She’s one of my Publicity Hounds, and she presented two fabulous sessions last week at Author U in Denver, where I also spoke. Even though I already hosted a webinar with Penny a few months ago on “How to Launch a Book, Promote It and Sell a Truckload, Without an Expensive Publicist,” I was taking notes like crazy. I want to share the foreword with you here so you buy the book!
It isn’t only for authors, but for anyone who wants online visibility and online sales. If you’re new to it all and don’t even know how to acquire a domain name, you’ll love this step-by-step guide. If you think you know everything about building online visibility, you’ll be surprised by the tools and resources Penny recommends.
Here’s the foreword to Red Hot Internet Publicity:
Most of the phone calls sound the same.
An author, usually self-published, is in tears. She spent three years writing her book, and a small fortune on a book shepherd, an editor, a proofreader, a publicist, a printer, brochures, bookmarks and tchotchkes. But she still can’t park in her garage. It’s filled with stacks of unopened cardboard boxes of books she can’t sell.
She’s calling me because I’m a publicity expert. And she admits she has no clue about what she’s supposed to do next.
“Who’s the target market for your book?” I ask patiently.
Remarkably, she isn’t sure.
“What have you already done to try to sell it?”
A speaking engagement here, she says, a book signing there. If she’s lucky, a profile story in her local weekly newspaper.
When I ask for her website address so I can take a quick look, I’m not surprised to hear, “My website is horrible! Besides, I’m an author. I’m not an Internet marketer.”
That one comment says it all.
When I explain that anyone who sells ANYTHING online is an Internet marketer, she mumbles something about technology being over her head. Then, she admits, “I’m lost.”
More and more, “I’m lost” seems to be a common refrain among authors, speakers and business owners.
I hear it in the halls when I speak at conferences. I see the words “I’m lost” in the Q&A box when I present a webinar on how folks can use social media to market their business and books. I heard it again last weekend when my friend said she couldn’t figure out how to get rid of her ex-husband on LinkedIn after she accidentally accepted his invitation to be a first-degree connection.
“I’m lost,” she said. “That’s why I don’t use LinkedIn like I should.”
Just when authors thought they had the world of publishing figured out, and business owners were settled on how to market their businesses, along comes Internet marketing, and then the mind-numbing chore of social media.
Book Promotion Expert to the Rescue
Enter Penny Sansevieri.
If marketing online was a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, Penny would be the one you’d want sitting next to you at the kitchen table. She’s an author, business owner, a publicist and a book marketing expert who helped create 11 best-sellers in 22 months. Rather than grabbing a fistful of pieces, she’d help you create a strategy for tackling the online marketing puzzle.
Jigsaw puzzle junkies say it’s easiest to pick out all the pieces with straight edges and build the frame first. Penny agrees. Even before you think about marketing your products or services, she’d want you to build the frame. That is, a list of your all-important keywords–words and phrases, all tied to the topic of your book or focus on your business, that you’ll use in your marketing to pull traffic to your website.
Then she’d help you gather together the inside pieces of the puzzle that look like they belong together—step-by-step instructions on how to build your website, tips on how to use words at your website, and advice on how to turn your website into a sales machine—so you could start assembling the puzzle in chunks.
Days later, when all the oddly shaped, interlocking puzzle pieces are in place, the completed picture of how to market online would finally make sense. Build the puzzle correctly and you’ll finally hear “ka-ching! ka-ching!”
But you can’t have Penny next to you. That’s why you need this third edition of Red Hot Internet Publicity—an insider’s guide to promoting your book online.
Great for Veteran or Newbie Authors, Speakers, Business Owners
If you’re thinking about marketing online, read Red Hot NOW, before you spend another minute online. It will put you miles ahead of all the other business owners, speakers and authors who are calling me for help, months after their books are published or their businesses launched. Penny will keep you from making the same incorrect assumptions others made. Costly errors, they later discovered, turned into marketing nightmares.
If you’ve already written your book, or been at your business awhile, her help will be invaluable because it can jump-start sagging sales.
Here’s what I like best about Red Hot: It’s written for the non-techie newbie who I sometimes fear is being left behind by the Internet marketing mentors and the social media gurus. While they’re teaching about Facebook’s Edgerank score, and how to measure your conversion rate from Facebook traffic at your website, folks who don’t know a Facebook profile from a Facebook page are telling themselves, “I’m lost.”
Penny assumes you are. That’s why she starts with the basics like the most popular search engines and how to choose a domain name. You’ll find simple worksheets and must-do checklists that help you keep the puzzle pieces well organized as you do things like hire a web designer and determine what the key messages will be at your site.
Gradually, she will introduce you to more technical aspects of Internet marketing and explain in drop-dead simple terms things like how to analyze your web traffic and create autoresponder campaigns for email marketing.
Red Hot is also a valuable reminder for experts like me who have been doing Internet marketing for 15 years. In the chapter on “Search Engine Optimization Tricks,” I had a half dozen of those slap-my-palm-on-my-forehead moments. For example, when I use Craigslist to advertise my rental property, I’m inundated with calls. So why am I not using it, as Penny recommends, to get sign-ups for my ezine and let people know about my new ebooks and special reports?
Social Media Tips Galore
As for social media, this third edition does two important things: It gives an overview of the most popular sites for building a community and marketing your books, and explains specific steps you should take to market.
Determine which sites will give you the best traction and which you most enjoy. I love LinkedIn and Twitter, but have been tempted repeatedly to bail out of Facebook. Struggling with its never-ending changes isn’t my idea of fun. And then there’s Penny, whose Facebook page boasts more than 60,000 fans, and you can tell she’s having a ball. Different strokes for different folks.
Finally, who better than Penny, creator of the Virtual Author Tour™, to explain why you need to blog, how to blog, and how to pitch bloggers. They can help you sell far more books than a book reviewer in a major newspaper.
Red Hot is a quick, easy read that scanners will love. Pay attention to all the “Red Hot Tip!” boxes scattered throughout the book. Pick and choose which chapters you need most. Or, if you’re new to Internet marketing, read it all the way through without taking notes so you can get a good idea of what the finished puzzle will look like. Then go back and make a to-do list of only three tasks. Tackle them all, and then make a new list of three more things, and so on.
If you know the types of people who are ideal buyers for your book or consumers for your business, but you don’t know how to use the technology to find them, you’re in luck. Red Hot shows you how.
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Free Book Marketing and Publicity Tips
I also recommend Penny’s excellent monthly ezine, Book Marketing Expert, packed with powerful promotion and publicity tips for authors and publishers.
To thank you for subscribing, she’ll send you her time-tested tips, 52 Ways to Sell More Books.
How to Write a Book Foreward
I’m a prolific writer. I worked as a newspaper writing coach for many years. But this was the first time I’ve been asked to write a foreward for a book and I struggled with it because I wasn’t sure how to write it. Here’s a helpful article on How to Write a Book Foreward.
If you have your own book marketing or publicity tips, share them here. I’d love to hear them, and you CAN teach this old dog new tricks!