A Novel Book is now Online, marketing tips appreciated!

A Novel Book online bookstore

Well, finally after many stops & starts, A Novel Book is back up and running. I am much happier this time around – and the site is so much more user friendly than the last so hats off to the designers.

Now, what to do next?

I have started listing the books.

I have written my listings up. I have added synopsis. I have even added information about the authors I have a few books of. I’ve written up my Meta descriptions / keywords. Then I rewrote them. Then I did some more research, and rewrote them again.

Then I spent a bit of time googling some of my listings. A few came up on the first page or 2 which surprised me. The rest didn’t, which didn’t surprise me. I must’ve just fluked the few that come up high in the searches.

So I went back and tried to find out what I did differently to those listings.

NOTHING. They have ALL been entered the same way. Gee, this is harder than I thought. So I’ve left that alone for now. I have bigger issues.

Advertising!

We have started with the fairly easy things first.

With every book I sell through Ebay I include a thank you card with my contact details & the website address. I’ve been doing this for nearly a year now although, at the moment I think it would work much better for me if I was actually selling ANYTHING on Ebay at the moment, but that’s another story J. I also have a note in my ebay store about where to find me outside of ebay.

I have a Facebook page – with a few fans too. But that needs some attention at the moment. I thought I might use this as a good place to offer up discounts, competitions and sales. But first I have to actually think about what sort of discounts, competitions & sales I want to run!

I am on Twitter too. I have added listings on here a few times. It seems to drive a fair bit of traffic to my listings so I will keep that one up.

Now – these are the easy things.

Here’s where I come a bit unstuck.

I’ve gone to Google and set up Webmaster Tools –  but I haven’t had 2 seconds to even look through this and find out what it even does. That’s tomorrow’s job. I have set up a Google Adwords account, but again, I haven’t had the time to sit and read about that. Add that to the To Be Done list tomorrow.

I subscribe to quite a few blogs and have been leaving comments ALL over the place with my newly refurbished URL attached to everything I can. I think this is working because I seem to be getting hits when I check my Google Analytics program.

I have left my business cards at the Gym, Swimming Lessons, the local grocery store, the Doctor’s surgery and at the last school P&C meeting.

I’m not too sure what else to do. I’m sure there are plenty of other options available to me – but I could surely use some advice & maybe a little bit of guidance.

My big concern is signing up to something like Google Adwords and accidently hitting the button that says I would like to spend $1000 a day on adwords, instead of the $10 I was going for. Or for paying for the word ‘The’.

I guess tomorrow is going to be a research day. I need to figure what I’m doing.

I might even have time to rewrite my descriptions & keywords again too.

Editor’s 2 cents:  Amanda – great start. I have a couple of ideas. One is working on your Facebook page. You can create and add campaign on Facebook in an effort to attract more fans. I think this would be preferable over Google Adsense. You can narrow down the targeted audience to only folks that love books (or live in your area – for open shops). You can also create a daily budget for your campaign. Of course one very effective tool is just what you are doing. Find a high Google Page Rank site (we are a 5) and submit some guest posts. I would try to add one more site. Also try and find Twitter Lists that are focused on your area of expertise (or town for open shops), or create one and be vocal on it. This is why I always recommend Twitter and Facebook, you can become an authority on books for the folks that matter, your neighbours, both real and virtual.

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  • I’d also like to suggest you check up on Facebook’s competition policy. I’ve heard they don’t allow them except under certain rules.

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  • When I’m googling a book I usually end up on book websites courtesy of the shopping comparison sites. Now, I don’t know how you get your stock listed on these sites but there are people we both know who have their stuff listed there, so they should be able to help!

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  • Please take this constructively. It is not meant to be mean spirited but simply to cause you to ask yourself some serious questions.

    You’ve created a very nice site and have fallen into the trap that many booksellers do-if I create a great site customers will flock to me. With technology today great sites only take hours to create. Let’s look at the business side of things. Your prices are higher than the competition. You’re an unknown. There are literally thousands of other booksellers selling the same books. WHY SHOULD I BUY FROM YOU? You’ll say if I take a chance I’ll become a repeat customers because of the great service. Repeat customers take years to establish. What do you do about income RIGHT NOW?

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    • Hi TB,

      No offense taken at all. I appreciate everyone’s comments and I’ll do some more research on my listings.

      I had thought the prices were ok after comparing them to like books – and they are also in Australian dollars too. But I will do some more digging. That’s what this job is all about isn’t it?

      Thanks heaps
      Amanda

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  • Note about main article: AdSense and AdWords are two different services. AdSENSE places ads on your site and pays you for them. AdWORDS places ads on other sites and you pay THEM. AdWords is the one you use to advertise your business.

    As to Facebook vs AdWords, AdWords has a lot more controls than Facebook does. If you’re willing to put the work into dialing in AdWords to target it correctly, it’ll cost less and you’ll get more bang for your buck. If you don’t know what all this stuff means and don’t have the time to devote to it, use Facebook. It costs more, but returns more results with a broad campaign.

    Facebook basically is a shotgun. You can probably hit at least part of the target with minimal fussing but you’ll need a lot of ammo. AdWords is a sniper rifle. If you know how to use it, you only need one shot.

    I find once I’ve fine tuned an AdWords campaign I’ll get a similar number of response to a similar Facebook campaign… but for about 1/10th the price. It just requires investing TIME.

    If you have money, but no time, use Facebook. If you have time, but no money, use AdWords. If you have both time and money, use both.

    And be sure to use Facebook’s Cost Per Click (CPC) option rather than the impressions! Facebook users reload screens so often that it’s easy to chew through thousands of impressions in a few hours. It’s insane.

    There’s a bunch of articles on Bookshop Blog on using AdWords:
    http://bookshopblog.com/tag/google/

    The step by step walkthroughs are slightly out of date now since they’re moved some controls, but the overall info is still accurate.

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    • Hi Nora – thanks for that info. I’ll look into it. Very much appreciated 🙂

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  • Congratulations Amanda, site looks great. At this stage of your website’s life and with just over 100 items listed, I’d suggest that you do some work on basic SEO rather than spend money on either Adwords or Facebook advertising.

    Add your site to as many free online shopping directories as you can, see if you can get a .gov.au and some .edu’au links.

    Your local council or state govermment should have a business directory that you can ask to be added to. Schools often have information pages of book suppliers and will add your information. Search Online Shopping Directory sites and add your details.

    And keep adding your stock to your website.

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