Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ideas for Using the Web to Get a Book Published

I was talking to one of my colleagues today at the library. She was telling me about a relative who has written a manuscript but is having trouble finding a publisher. Apparently, there are thousands of want-to-be writers out there and getting attention is hard.

I provided her with the following idea. She asked me to write it down so she could send it to her relative. I decided to go ahead and post it to this blog as others may find it of interest.

1. Put part of your book on the Web. Find a good site designer and a Web host and post you chapters online. Find someone who knows how to do good search engine optimization (SEO) or learn about it yourself and promote your site.

2. Put Google Adsense on all your pages. This is described by Google as, “a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site — or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts — you'll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.” The wonder of this system is that as your writing is visited by Web surfers, you have a chance to make money.

3. If you have a fiction book, only put the first half of the book online. Give enough good writing that visitors will want to buy the entire book. Make plenty of links on the site for purchasing.

4. Find a vanity press publisher who will print your book for a fee. You will be sent a small number of copies. However, make sure the publisher allows for print-on-demand ordering so that the books can be printed as they are ordered by customers.

5. It will take time and work but if you promote your site well and have a decent book, you should generate Web traffic, sell some books, and maybe have Google sending you a monthly check. If so, use this as an attention getting point for traditional publishers. Point out how many books you have sold, how many libraries own copies of the book, show key words you rank well for on the Web, etc. Use your current success to prove that you will be profitable and successful for a traditional publisher.

This model will not work for everyone. Many writers fail online too. However, if you believe you have a good book, are not afraid to learn about the Web, and can afford some risk, why not try a model similar to this to get attention? Good luck.

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