Tips for Selling Your Work: For Traditional and Self Published Authors (Or Those Who Are Thinking about It)

The article “Tips for Selling your Work: For Traditional and Self-Published Authors (Or Those Who Are Thinking about It) by Phil Sexton originally appeared on Writer’s Digest’s website (

Whether you’ve been published traditionally or are self published, your success as an author can only be measured by a few different things:

* Quality of the work
* Personal satisfaction
* Positive response from readers
* Copies sold
* Revenue generated

Now those last two elements might seem crass for those of us whose aspirations are more literary than monetary. But it’s the hard truth that impressive sales enable you to get more projects published, live more comfortably, and build a bigger readership.

To that end, we’re going to start posting occasional marketing tips from Rob Eager, author of the upcoming Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, and a freelance marketing specialist who has worked with numerous publishers and bestselling authors to help promote their books.

This week’s tip:
SEO is an abbreviation for a term used by website programmers and hosting companies that stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” This concept refers to employing various methods to make your website appear on the first page of displayed answers when someone conducts an Internet search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. There are both paid and free techniques that can be used to help the search engines find you and rank you higher than other sites. The problem is that there are all manner of technology sharks who will lure you into paying extra money to use their SEO “secrets.”

These techniques usually focus on trying to drive random people to your site when they conduct an Internet search. But, that’s not your goal as an author. Instead, you want to be the primary option when someone searches on your specific book topic or expertise. The good news is that you can enhance your search engine results for free through properly choosing your website metatags, keywords, blog posts, and providing lots of online articles on your subject. Tell your webmaster to make sure that your site contains keywords that focus on your name, book titles, and article titles.

As an author, you want targeted, repeat traffic to visit your website – not random, disinterested traffic. You’re trying to build a community, not a flea market of casual observers. So, don’t let people up-sell you on paid SEO services. Most of those tactics are a waste of money. You will grow legitimate website traffic as you build your reader community and strengthen word-of-mouth among your fans.
—Rob Eager

If you’re interested in self publishing, be sure to check out the official Writer’s Digest self publishing imprint, Abbott Press. We provide self publishing services, as well as education, information and a collaborative environment for creating your book. To learn more, simply click here. We’d be happy to discuss the options available to you.


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