Promoting Your Book Online

books Julien Smith and I are hard at work writing our first book, Trust Agents, about how the social web helps turn relationships into serious business (or some such). We’re still several months off from that book seeing the light of day, but we’re already thinking about how to promote the book.

Seth Godin just launched Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, and as part of the mad rush, he set up some bloggers with free copies to give away. He also put out an audiobook version on iTunes for .99 cents (I bought it). He built a social community ahead of the release of the book. In essence, Seth did a whole new slew of promotions that were completely and utterly different than what he used to sell The Dip. In fact, he does something completely new EACH TIME to promote books.

In thinking about Trust Agents, and in seeing how different people have used the web to extend and promote and breathe life into their books, I’ve got a few ideas on what we might do. I thought I’d share with you, get your opinions, and then also make this post into a resource for those of us trying to figure this all out together. Sound okay?

Promoting Your Book

Warm People Up With Blog Posts – Some authors blog about their book ahead of time. We’ve done that a bit on our own sites, but we might launch a blog specifically around the book and the ideas behind being a trust agent, as well as how-to information for people looking to become a trust agent themselves. Lots of authors have figured out the blogging-to-warm-up-sales premise.

Offer A Free Preview eBook – In a way, Julien and I have already done this with our Trust Economy ebook, but that was thinking from a year ago, and this has evolved a great deal. Perhaps Julien and I will do another ebook as we move along.

Record Conversational Podcasts – Julien and I keep threatening to do this: a series of audio podcasts that are essentially a capture of the conversations we’re having while forming the book. We think it’d be fun, because it’d show you how our idea-forming process works, and it’d give you all the crazy exchanges that happen before we get to the actual writing part.

Online Events – When the book is closer to coming out, we’re going to have some online events. We’ll ask you to help us get the word out about the book, and we’ll try to find some ways to have fun with that. Beyond a blogging campaign, where we ask all kinds of folks to blog their thoughts on trust agents (not the book, but on the concept), maybe we’ll have some kind of live online experience, either via video or in a chat room or something, where we can have some fun and maybe get the word out even more.

Nominate Other Trust Agents – The book has all kinds of examples of people we think are trust agents (people like Lionel Menchaca, Matt Cutts, Robert Scoble, Mario Lavandeira, and plenty more). What if we built a spot for you to point out people you think deserve to be called trust agent?

Online Workshops – Our book has lots of practical advice and action steps. We could definitely offer free online seminars to extend out some of what we’ve put together for the book.

And Beyond

Both Julien and I have lots of ideas on how we want to promote the book, both online and off. We’ll do our best not to drive you crazy with it, though we’ll certainly do our share of asking for your help with getting the word out.

Your Ideas

How else would YOU promote a book these days? What have you seen that’s been effective online or off? What is most valuable to you as a prospective reader of such a book?

You see, beyond my own interests, I think there are many people coming to the web to find ways to promote their books in new ways. How have you seen it done?

Photo credit, Nate Steiner

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  • http://www.vetravision.fr Laurent

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  • http://www.vetravision.fr Laurent

    Hello,

    I was looking for ideas to boost a french editor.
    It seems this post and comments is so reach, I get a global view of all the lasts trends.
    Great !

  • http://inotauthor.blogspot.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone…I have a new place to promote your work…and all the aspects of your writing/publishing careers!!!!

    I am going LIVE on Wednesday, February 4th @ 7PM (CST) with my new Internet Radio Show: “The Soul of Humanity” which will feature YOU and every artist from every facet of the creative world. If you have something to share, sale or promote, please, send me an email or visit my blog for more details. Contrary to what you may here…the interviews are FREE to you!!!!

    emailto: bobby@ozunapub.com

    I am also looking for sponsors…people or businesses wishing to promote their banner ad and company (over the web) to a potential monthly audience of 1.2 million listeners….

    ~Bobby Ozuna
    “Ozuna Publications”
    “Drawing Stories…With Words”
    817-812-2009

  • http://inotauthor.blogspot.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone…I have a new place to promote your work…and all the aspects of your writing/publishing careers!!!!

    I am going LIVE on Wednesday, February 4th @ 7PM (CST) with my new Internet Radio Show: “The Soul of Humanity” which will feature YOU and every artist from every facet of the creative world. If you have something to share, sale or promote, please, send me an email or visit my blog for more details. Contrary to what you may here…the interviews are FREE to you!!!!

    emailto: bobby@ozunapub.com

    I am also looking for sponsors…people or businesses wishing to promote their banner ad and company (over the web) to a potential monthly audience of 1.2 million listeners….

    ~Bobby Ozuna
    “Ozuna Publications”
    “Drawing Stories…With Words”
    817-812-2009

  • http://inotauthor.blogspot.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone…I have a new place to promote your work…and all the aspects of your writing/publishing careers!!!!

    I am going LIVE on Wednesday, February 4th @ 7PM (CST) with my new Internet Radio Show: “The Soul of Humanity” which will feature YOU and every artist from every facet of the creative world. If you have something to share, sale or promote, please, send me an email or visit my blog for more details. Contrary to what you may here…the interviews are FREE to you!!!!

    emailto: bobby@ozunapub.com

    I am also looking for sponsors…people or businesses wishing to promote their banner ad and company (over the web) to a potential monthly audience of 1.2 million listeners….

    ~Bobby Ozuna
    “Ozuna Publications”
    “Drawing Stories…With Words”
    817-812-2009

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  • http://ozunapub.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone, be sure to listen in tonight as I interview author, poet, playwright and screenplay writer: Susan Wingate!

    My show, The Soul of Humanity, streams LIVE for one full hour on the WWW, as part of the Artist First Radio Network. I am looking for authors who want a streaming online forum to publicize and promote their works as independent authors and I am also looking for sponsors. For as little as $10 USD via PayPal (bobby_ozuna@yahoo.com) I will “plug” your book online to my listening audience. My audience base thus far reaches Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, France, India, the Netherlands, Sweden and of course, the US.

    Be sure to listen to an archived show or listen LIVE tonight @ 7PM and every Wednesday night here: The Soul of Humanity show with author, Bobby Ozuna

    …supporting the independent arts…

    ~Bobby Ozuna

  • http://ozunapub.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone, be sure to listen in tonight as I interview author, poet, playwright and screenplay writer: Susan Wingate!

    My show, The Soul of Humanity, streams LIVE for one full hour on the WWW, as part of the Artist First Radio Network. I am looking for authors who want a streaming online forum to publicize and promote their works as independent authors and I am also looking for sponsors. For as little as $10 USD via PayPal (bobby_ozuna@yahoo.com) I will “plug” your book online to my listening audience. My audience base thus far reaches Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, France, India, the Netherlands, Sweden and of course, the US.

    Be sure to listen to an archived show or listen LIVE tonight @ 7PM and every Wednesday night here: The Soul of Humanity show with author, Bobby Ozuna

    …supporting the independent arts…

    ~Bobby Ozuna

  • http://ozunapub.com Bobby Ozuna

    Hey everyone, be sure to listen in tonight as I interview author, poet, playwright and screenplay writer: Susan Wingate!

    My show, The Soul of Humanity, streams LIVE for one full hour on the WWW, as part of the Artist First Radio Network. I am looking for authors who want a streaming online forum to publicize and promote their works as independent authors and I am also looking for sponsors. For as little as $10 USD via PayPal (bobby_ozuna@yahoo.com) I will “plug” your book online to my listening audience. My audience base thus far reaches Canada, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, France, India, the Netherlands, Sweden and of course, the US.

    Be sure to listen to an archived show or listen LIVE tonight @ 7PM and every Wednesday night here: The Soul of Humanity show with author, Bobby Ozuna

    …supporting the independent arts…

    ~Bobby Ozuna

  • http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ClassesApart.html Philip O'Mara

    Just had my book published. thanks for the advice.
    This is an adult sporting comedy that follows the fortunes of Paul Marriot, the secretary of the Barnstorm Village Sunday soccer team and coach of a school cricket team in Yorkshire, England. The story describes the remarkable camaraderie between the players and supporters of this little club and their desire to achieve success. The team had previously been known more for its antics off the field, rather than their performances on it.

    During his time at the club he meets and becomes involved with Emma Potter, who is the sister of James Potter, a major player for their bitter rivals Moortown Inn. Thus, begins an entangled web of romance and conflict. He also begins working at Derry High School, a school with a poor reputation of academic success, where he becomes coach of the school cricket team. Here he develops an amazing relationship with the children and they embark on an epic journey.

  • http://blog.dreambuilders.com.au/ Liara Covert

    The proposed on-line seminars would help loads o people and promote discussion. Congratulations on reaching a new milestone.

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  • denisehubbard

    Check out this idea for marketing

    Video Book Trailers become the Best New Thing since the “Kindle” for Ailing Book Industry

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  • denisehubbard

    Check out this idea for marketing

    Video Book Trailers become the Best New Thing since the “Kindle” for Ailing Book Industry

    http://www.prlog.org/10368985-video-book-traile

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    I've been looking to promote a book, so this article was very helpful! Well done, and thanks a lot Chris for this nice information!

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  • pujamukho

    Hello,
    I am a struggling first time book writer and your post has helped me realize why prooting the book ahead of time is a good idea. I know I have a great story but I was trying to finish it off before I took to marketing it. I have chapters that are completely engrossing already but then there are others that just dont seem to move beyond a line or two :)
    Anyway thought of dropping off a line….

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  • Brianna Raposo

    My friend just published her first book, Deception. This is a wonderful book, and i am not just saying that cuz she is my friend. Anyone interested in reading Romance books, should visit http://www.gracerodriguesbooks.com and order an autographed advance copy today.

    Thanks for this wonderful article, I will definitely pass it along to her.

  • Terri Kirby Erickson

    Thanks for the tips…I enjoyed reading your advice! Terri Kirby Erickson, author, Telling Tales of Dusk, http://terrikirbyerickson.wordpress.com.

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  • http://www.lawritersgroup.com LAwritersgroup.com

    One thing authors can do is write guest blog posts for other writing-oriented blogs. Like we do on our blog, they often will publish a bio and links to the author’s site, twitter account, facebook account, etc. By way of example, this is what we do on our site: http://lawritersgroup.blogspot.com/p/promote-your-book.html

  • http://www.myfeldenkraisbook.com Alfons

    I’m quite amazed to learn that the bestselling books are actually not that good. I read now 20+ how-to-sell-a-book and many of these sites say these. They say that the NYT bestselling list don’t contain good books. Most of the books are pushed there.

    As a kid I never read books from bestseller list, simply because I didn’t like them. I always felt bad about this. Finally I get hard proof that my feelings have been right.

    I wish you all good luck with your promotion efforts!

  • http://www.myfeldenkraisbook.com Alfons

    I’m quite amazed to learn that the bestselling books are actually not that good. I read now 20+ how-to-sell-a-book and many of these sites say these. They say that the NYT bestselling list don’t contain good books. Most of the books are pushed there.

    As a kid I never read books from bestseller list, simply because I didn’t like them. I always felt bad about this. Finally I get hard proof that my feelings have been right.

    I wish you all good luck with your promotion efforts!

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  • Wodke_hawkinson

    Hi Chris,
    Great post. We have just released Catch Her in the Rye, Selected Short Stories on amazon. Our plan for promotion is to offer our short story collections as a way of introducing readers to our writing, then hopefully they will come back to read our upcoming novels. We also plan to do a video interview to post on youtube.
    Thanks,
    Wodke Hawkinson

  • http://www.promote-a-book.com Paul Silver

    I had never thought about the possibility of posting an e-book online like Seth did with his new book. I wonder how many copies that he has sold so far at the $.99 cost level. I also never thought about your concepts of online workshops and online events. Great ideas. Thanks for the fantastic article!

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  • GABRIELMORENOJ

    EVERY ONE SELLS ONE OR TWO COPIES A MONTH… THE THING IS WHETHER THAT AUTHOR WOULD EVER MAKE IT TO WRITING FULL TIME AND QUIT HIS MORNING JOB.   IT MAY BE A LIFETIME AND NO RESULTS JOB….IF YOU DO IT FOR THE MONEY…THEN GET OUT OF HERE… IF YOU DO IT FOR THE JOY… WELCOME ABOARD.     

    DON’T ‘START THINKING YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT BIG JUST BY GIVING IT A TRY… HAHAAHAHA… FELLOW CITIZEN… I HAVE BEEN WRITING FOR 13 YEARS AND ENJOY THE JOY OF IT… AND HAVE NOT SOLD BUT A COPY OF TWO…..

    BEST OF LUCK TO YOU…

    THIS JOB ON EBOOKS IS FOR THE TRUE PASSIONATE WRITER  NOT JUST SOMEONE WHO WANTS AN EASY BUCK… LET ME TELL YOU… YOU STILL GOING TO GET MORE MONEY OFF YOUR MORNING JOB.

    TRUE WRITERS KEEP ON GOING… THOSE THAT WILL WRITE SOMETHING JUST TO SEE IF IT WORKS…. HAHAAHAHA  DON’T WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME… GO WASH YOUR CAR INSTEAD.

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     “BESTSELLING AUTHOR” of Da Joka part 1 & 2 T.Fulton

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  • http://nadabluebook.info Nada blue book

    good article

  • Rozan

    The idea of promoting a book online is exciting as it will save the writers’ time and money. Great article indeed. I hope to use this info to promote my own pile of writings soon. Go ahead all who read it.

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  • Christina Reihill

    This article is hugely  helpful because it doesn’t claim to have the answers but asks all the questions melting my head as an author  ( Soul Burgers an odyssey in verse)  who has a website for my book…

    Keep asking the questions and I’ll keep checking back with you !

    Best wishes

    Christina

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    I’m guessing that you are looking for something by reading these books. You’re hoping to find the “key” to success in all areas of your life. If you read enough of these self improvement books, you will certainly gather a lot of ideas that will help improve your life.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/xRavenDollx Jessica Lupo

    Thanks for the great info! I’ve been looking for a great way to promote my books. This should help a lot!

    -Jessica Lupohttp://www.amazon.com/author/jessicalupo

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