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Conquer Your Fear of the Internet to Sell Your Books

by Write and Publish Your Book (WAPYB)

Judy Cullins, wants to convince you to use the Internet to market your book because it is so cost and time effective. With over 25 years of book coaching and almost 12+ years online, Judy makes some very convincing arguments.

Judy helps authors learn writing for books, articles, blogs, and
web site sales letters in her many teleseminars, group coaching events and one on one coaching.

Having written over 13 ebooks herself along with her Write your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast in print at Amazon, she advocates this easily accessible technology as a way for a writer to help build a platform.

Her focus is on business people who make no bones about wanting to brand themselves and make some cash selling books. Judy answered questions via email, including some about the struggle some writers have about turning their writing into a commercial enterprise. Even in her answers you’ll see her deft ability to promote. She says that to sell anything, you must be seen.

Judy, lay your book marketing philosophy on us?

Now, After 11 years on the internet, I’ve discovered online and web marketing is far easier, cheaper, and takes far less time than traditional ways.

I only wish more authors out there would get past their fear about this. Over ten years ago, I started writing articles because it was easy. These I submitted to to promote my site and my books. Each year book sales and clients grew from early on at $500 to around $7000 a month by 2007.

After that, I took a year off from it all and had to rebuild all of my contacts. And today I’m back on track, learning more skills every day to keep my client load full with book sales to match.

New Marketing Efforts: I updated my web site 5 times from 2007-2010 adding new long tail key words, new testimonials, new sales letters for each book or program, new books, and joined social media marketing on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn.

From my successes there, see my latest book, “LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales.”

Since some readers will be new to the marketing/public relations side of the book business, how best to combine these efforts? Work with the same person on both?

Well, my book coaching clients learn from my coaching in the book and other coaching on how to put a saleable chapter together, to answer the readers’ questions and get benefits they want. Without guidance most people, even professionals lecture and tell their readers what to do in non-fiction. Fiction chapters need a format to hook readers too. I also teach how to make your book sell better with “The Essential Nine Hot-Selling Points” in my first book, Write your eBook or Other Short Book - Fast!. These are inside ways to promote, but all authors need to look to getting their own web site and putting their useful content out on their Web site blog and sharing with social media sites. Pick and choose what works and leave the rest behind.

For the many tasks of online marketing I work with a team that I’m willing to invest money in. To grow bigger, you need to delegate some of the tasks. I do all my own writing, get it edited, then use my Virtual Assistant (VA) to post my blog entries and tweets through HootSuite. And my site wouldn’t be all it is without a great webmaster assisting me.

You the author will choose a favorite path to your book, and I wish you all reading this-great fans, great enjoyment, and great sales.

In your opinion, what is the most important part of marketing?

On every teleseminar, in every book I’ve written, I always repeat, “Be consistent with writing.” Write down three high level activities in your organizer a day.

For instance today- One. I wrote a short blog article. Two. I wrote a teleclass sales letter and sent to my groups. Three. I coached two clients. Four. I sunned myself in my patio and watched the birds. I love fun and easy.

Any advice to writers who are thinking about going the self-publishing route?

Yes, go self-publishing for your print book or ebook.

Learn the pros and cons of the POD people (most don’t make money for you), whether to write two books at the same time-one print and one eBook, and how to spend your book budget so you save up to $5,000 and more on mistakes.

What impact do you think Print on Demand publishing will have on the publishing industry in the next ten years?

From 5 years ago to today, times have changed. Many authors use POD for printing. I approve, but not for the promotion of your book at their site. They are printers and should fess up. And this year 3.5 billion eBook sold. So ebooks are becoming credible. I’m not alone on this thinking, but I know many authors don’t realize they have options where they can make good money. I advise publishing yourself.

What advice would you give a new author who’s ready to publish his or her first book?

Well, I hope they got coaching on the chapter format, hooking the reader throughout, but most don’t. So when you think you’re ready to publish, you may not be. Check on my site to get free blog articles, free eBooks and free reports that help n every aspect of book writing, publishing, and marketing. I advise authors to publish themselves-just learn a few skills. .

What specific genres of books are selling best right now? Does this fluctuate or does it stay fairly consistent?

While not a genre, self-help, non-fiction always sell best. People want answers to their concerns and problems. They will pay good money for the answers. I love literary fiction too, but it’s a bit hard to know a specific audience for it, so you can market it to them.

Your advice about writing a book is very marketing oriented… we are selling as we are writing… it seems like there might be backlash from some writers-i.e. would you tell a painter to only paint in red because it sells better? -where does the ”art of writing” fit into your coaching, or does it?

I love reading fiction too. And I love metaphors, dialogue, and allegories as much as the next person. I’m an avid reader of at least three books a week-mostly fiction.

My niche or slant is toward businesses that want to brand themselves as the savvy expert in their field. These people write non-fiction because they want their audience to know the skills they can offer. They educate through “content marketing” and it’s not only for sales. Some clients write “artfully” naturally, and I really enjoy them. What my service offers is help for those who need to engage their readers artfully in their non-fiction books and all of their promotional materials.

Business people know you need to market daily almost, and are willing to do that because they want their book and business to be profitable. This focus on marketing is what guarantees a book being read, recommended, and branding the author.

Chapter Two in Write your eBook or Other Short Book… shows fiction and non-fiction writers how to make their chapters more compelling-to make them easy to read and engage their readers. They come in all shapes and sizes. Writers willing to promote and market are my best clients, but they don’t all do this. What I advise is to make your book a business if you want large audiences to read it.

How does a writer marry their passion for writing (the process) with worrying about its marketability (the result)? Most are taught to focus on the process-is this faulty thinking in your opinion?

Passion is not enough, but it’s a good start. If you go to the trouble, spend even years on your masterpiece, and then don’t get it into a format that people will read, then it’s still a good expression exercise just for the writer, and he/she can just enjoy it for its own sake if they don’t care about selling.

But if you want your important, unique, original work to reach its audience, you have to market and promote it yourself. Sorry, but publishers, especially print-on-demand, just don’t help the new author much. What I was taught in high school and even in five years as an English major with a Masters Degree would not sell today. People want short, clear, and sweet for non-fiction today. Long, flowery sentences in long fiction books may have appeal to that audience.

In my 25 years as a book coach, my continued advice is the think the BIG THREE -a great book, a great book selling site, and great regular online marketing with content. And little by little join in the social media marketing outlets. Even join my free book group at LinkedIn!

Anything else?

I want to encourage writers to go a step further and get a lot of up-to-date information from good sources. For example, to not print too many books or make other expensive mistakes.

Which of Judy’s answers appeal to you?

Which do you disagree with? Leave us a comment or question and we’ll follow up!

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About the Author, Judy Cullins

Book and Blog Coach Judy Cullins helps you gain confidence and transform your ideas into life-long money-making content. Author of 14 books for business people and authors include "Write your eBook or Other Short Book--Fast!"Judy offers free, up-to-the minute weekly publications on book and blog writing and online marketing at

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Published by Judy Cullins

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  • Karen Silvestri

    Great tips! I will be reading more of your work. Thanks!

  • Velda Brotherton

    Hi Judy, I think my niche is difficult to market. I have both fiction and nonfiction books, both of a historical nature. The fiction is also romance. Currently I have 15 books, some from small publishers, other’s I did myself on Kindle and I’m working my tail off marketing, but think I’m trying to do too many different things. I’ve been told to find two or three ways of marketing that I feel comfortable doing and concentrate only on them, but I tend to see something new and want my books there, then something else pops up and I want them there. Is it a mistake to spread myself so thin? I enjoyed your advice, but had trouble applying it to my particular situation.

  • Ann

    Hi Judy,
    Thank you for your informative article. I look forward to finding the time to finish the non-fiction books I’ve started. Seems like my day job takes all my time. I am a technical communicator and have shared your article with my connections on LinkedIn.

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