"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Friday, June 26, 2009

20 Simple Ways to Drive Massive Traffic to Your Web Site

Embarking on an Internet marketing campaign doesn't have to be difficult, tricky, or complicated. Here are a few simple tips (twenty in fact) that you can easily implement to get tons of traffic to your site right now!

1) Write articles: believe it or not this is an incredible tool for driving traffic. Writing good, well-written, relevant articles can net you quite a bit of activity to your web site. Don't forget to add your URL in your byline. Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length. You can send articles to sites like: articlecity.com, goarticles.com, submityourarticles.com and ezinearticles.com.

2) Social bookmark *everything* - and I do mean everything, you can bookmark each page of your site and each blog entry you post. While this might seem tedious it's worth it. You'll see a strong increase in traffic if you social bookmark each page on your site and each of your blog entries.

3) List yourself in the best directories - you'll have to pay for this but since most people don't do this (since everyone's looking for a freebie) you could really enhance your traffic by getting a listing: http://dir.yahoo.com, www.business.org, botw.org

4) Get yourself listed at: DMOZ.org - it's not easy to get listed there but worth the effort.

5) Review: if you can review hot new products or books within your market, head on over to Amazon.com and start positioning yourself as an expert. In order to do this effectively you'll want to create an Amazon profile and make sure and sign each review with a reference to your URL (your web site). You can also go to epionions.com and revoo.com to review products as well.

6) Offer a freebie on Craig's List: you'll be amazed at how much traffic you get from a single Craig's List ad. They key here is to send people to a page on your site and make sure they have to sign up for something (like your email newsletter) before they can grab their freebie. That way you're not just getting traffic, you're also building your list.

7) Create a "recommended by" list on your Del.icio.us page - you can do this by logging on and creating an account at del.icio.us and then tagging articles, blogs and other content you think is important to your readership. Then offer this page as a resource site. You can add a link to this page in your email signature line or on your web site.

8) And speaking of your email signature line - do you have one? If you don't, create one. Believe it or not people do follow these links. You'll be amazed how many folks read email signature lines. I have one and change it several times a year depending on what we're doing or promoting or what books I have coming out.

9) Lend a helping hand: you can be an answer person at Yahoo Answers, http://answers.yahoo.com/ - you don't have to spend hours on there but maybe a few minutes a week. Make sure and include a link back to your site by your answers.

10) Set up a social networking site using Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, or Squidoo. It's free and easy to do, just don't forget the all-important link back to your site!

11) Make sure your blog has an RSS feed so if you capture a reader you don't lose them if they forget to bookmark your site or blog.

12) Join relevant groups at Yahoo groups, http://groups.yahoo.com/. You'll find everything from groups on growing your small business, writing books, finding your passion, even underwater basket weaving. I dare you to find one that isn't right for what you're promoting. When you do find the right group, join and participate as you can!

13) Podcasting is another great way to drive traffic. Start a podcast by going to AudioAcrobat, http://bookmkr.audioacrobat.com/ - yes, this is our affiliate link. There are other programs you can use, but I love AudioAcrobat. You can record the podcast over the phone quickly and easily and then hit the "send" button on your computer once it's recorded and the system will syndicate it to 27 podcast directories including iTunes. It's a great way to let people know about you and your web site!

14) Start a blog and then once you do, start commenting on other people's blogs, linking to them from your site or adding them to your blogroll.

15) Inbound links: don't squander your time (or a perfectly good link) on smaller low-traffic sites. Instead spend your time going after high traffic, high quality sites. Good sites should have a PR (page ranking) of 4-6 depending on the market. You can find out what a site's page ranking is by downloading the Google toolbar which comes with a PR feature built in.

16) Start an email newsletter: while it may not seem like a newsletter that you email can drive traffic to your site you'd be surprised at the effectiveness of this type of promotion. If your newsletter (like your articles) is interesting and relevant to your audience you'll find that it has a huge pass-through factor. Meaning that it is passed from one email subscriber to another. Also, if you have an email newsletter you should never, ever go to a single event without your handy signup sheet. Yes, you can even use offline events to drive traffic to your web site.

17) And speaking of offline efforts: if you're ever quoted in a magazine or other publication, make sure and mention your URL as it's appropriate to the topic. Don't be too pushy about this but do not forget to tell folks you have a web site that may be a great resource for the topic of your interview.

18) If you have products to sell why not get a store on eBay? This site gets a tremendous amount of traffic and on your sales page you're allowed to list your URL. Another great way to get an inbound link and a way for people to find you.
19) Load a video on YouTube and 57 other video sites - if you don't have a video or don't know how to create one contact us and we'll refer you to our fabulous book video people!

20) While this isn't a tip per se it's still important. If you're going to go through all the trouble of getting traffic to your site, make sure your site is converting this traffic into something. Get folks to sign up for something, your newsletter, the RSS feed on your blog. Whatever it is, getting their email address will help you remarket to them when the time is right. Studies show that visitors landing on a site often don't buy the first time. That's ok! You want to get them into your marketing funnel so you can market to them again and again - not in a way that's obtrusive, offensive or downright annoying but in a way that is helping them with their own mission. An example of this might be an email newsletter. A helpful, informative newsletter is a fantastic funnel. A blog is another great way to keep people in your marketing loop without bombarding them with "please buy my stuff" email messages. Also, make sure you know what your traffic numbers are before you launch into any Internet marketing campaign. By traffic numbers I mean how many people are visiting your site. You want to know this so you can gauge a before and after view of your marketing efforts.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cheryl talks about using contests to promote novels at 'Your Shelf Life'

Today I was featured at 'Your Shelf Life', a great blog geared for writers and readers. The main question asked is what can you do to extend your 'shelf life' as an author and the 'shelf life' of your books.

I talked to Sandy about how I use contests to keep things fresh, interesting, exciting and interactive.

How Contests Can Promote Your Novels & Extend Your Shelf Life

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Self-Publishing Tips from an Independent Bookstore Owner

Here's an informative article I found on Jerry D. Simmons' wonderful newsletter--TIPS for WRITERS from the PUBLISHING INSIDER...

Self-Publishing Tips - by Josie Leavitt posted in Publishers Weekly (Excerpts from the article)

As the owner of an independent bookstore, I get approached at least twice a week by self-published authors asking me to sell their books. The world of self-published books has changed a great deal since we've been open. The quality is vastly improved -- even Kinko's can produce a handsome book. The challenge becomes how to distinguish your book from the multitude we see a year.

I've amassed a list of what I'd like to see happen to make this growing area of bookselling as beneficial as possible for both parties. I've had some great success with self-published books. So if you're an author, don't despair, you can almost always get your book on the shelf. One thing I've changed is that now I'll take one copy of any self-published book on consignment. This involves no risk on my part and it allows your book to spend some time on the shelf. Just know that shelf space is at a premium. If after three months, the book hasn't sold, it may wind up in the back room until there's more room on the shelf.

One cardinal rule: if you want me to carry your book and you live locally, you should make an effort to shop at my store.

Do: Make your book look as professional as possible. Don't: Have a spiral wire binding (unless it's a church cookbook), laminated pages or folders.

Do: Send an email with details about your book. I love emails; I can't misplace them and I can quickly refer to it when I need to. And they give me an easy way to contact you. Don't: Come to the store unannounced and expect me to drop what I'm doing to review your book. There's nothing that puts me off more than this. Respect my time and I'll be much more disposed to look favorably on your book.

Do: Call to follow up on the email you sent. This reminds to review the email if I've missed it. Don't: Be hurt if I don't remember your book right away. We see lots of books. My lack of memory means nothing, other than I just don't remember. It's not a condemnation of your book.

Do: Try to leave a reader's copy if you want me to carry a novel. I do try to read them and if I like the book, I'll happily take several copies. Don't: Get mad at me for asking for a copy to read. I know it's expensive to have extra books; if you can't have a copy for me to read, then maybe an excerpt would be good. I can't just have things on the shelf I know nothing about. So give me so info that can help me sell your book.

Do: Try to price your book within the market ranges. I know picture books can be expensive to print, but a $25 paperback picture book will be hard to sell. Don't: Not listen to your local bookseller's advice. No one knows the market better than your local indie. Listen to their hesitations about carrying the book. See what you can do to modify the price. We had one self-published book that was really overpriced; we recommended a different printer and she got a much better price. As a consequence of the lower price we were really able to sell the book. I think by the time the print run ran out, we'd sold over 200.

Do: Think regionally. You're much more likely to get your book placed if it's got something to do local region. We've had good results with a book about boxers in Vermont. Don't: Expect a Vermont bookstore to carry a book about California ponies.

Do: Have an invoice for consignment available when you want me to carry your book. In a perfect world, I would have my own form, but sometimes we run out, and it's really helpful if you can keep track of the paperwork. Don't: Expect me to buy three copies of your book. It's not personal; it's business. Better to have the book on the shelf than not at all. We sold thirty copies of a Chapbook on consignment and it worked out well.

Do: Tell your friends and the press (if you live locally) that your book is available at my store. Don't: Not tell me if you're going to be featured in the local paper. Nothing is more frustrating than getting caught by surprise by not having a book on hand that's been featured in the paper.

On the whole, the future looks bright for self-published books. With the increase in quality, the stigma of self-publishing is going away. Remember to make your book look as professional as possible and be patient. We want you to succeed and nothing is more exciting than seeing a self-published book take off.

(This article was printed here with permission from the author, Jerry D. Simmons and WritersReaders.com