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Self Publishing Tips: Blogging to the Book Store and the Bank.

12 Mar

After hearing yet another success story that has grown from the world of self-publishing authors I decided to do another post on the subject. I wanted to talk about why having a blog has helped self-published

Blogging to the Book Store and the Bank

 authors and how they can help you too.

Today I read about Clair Ridgway, she is a self-published author who recently published her first non-fiction book ‘The Anne Boleyn Collection’. Within 3 weeks she had sold 1024 copies. It was available as a paperback and digital format on Amazon.

What I found interesting about this book is this; the book is 260 pages long made up of the best articles from her own successful blog www.theanneboleynfiles.com. The blog is a historical blog telling the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and the Tudors.

Now what is important here is this, even though I find history interesting to a degree, I and many of my close friends and family will not spend hours reading about the Tudor times.

In fact I know people who would rather stick their face against freshly painted walls just so they could really enjoy the mind bending excitement that comes from watching it dry.

There are people though who do enjoy history, but not all history, they prefer one small specific part of history. It is fair to say that it probably is a relatively small amount of people who enjoy learning about the Tudors.

However,

Ms Ridgway had built a blog around a very specific niche and made it successful. She, like every other blog owner, would write and upload new posts regularly. These posts are available to everyone on a daily basis. The people who visit the blog regularly can read them as many times as they want.

But here is the incredible thing, after creating a book from the best posts on the blog, she went on to sell over 1000 copies in 3 weeks. To who though? I am sure there will be buyers who have never seen the blog, there may have been some marketing and Social Media pushes going on but I believe it is safe to say that the majority of buyers are regular readers of the blog.

So why would anyone buy something that they have access to for free?

The same reason that our Glorious Leader likes to sell DVDs, people like to have something to hold, something to take with them. A book can be read on a train or late at night tucked up in bed. There are no connection issues, having to lug around a big laptop, getting annoyed by flashing adverts or simply getting stuck on Facebook and Twitter.

Even though people have access to your content for free they are happy to buy it in a condensed collection.

The other great point I want to get across is that by building up a successful blog you create a following of loyal fans, who see you as a trustworthy authority figure and like all other types of fans (think of music for instance, fans will buy several live versions of the same song even though they may not sound as good as the studio version) they will buy more of your stuff.

Having a blog not only builds you up a fan base but having a fan base builds you up more opportunities to sell your own stuff. Like a collection of best blog posts maybe? 🙂

John Locke is another successful self-published author who used his blog and Twitter creatively to create exposure for his books. He wrote and published a short 550 word blog post called ’Why I Love Joe Paterno and My Mom!’ The article was about the head coach of the American football team the Penn State Nittany Lions. John Locke chose Joe Paterno because he is a huge fan of the man and also there was an important game approaching.

He then did a search on Twitter for the term Penn State, he found hundreds of people were Tweeting about the forth coming game, he took the first 100 people, sent them a message telling them that he thought they might be interested in the post he wrote.

People went to the blog and shared his message with friends and family. After visiting the post people would look around his blog at other things he had written, they would see his books and noticed a similar style of writing to his blog posts.

People started to buy his books and sharing the links, things started to change for John, as he said in an interview with the Daily Mail ‘One day I wrote the blog, the next day I was successful,

Self-publishing is no different to any other form of Internet Marketing. It is all about exposure. Getting as much exposure as possible and leaving a memorable impression on people.

Traffic Generation tips For Self Published Authors

Thinking of what John Locke did, any blog can have a page dedicated to trending news, thoughts or quotes. Quotes are often searched for, so a page of quotes from the world’s best authors can have people coming to your site for free, reading the quotes then looking around the rest of your site.

Another self-published author with his own blog is Kerry Wilkinson. His blog is a straight forward author blog and can be found sitting nicely at the top slot in Google for his name.  But it’s not his blog that I want to talk about.

Kerry Wilkinson is a 31 year old sports journalist who has now signed a six book deal with a publishing house after his first 3 self-published books became Amazon best sellers. He started writing books only a year ago and sold 250,000 copies after six months. He did no formal advertising to promote the books.

His reason for writing his first book?

‘I never wrote these books to be published as such, I wrote them to show myself that I could. Basically, for something to do.’ – Kerry Wilkinson

His first book ‘Locked In’ was sold for only £0.99, it was sold cheap to attract further readers for his following books. It has sold over 150,000 copies to date.

There are many great tried and tested methods that can get you exposure, some are free and in the case of Kerry Wilkinson, he got paid to build his fan base. Now that cannot be a bad thing can it?

I believe that if you truly want to use the internet to make money you should seriously consider having a blog. Writing to it regularly not only gets you exposure, recognised as an authority but can in fact, over time, create you a book ready to sell on Amazon.

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