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Book Landing Pages

March 8, 2012 1 comment

If you’re an author, after your website, your most important Landing Page will probably be your Amazon book page (or your Smashwords/B&N, etc.).  I’m going to talk here about Amazon because they have a dynamic page that you can do many things with.  If you have other book landing pages, you can take what you learn here and use it there as well.

So, let’s talk about the elements of the Amazon Book Page first. I’m going to use my current one for Cowboy to show you, but all of these elements are on your page as well.

First, at the top you have the pic of the book (get a great cover design! That’s a major hook!). The Title of the Book, and then two elements you have some control over.

Reviews and Liked.

We will talk about getting reviews later, but for now, please understand that they are critical to your ability to sell on this page.  The more positive reviews you have (4 or 5 stars; 3 is neutral; and 2 and 1 are negative), the better your chance of selling another book when someone reaches this page.

Like  The little orange button is an easy way to convince new readers that others think your book is great.  To get “Likes” on this page, couple your tag request (we’ll talk about that in a minute) with a request to “Like” your page.  At bare minimum, like your own page so this button is orange and not gray.

Then they give info about the book and other books people have bought who bought yours.  You cannot control any of this, so don’t worry about it.

Under that you get to “Editorial Reviews” and this you can control and should think through carefully.  Many people put only a description here, but you can put other things too, like reviews or even an excerpt.  Remember, if someone’s read down this far, give them something they can’t say no to!

The next section is “Product Details” and although you can’t control this, it is wise to take a look at the number next to “Amazon Best Sellers Rank.”  Unless you write for a line or a large publisher, this number will probably be in the thousands or hundreds of thousands.  Mine on this screen cap is #31,051 in the Paid Kindle Store.

If your book is on any category best seller lists, it will look like this:

The categories in blue underneath tell you what spot your book is on on that last.  If your book is listed like this, congratulations! You are now a Best Selling Author (even if it’s only listed this way for  a few hours!).  Take a screen cap (CNTRL + PRNT SCRN  and then paste it into a Word doc to save) and celebrate!

Underneath the ranking, you will find this:

More About the Author leads to your Amazon Author Central Page.

What Other Items is a section you can’t control as is “Looking for…”

Under THAT is the Tag section.  It looks like this:

This is a section you can and should control.  First, you need to set tags or keywords for your book.  What is the book about?  What genres is it in?  What keywords might someone type in to find this book?

You get 15 of them, so choose wisely.

Once you’ve set your tags, you want people to come and “Agree with these tags.”  Other writers are great for this… especially large groups of other writers.  Network to tag everyone’s books.  Why?  Because if you do and people start buying your books, then you get listed on tagged-category pages that look like this:

On this page, Cowboy is #2 Christian Inspirational tagged.  When you get to this point, this becomes a great landing page for your book in tweets and other promos!

Stay tuned, next time we’ll talk about your Amazon Author Page.

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The Website Wheel

So what do you put on this fabulous website you are creating (or remodeling)?  Here is another graphic to explain what I mean by “your essential presence on the ‘net.”

Forgive the drawing, but it shows just how many things you need to include on your website (when you get them or if you get them).  Don’t think you have to have all of these.  You don’t.

What I want you to see is that when someone types in http://www.yourname.com, they should be able to pick and choose where to find you on the ‘net.  What you don’t want is for them to find, “Hi, I’m…” with no way to find your books or your blog or your Twitter account.  The operative word is:  EASY.

Make it EASY to find you on all these other places, no matter where they come from.

So for example, let’s say that someone hears about you on the radio.  What they heard was interesting, but all they caught was your name.  So they type “Your Name” into a Google search.  Now if you’ve done your SEO’s right, http://www.yourname.com should come up first in the search.

They click on it.  Remember, they don’t know anything else about you.  Now let’s say that your site is just a hodgepodge of your biography and maybe a couple of your books.  Your new visitor probably won’t be around long.  But let’s say when they show up, they are immediately hooked (you have written a great hook for this Landing Page, right?).

Now they want to know more and they want to connect with you where they are on the ‘net. So how do I as a reader find you on Facebook?  And if I type in your name, do I get your profile or your page?  If you haven’t set it up so that your site points to your Page, I will probably go to your profile and ask to be friended.  That’s a problem because you can only have 5,000 friends.  You really want me to go to your PAGE and Like you.  But I probably won’t if left to my own devises.

So can I contact you to tell you what a great read your last book was?  Can I read a review of this book I’m interested in?  How about getting a link for it on Amazon?

Remember, the goal is read, click, read, click, read, click.  The second you go into read, click, search… mode you’re in trouble.  So keep it simple for the reader.  Take them by the hand and lead them where you want them to go through your site.

The biggest thing is:  Think it through! Be intentional!

Don’t just put something up because I said you should have one. 

Types of Landing Pages

February 23, 2012 2 comments

Last time we talked in general about Landing Pages. Today I want to give you a little better understanding about how many and how varied landing pages can be.

First, remember that before you can send anyone to your content from a promo, you must have a place to send them. We call these “Landing Pages.”  Think of landing an aircraft.  You wouldn’t send up a plane from Europe If it didn’t have somewhere to land, right?  Similarly, when you do push marketing (and sometimes pull market), you need to have a destination, a landing page ready to go.

That sounds very simple, but good landing pages don’t just happen, and GREAT landing pages can mean the difference between a sale and no sale, a subscriber and just a visitor.  Now I will be honest. I fret a lot about my landing pages, and I wish I had more technical knowledge to get mine to look like some I’ve seen.  If you’re like me, do your best to make your landing page excellent, and then as you learn more, keep revising.

There are several types of landing pages you will want to think about making.

Website – Although I don’t recommend sending every promo to this landing page, you do want it to be as good and as clear as it can be.  Remember also that most of the time If someone types your name into a search, this is the page they will find.  So does the theme blend with your writing?   Do the colors work with the theme?  Is it pleasing to the eye?  Is the layout clear and straightforward?  When you get your website going, have some friends come and look it over.  Do all the links work and go where they are supposed to?  Watch for misspellings, typos, and grammatical errors.  You are, after all, an author and people expect your writing to be near perfect. Don’t give them a reason to leave in the first 30 sentences.

Book Pages – Book landing pages are usually designed by the book seller—such as Amazon, but sometimes like with Amazon, you have a lot of control as to how “sellable” your landing page looks.  We will go through these points in coming lessons.

Author Central – on Amazon, you want to set up your Author Central page and make sure all of your books are listed.  This can be a great overall landing page.

Blog posts – Blog posts when done right can be invaluable to your promotions.  Remember pull-push?  Well, a blog post landing page can have pics of your books and info about you in a blog column with great content (an article) in the post section, and you can have a push market tag for one of your books at the end of the article.  Best of all, once you set up a blog post, you can point back to it forever!  So remember when you write these to think:  timeless.  You want something that 3 or 5 years later, you can point back to it, and it still has value to visitors.

Guest posts – Being on someone else’s blog creates a great landing page, and again, you can point back to these even after the initial run (so keep a list of them!)  Oh, and this is also a great way to repackage your blog posts and let them go to work for you again.  In fact, one really good article could run over and over again on various blogs indefinitely. Also, although you are not in control of the layout, etc., remember to include a link back to one of YOUR landing pages.  The host should be willing to give this since that is your payment for free content.

Bookshelf  —  Because I have so many books, I like having a bookshelf landing page or one that lists all of my available books.  That way visitors can see they have a wide range of choices if they choose to read my writing.

Interviews – Like guest blogs, these are great.  You do the interview and you can then promo and point back to it indefinitely. After a few days or a week, you can also copy the interview to your site or blog for archiving, which you can then point back to indefinitely as well.

Character Interviews  — If you write fiction, you’re going to want to try your hand at these challenging types of interviews because they seem very popular to the reading public.  Again, if this is a character interview for another website, include a tag!

Reviews – Reviews can be stand-alone landing pages or they can be one element in a great Amazon landing page.  We will discuss reviews in coming lessons.

It is worth putting thought and effort into your landing pages, and we will discuss each in greater depth.  For now, consider where your strengths lie and where you might need to work.  For example, have you done several interviews but you have few reviews?  Or maybe you have never taken the time to get your Amazon landing page in order.   Don’t worry.  We’ll walk you through all of it.  Get ready to have some fun!

Landing Pages Overview

February 21, 2012 1 comment

Landing pages and learning to design them are critical in building an effective marketing campaign.

Landing pages can be any of the following:

website

blog page or post

Amazon buy page

Review

Interview

Guest blog

Amazon author page

Basically they are anything you would choose to point to for readers to JUMP that would continue the relationship.

The ultimate “Landing Page” is your book.  So remember, before you do any of the rest of this, make sure that book is Top Notch and ready to reel readers into becoming repeat readers!

Now, your Landing Page should ideally walk the reader through the promo chain again.  To do this on pages you control (like website and blog), you need to think about the theme of what you’re wanting to convey.

If you write suspense, you don’t want your blog theme to be wine and roses.  Conversely, if you write romance, don’t make the theme of your site dogs and cats.  Think all the way through your campaign.  If you write romance and want a site about dogs and cats, then you need to do 2 separate sites as those would attract two different audiences.

On a side note, some authors fall into the trap of making their website or blog be about writing.  Now I have no objection to this per say.  Just know that if you do that, you will be attracting writers and authors, not readers.  And most writers/authors are focused on their books, not yours.

Once you get the reader to your landing page, you must then walk them back through the promo chain.  So let’s say that you have a blog post.  You write a great tweet and get people to jump to the blog post.  Now what?

Your headline and your hook need to grab their attention.  Then provide great info.  Now they are beginning to see you as someone with valuable information.  At the end of the post, make a request and provide a JUMP.

For me, this is a promo of one of my books usually and links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You might want to make this a JUMP to your website or to another article.  Think through where you want them to jump to.

If you don’t have control over the landing page (i.e. it’s a guest blog or interview), be sure to do as much of the promo chain as possible.  And anyone who does an interview or lets you do a guest blog should be willing to let you have a tag back to your own stuff.  Think those through!

Good luck and I’ll see you next time.