By Patrice-Anne Rutledge
As a book author, just reading the statistics on the sheer number of books published over the past few years illustrates the competition you face. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd, particularly if you’re the author of a midlist book whose publisher offers little promotion for your title. If you self-published, the entire promotional effort is up to you. This means that today’s authors must self-promote to ensure the success of their books.One of the easiest, most lucrative ways to promote your book is through an online book promotion campaign. There are many reasons why online book promotion makes so much sense, but here are the three most important:1. Online Book Promotion Reaches a Worldwide AudienceOne of the major advantages of online book promotion is that its reach is worldwide. If you’re lucky, a signing in a local bookstore could attract 20 people. An online campaign has the potential of reaching anyone with an Internet connection. More than one billion people worldwide use the Internet and over 200 million of them have bought a book online. Many more have learned about a book online and purchased it in a local store.Obviously, you can’t market to the entire universe of Internet users, but a ready audience on the web is interested in your book’s topic. The goal of online book promotion is to find this audience, connect with them, and encourage them to buy your books and related products and services.2. Online Book Promotion Is Cost-EffectiveWhen you consider the expense of purchasing print ads or mailing thousands of brochures and media kits, the cost of promoting online is very small in comparison. Most online book promotion campaigns aren’t expensive, even if you decide to outsource some of the work to others. Numerous promotional opportunities cost absolutely nothing. There are even ways for web-savvy authors to recoup the minimal expenses of Web site, blog, and podcast hosting through the strategic use of advertising and affiliate marketing.3. Online Book Promotion Helps You Stand Out from the CrowdFinding a way to get your book noticed is critical to the success and profitability of any online book promotion campaign. Ten years ago, just having a Web site was enough to attract attention. Today, podcasts are drawing a crowd. Five years from now, some new technology will emerge. The point is that you need to be ahead of the competition to get your book the attention it deserves.A Web site is a must for every author, but to generate true book buzz online you have to extend beyond the basic Web site. Consider an online promotion campaign using one or more of the latest online technologies such as podcasting, videoblogging, podiobooks, RSS, multimedia book presentations, or screencasting, for example. Some of these technologies are in the early adopter stage, but that’s even more reason to get involved sooner rather than later. Several years from now, these ideas may become as commonplace as a Web site or an e-mail newsletter. If so, you’ll have had time for your campaign to take root and lead the pack instead of following your competitors, wishing you had done something back when you first thought of it.In summary, the web is where you want to be if you’re serious about promoting your books in the 21st century. More than one billion people worldwide use the Internet and over 200 million of them have bought a book online. Yours could be one of them. A world of opportunity awaits tech-savvy authors who want to work the web and profit by doing so. You just need to get started… Patrice-Anne Rutledge is the best-selling author of 24 books, a successful technology journalist, and an expert in online book promotion. She is the author of The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist , which shows authors how to profit from the latest techniques in online book promotion. To sign up for her ezine and receive a free special report on author Web sites that generate results, visit her Web site at http://www.websavvywriter.com/ezine.htm.