address book, and send them follow up information, free bonuses and requests.
Judy Cullins: author, publisher, book coach