Wednesday Review: Plug Your Book by Steve Weber

As any author who has been paying attention knows, the promotion of our books is largely a DIY affair.  In today’s economy, publishers reserve the bulk of their promotional dollars for the elite few.  Featured releases get a little extra attention too, but the mid-list largely has to look out for itself.  There’s no evil intent or malice involved.  It’s just business.

So it’s great when a book like Plug Your Book:  Online Book Marketing for Authors comes along to shine a light in the wilderness for the rest of us.

Plug Your Book by Steve Weber is crammed full of information that will be useful to both self/independently published authors and traditionally published authors.  I probably highlighlighted items on every third page.

This is not a book to be read once and passed on.  There’s just too much info in it for that.  You should follow the recommedation Weber makes at the beginning:  “Read through this entire book once.  Then read it again, selecting and prioritizing what you’ll tackle first.”

Weber spends a lot of time discussing the many ways authors can use Amazon to improve their sales.  “Amazon is ground zero for your online campaign.”  Given that Amazon currently is the top online bookseller by a wide margin, this isn’t surprising.  He also addresses the benefits of blogging, websites, social networking as well as other details of self-promotion.

I particularly liked his admonishment:  “This book is not a quick-fix plan; there is no such thing as overnight success.  It might require a year or more of steady work to see appreciable results.”  This echoes what Gary Vaynerchuck wrote in Crush It!

He quotes Seth Godin in the chapter on Building Your Author Web-site:  “The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out.  Three years to build a reputation, . . . build a following, . . . and build the connections you’ll need later.”  This seems a little long for a lead time (especially for an impatient person like me), but if we’re in this business for the long haul, we need to be realistic.

My only complaint is something that Weber has no control over.  Time passes and things change quickly online.  His emphasis on My Space over Facebook and other social networking sites seems a little out-dated.  He does point the reader at the book’s website for updates, however.

I definitely recommend this book.

2 Comments

Filed under Book reviews, writing

2 responses to “Wednesday Review: Plug Your Book by Steve Weber

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Wednesday Review: Plug Your Book by Steve Weber « Frankie's Soapbox -- Topsy.com

  2. Great review, thank you! Sounds like this will be one for the keeper shelf.

    I agree, three years before a release does seem really long, and a bit daunting. The dreamer in me would certainly like to see us all achieve “overnight success,” but, yes, I do realize there’s no such thing. And, as writers we’ve been working at this too long to let these minor marketing and technology challenges keep us from our achieving our dreams, right? 🙂

    Last year I began planting my name, or brand if you like, around the net in various places: social networking sites, publishlishing non fiction articles aimed at helping writers, etc. I set a Google alert about eight months ago to track how often Google found new results for my name as a search term, and where. I am now receiving alerts about once a week. 30% of them are related to other Roxy’s doing various things in life other than writing, but I consider that 70% to be decent traffic for not having published fiction yet. I can see the benefit of having my name floating around in cyberspace well in advance of my first release. By the time three years have passed, I hope I’ll be saying, “That was quick!” LOL.

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