I need your opinion. I have been working hard to promote my book (self published) on my own site instead of Amazon or some of the other online stores I am distributed to. However, I am wondering if people are less inclined to buy from someone they don;t know and if my time would be beter spent using Amazon etc.


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I would offer both options, with incentives for purchasing from your site. I think most people prefer to buy from Amazon, but they might buy from your site if you offer autographed copies there.

I never thought about the incentives to buy. Geez, how the obvious can escape us:)
You could sell your book on both. It gets out to more people. Try Createspace or Lulu. Offer signed copy on your site.
This is an issue that I am sure will have many opinions. I sell at both my website www.braveluck.com and other online retailers. I need to be in the big retailers for the sake of exposure. I do get many sales at retail outlets, but I only give minimal marketing efforts to my books/ebooks at big retail sites. I like to promote my website as much as possible for many reasons:

1. Retailers can come and go, so I don't heavily invest in them.
2. Retailers can change their terms and start taking a bigger cut in the future - and they probably will.
3. Retailers take months to pay me.
4. Except for operating expenses, sales at my websites result in the biggest profit margin for me and I get the money instantly.
5. My marketing budget is small, so I spend it in ways that will get me retail sales, not wholesale.

Now, be aware, that all of this is against the conventional wisdom, but I tend to be contrary. Most savvy business people recommend that you promote your book listings at the big retailers. The more sales you get there, the higher your sales rank goes and then the more book sales you will get.

Over the last year I did finally distribute into many online retailers because I need to be under the noses of book/ebook shoppers. Most people want to browse books not just go to my website and specifically look at my books. This action has increased my sales. I'm moving more units but at a lower price. Distribution has cut into my website sales a little because people now have more places to get my novels, but I'm working to turn this around. I appreciate the exposure and sales volume that retailers can bring, but my overarching goal is to get as many readers to buy from me directly. This way their entertainment dollars go entirely to the creator instead of Wall Street.

To sum up, I think it is important to be a part of the major retailers but also promote your website. ALWAYS have a way at your website for readers to buy directly from you. If they want to get you at their favorite retailer they will do that, but if they like your work and see an opportunity to buy direct, some of them will. The Holy Grail of business is always to cut out the middleman. It's rarely possible to that completely, but you don't have to pay the middleman every time!
One reason to sell your book on Amazon is that if you're successful in getting PR and selling a good number - especially in a short period of time - they may republish your book. Amazon has a new brand for "break-out" SP books. I forget the title of this label (it might be Encore Books) but you should be able to Google it. It seems like they re-release more and more of these formerly self-published books each month. I think the decisions are based both on sales and positive/strong reviews. Good luck.
It's good to use both, or a number of outlets. The more the better. When someone sees your book on the big ones like Amazon or Barnes & Noble it lends good credibility. Authors Den is also good. It's free to join and for a small amount you get featured, and they have a good book autograph system. I get a lot of exposure on Authors den.

Your own website is good. If they don't know you it can give people a chance to get to know you. A look at my site might give you some ideas about how to get your visitors to know you better.

Also, take advantage of all the free stuff you can get, like Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. They are all good and the price is right, zero, except for the investment of your time. Facebook has good advertising rates for their fan or business pages, but Twitter is a better deal for free in my experience, once you get the hang of it.

When doing your own website you need to be sure to use good SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This may sound complicated, but it's easy with a little study about keywords, meta names etc.

You can easily give yourself a free course on inbound marketing. The best source I've seen is HubSpot, which is an inbound marketing firm. Most their staff is from MIT. They sell inbound marketing software but also give away tons of free info that shows you how to get visitors to your website.

I have mentioned all these things in more detail in my book Checklist For Publishing & Selling Your Books.

Good luck in your marketing efforts,

Rex, I read your post twice to get all the juice out of it I could.Well, you had a lot of good things there. I do have a webpage and have for years, but my problem is not knowing enough about Meta tags and to get piocked up on everything. If you don't have good meta tags then Google can't find you. I come up on google very fast but finding others are grabbing my sites and adding to theirs for what they can get out of it. Doesn't do any good to beat your brains out and see it in another webpage behind an ad for puppy chop.
Any advice on meta tags, and anything else I can dig into?
Like everyone else I want you to read my books, but when you/I am somewhat limited in a buget then makes for scrub board method. Give me your best advice to get my webpage to bloom! A work in progress for years! Braveart www.eatel.net.net/~snichols/power.htm
Hi Shirley,

Glad you liked my suggestions. Regarding the meta names and meta tags, HubSpot has a service called Grader that will do an analysis of your website for free and make suggestions. If you have a difficult time making the SEO improvements to your site by doing it yourself, look around for someone who can help you with it for a small fee. I may be able to help you with it. I'm a web engineer. You can reach me at rex@momentsofmagicphoto.com

As far as other web sites grabbing yours for what they can get out of it, that is actually a good thing that gives you more exposure, and really something you want as much of as you can get.
I knew you were the cream on the top:) Thanks for that info and does make my day look better. Struggling on your own and no background at all on html thing-a-ma-gigs is time comsimung and dulls my brain. Rather write.
I will take you up on your advise and see you are also into phoptgraphy. So am I. check me out at 'Pbase.com' Braveart
will get back to you in a minute or less! Shirley

I have a FB and Twitter account and I noticed on your web site you have an active link to your FB and Twitter. How does one go about adding that to their web site? I kinow how to add hyperlinks but I'm not sure where to get the FB logo. Thanks.

~ Jason
Hi Jason,

Good point,

With the number of users on Twitter & FB you can't afford to be without these links.

FB has instructions for adding the Share logo to your site at http://www.facebook.com/share/
Hi my friend. Am new here and kind of wondering around in a wide open field of dreams! A place I love to be but need more time. Subject is: Your webpage or Amazon or both. I do both. Have had my page up for twenty years and writing for 19. Joined Amazon when it became available and still on Kindle pages now. I have found that the more agressive you are in Kindle the better off you are, but not really get the best books out. Webpages seems to float by everyone when there is real treasure there. Is a mystery to me how people will head for a great sounding name instead of the content. Might as well go to a department store and pick something off the shelve for a rainy day. Am on this blob site because I need more exposure. Not for selling huge numbers of books but selling good fuzzy feeling books you hate to finsih.
Solution: Give Amazon a try! Good luck see you there. Braveart


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