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.