Penny Sansevieri is the founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. She is herself the author of several books on marketing books including her recent Red Hot Internet Publicity. I am reading it now and you will most definitely want to go over to Amazon and pick up a copy.
By the way, the book will be reviewed next week on Monday Book Reviews.
1. I have been reading your new, very cool, book, Red Hot Internet Publicity. Can you give us a few snippets of information that readers should walk away with after reading your book?
PS:Yes! The first one is that there is something for everyone on the Internet. There are very few markets that aren't served on the Internet. Second, the Internet is always changing and consequently your marketing initiatives must change with it. Third, don't let the Internet overwhelm you. Find out where your readers hang out and target them. By targeting them I mean pitch yourself to sites, blogs, ezines, or whatever your reader gravitates to but remember to lead with the benefit. The 'Net is not that different from pitching the media. Don't sell the book, sell what the book can do for their particular audience.
PS: We have 1/50th of a second to capture someone's attention on a web site. That's sort of like speeding past a billboard going 120 miles an hour. If your billboard is cluttered with words, pictures and snappy slogans no one's going to have time to read it. When we offer up a web site that is overwhelmed with content we sent our visitors into analysis paralysis. What does that mean? That means that you've given them too many choices and/or too many things to look at and they click off to your competition.
3. What is your best advice for turning surfers into customers?
PS: 1) Write copy that uses your readers language. By "language" I mean don't use formal verbiage if your user is informal, or hip.
2) Remember your visitors WIIFM - what's in it for me: be crystal clear about what's in it for your customer
3) Make it easy - don't hide your book or product. Put your call to action in a place where visitors are sure to see it.
4) Remember that there is a method by which people scan your site. The top left corner of your site is the first place the eye goes to, the center of your site is the second. If you're going to spend a ton of time on an area of your site, that's where you want to invest it.
4. No pressure with this question, but what is the one thing that no knows about using the Internet for book publicity?
PS: Collaboration. We've already seen this with Wikipedia (which is the top news site by the way). Collaboration or Web 2.0 is hanging the Internet faster than anyone anticipated. Wiki sites are popping up all over the place. What are wiki sites? Sites that can be updated by YOU, the You-ser. There's a reason why Time Magazine named YOU the person of the year. Static sites are a thing of the past. Wiki is where it's at. We're getting ready to launch a few wiki sites all focused on publishing and marketing. So what does this mean for you? Find ways to harness this. Encourage collaboration on your site (maybe via your blog) or establish a Web 2.0 site. Getting people engaged in your message is not just getting them to buy your book, it's getting them to participate in your message.
5. Anything else you would like to share?
PS: Yes! Watch for video to overtake the Web. Book videos are big, but there's a tsunami of them that will hit probably by the end of the year or the beginning of 2008. But be careful! This isn't just about creating *any* video. The kind of video you want is one that has traction to it, a "sticky" video. So how do you create the stickiness? By tapping into your readers emotional hot buttons. Did you ever hear of the Paul Potts video? This guy was a contestant on Britain's Got Talent, he was a cell phone salesman with the voice of Pavarotti, but the thing is, he looked like he couldn't sing a note. This audition video circulated on the 'Net faster than any video in recent history and his yet to be released album is already a bestseller. Why did this video do so well? It tapped into the emotional trigger of a talent contest viewer. When we watch shows like that we root for the underdog, we want someone humble, and unassuming to step on stage and blow us away, that's what Paul did. When you create a video, don't sell yourself short by just selling the book, sell the emotional triggers and you'll not only create a fantastic visual message, but a fantastic sales tool as well!