This is a guest post from Thomas Umstattd (@ThomasUmstattd). Today he’s introducing a terrific new idea for authors that I thought you all should know about.
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Most publishers require authors to have a website before they will publish them. The reasoning behind this is simple. The purpose of the website, for the publisher, is to sell books.
The problem is that books can be really hard to sell on your website.
5 Problems With a “Books” Webpage
Most authors add a “books” page to their website, listing all their books along with links to buy them on Amazon. It sounds like a simple solution but it often creates problems, such as:
Bookstores get mad. Barnes & Noble gets ticked when excluded from the list. They have threatened to pull the books of any author who doesn’t link to their online store. Now other bookstores have started asking for links too. This causes clutter and confusion. It is hard to make every bookseller happy and still have a page that looks good.
Books pages don’t rank well on Google. Putting all your books on one page pretty much guarantees your website won’t rank on Google for any of those books. Don’t believe me? Google your book and see what comes up first.
A books page gets crowded if you have multiple books. We work with professional authors. Many of them have 12+ published books that they want to sell. When using the traditional book page approach, the older books (the ones that need the most promotion) tend to get lost in the noise.
A books page is hard to use.Website visitors want “buy buttons” to buy your book. Many authors don’t know how to add buy buttons for every store that wants one. So, they end up using text links instead. These don’t work as well because that’s not how people buy. It may have worked in the 90s but not any more.
Book pages tend to look messy. It is hard to keep things looking consistant when you do the page by hand and each book is by a different publisher. It can also take a long time for authors to resize their book images by hand so that all the graphics are standard, not skewed.
MyBookTable – The Better Way
MyBookTable is a plugin for WordPress websites that makes listing your books on your website easy. It gives you the flexibility and uniformity of a bookstore without needing to do any of the shipping yourself.
MyBookTable Makes “Buy Buttons” Look Good (& Easy!)
You can easily add “buy buttons” for any store you want and MyBookTable keeps them all looking nice and uniform. No coding needed.
MyBookTable Makes it Easier to Rank on Google
We built MyBookTable from the ground up to be Search Engine Optimized (SEO). If you don’t know anything about SEO, MBT will handle the basics for you automatically. If you do know SEO, MyBookTable integrates with popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO.
MyBookTable Works With Amazon Affiliates
Most authors don’t use Amazon’s affiliate program. This makes me sad because this is one of the easiest ways to make extra money on your books. Amazon gives its affiliates a commission on the entire shopping cart.
You read that right.
The world’s biggest online retailer will give you a cut on everything.
So if someone clicks your book’s buy button and then does their Christmas shopping while on Amazon, you get a commission on every gift they buy. Most authors who use Amazon affiliates report that they make more from Amazon than they do from their publisher. That’s not a typo. It’s a hidden treasure trove.
You don’t need MyBookTable to use Amazon Affiliates, but MBT makes it easy.
MyBookTable Is Affordable
MyBookTable has three versions:
The basic version is a free download and will come with the SEO but not Affiliate Integration. This is a great option if you just want to sell your books.
If you want to take advantage of the Affiliate Integration, you will want to look at the different paid packages, which also offer more shopping cart options — like Barnes and Noble and CBD.com. The paid versions are available atAuthorMedia.com/mybooktable.
How do you sell your books now? What are some of the common frustrations you deal with?
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Thomas Umstattd is CEO of Author Media, a team of expert web-designers, social media managers, and coders who are dedicated to making online platform building easier for writers.
Thomas built his first website at the age of 13 and has been helping people with the web ever since. Thomas is an award-winning speaker on the subject of marketing and technology.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading, volunteering for pro-life ministries, and blogging at his personal website, ThomasUmstattd.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ThomasUmstattd.
My passion is partnering with authors to bring worthwhile books to publication. I started this blog as a way to create a community of writers, both published and seeking publication. I write about a wide variety of topics of interest to writers, and I consider the reader comments even more important than my own posts.
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