Is Your Link Universal?

Last June, I wrote a blog post titled “Are You Using the Right URL?“. The article educated authors on how to use the best URL when sending potential buyers to your book on Amazon.

Is Your Link Universal?

The short version of that article is that many authors search for their book on Amazon, then they copy the URL from the search. This URL link is long and complicated. It is much better to use the shorter, correct URL when sending people to Amazon.

I am still amazed at how many authors are not following this advice. I still consistently receive long complicated URLs from authors for their books on Amazon.

Using the best URL when marketing a book is important. So, now I am going to encourage you to go one step further with your Amazon URL.

If you are marketing your book to a large audience, and some of these people might live outside the United Sates (or the country in which you reside if you are not in the U.S.), then it is best to use a Universal Amazon Link.

What is a Universal Link?

A Universal Link automatically takes readers to the Amazon store in the country in which they live.

If you use a regular Amazon.com link in your marketing, people who live outside the United Sates are taken to the U.S. Amazon store. If they want to purchase your book, they have to switch to the Amazon store in their country. Amazon has different URLs for sales in different countries. For example:

You can make it easy for people to purchase your book by using a Univeral Amazon Link in your marketing. The good news is that creating an Amazon Universal Link is free. There are a number of services that you can use to create one for your book. These include:

For example, my book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books, can be found on Amazon.com at:Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books

https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Bolme/dp/0991299515

The Universal Amazon Link for my book is:

https://rxe.me/GQJJ29

If you provide a link to Amazon on your author or book website for readers to purchase your book via Amazon, then changing that link to a Universal Amazon Link can help you sell more books.

Related Posts:
Are You Using the Right URL?
Presence: It’s Essential in Selling Books
Amazon Is NOT Your Publisher

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Are You Securing Repeat Customers?

Email marketing is one tactic many authors use to connect with their audience. Email marketing allows you to have regular exposure to a group of people who are interested in what you have to say.

Repeat Customers Help You Sell More

Conventional wisdom encourages authors to provide a sign-up form on their website where interested readers can subscribe to your author newsletter or updates.

Smart authors usually go one step further and offer a freebie in exchange for an interested reader’s email. This freebie might be a novella, a recipe, a tips sheets, or something else with entertainment or educational value.

Providing a sign up in this fashion is smart marketing. With social media, you cannot control who sees your posts. With email, your information is sent to everyone on your email list. These people at least see that they have received an email from you, reminding them of you and your books.

Some experts encourage authors to sell books direct from your website. This way, you get to collect the contact information on people who buy your book. You can add these people to your email list and continue to market to them as you produce more books.

However, most authors don’t sell books directly from their website and many people prefer to buy books from a book site like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. So, how do you collect contact information for these buyers?

Enter end-of-book offer.

An end of book offer is where you offer the reader of your book access to a freebie in exchange for their email address. This could be similar to the freebies that you offer on your website, but something of value for someone who has finished your book.

I recently finished reading a book. Now, this is not unusual for me because I read at least one book a week. What was unusual was the offer in this book.

collecting emails

This author offered free access to a series of free online mini-courses on the subject of his book. I was somewhat surprised because this was a generous offer.

However, when I visited the site where the free mini-courses were listed, I realized that this author was using these free mini-courses connected to his book as just a gateway into his much larger program.

It turns out that this author has multiple books and numerous online courses available. By offering free access to his mini-course, he is not only collecting email addresses, he is also building his audience for his other offerings.

If you are a one-book author, this technique for building your audience may not be the best idea. However, if you have multiple books and offer online courses, I think that implementing a similar offer in your books would be smart marketing.

Repeat customers help you sell more. According to Small Business Trends:

  • 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%.
  • The probability of selling to a new customer is 5–20%.
  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of their existing customers.

If you have more than one product to offer, you want to hook your readers into becoming repeat customers. It is just smart marketing.

Related Posts:
How to Sell More Books
Is Free Really an Effective Marketing Tool?
Are You Offering a Compelling Reason to Buy?

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Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan.

Reading Habits By Generation

I came across this infographic that provides an enormous amount of useful information around the reading habits for each generation.

While the infographic focuses on the generations, some things hold true across all generations like:

  • 55% of every generation get book recommendations from friends and family.
  • Print books are still preferred across all generations. 

There is lots of good information to glean for use when marketing your book from this insightful infographic. Check it out.

Reading Across the Generations Infographic

Related Posts:
Marketing Tips to Reach Each Generation
Three Tips for Selling Books to Millennials
Your Christian Book is Crucial

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How Effective Is Your Website?

Your website is important. It is the face that you present to the world.

Your readers judge you and your books by your website. In fact, the people who visit your website will form their opinion within 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) of viewing your web page.

How Effective Is Your Website?

If you want more visitors to stay on your website so that you can convince them to engage with you and eventually buy your books, then it is important that your website is effective in retaining visitors.

To find out how effective your website is, ask yourself these four questions.

1.  Does my website load quickly?

 Statistic:  47% of users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an
average website.

The longer it takes for your website to load, the more potential visitors bail. People want quick responses. When they don’t get them, they move on to the next thing.

You can test your website load speed on the following free services:

Often the culprit for a website slow load time is that the image files on the website are large. If your website is slow, try compressing your images with this free tool found at Optimizilla.

2.  Is my website content written for easy scanning?

Statistic: Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content.

Research shows that 79% of people scan a web page, while only 16% read word-for-word. Too much information results in cognitive overload. In an effort to reduce our cognitive load, we scan information. This results in more efficient processing of that information by the brain.

To maximize the effectiveness of your website, make your content scannable. Break paragraphs down into two or three sentences. Use headers and bullet points.

3. Does my website include a call to action?

Statistic:  70% of small business websites lack a call to action (CTA) on their homepage.

Good marketing always includes a call to action. Whether this is in an advertisement, in an email, on a social media site, or on your website. A call to action urges the reader to act now.

Include a call to action on your website. What do you want your visitors to do?

  • Sign up for your newsletter.
  • Give their email in exchange for a free ebook.
  • Buy your book today to receive a special discount, bundle, or extra material.

4.  Does my website display well on all devices?

Statistic: Nearly 8 in 10 customers stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device.

Websites look different on different devices. Your website will look different on a lap top computer versus a smart phone. You can view how your website appears on various mobile devices with the free tool found at Responsinator.

Did you know that your website may also look different in different browsers? You can view how your website appears in different browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.—with the free tool found at Browser Shots.

Related Posts:
Is Your Text Causing Cognitive Overload?
A Call to Action
Choose Your Colors Carefully

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Book Marketing Advice

Earlier this year at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention, I was asked to do an impromptu interview for The Book Publicist Podcast.

The Book Publicist Podcast

During the interview, I covered a number of different marketing ideas and tactics. I invite you to listen to the interview to glean some book marketing advice!

Listen at:

https://recast.simplecast.com/01d0a534-4f0e-4063-93e7-ad4874b6c661
or
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-publicist-podcast/id1503562889

By the way, Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) receive a discount when signing up for Jason Jone’s Local PR Toolkit service. You can join today for just $120 for Membership through December 2021 with our Summer Membership Special!

Related Posts:
Authors: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities
Double Your Book Marketing with This Little Trick
What Successful Authors Do

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