All book marketing programs agree that to make a book successful in the twenty-first century, a website is a must. But what is the timing of the website? Authors who wait to launch their website simultaneously with their book's release have lost out on a multitude of income possibilities. Authors who launch their websites while their book is in development have a chance to season the web for their niche, collect pre-sales, collect a future customer list, create passive income streams supplementing their royalty income, establish themselves as an expert in the field, and cultivate a following generating celebrity status.
Part Two of this article series discussed some of the content that it is possible to put on a future book's website to create high relevancy marks and begin to create an e-mail list of interested readers.
Part One of this article series discussed Age Equity and website longevity.
Now, here is the 'getting paid' part...
The book's new website can list other books in the same niche on the website and reviewing or commenting on them. These other books are available on the web through online book sellers. These online book sellers all have affilate programs. Barnes & Noble works with Commission Junction and Amazon.com has it's own affiliate program. Target.com and Borders.com are also online booksellers with affiliate programs. Choose any one, they all have great reputations for paying their affiliates and for having good tools to help even novice web developers sell their wares. If the website can help these sellers by sending them customers, these book sellers pay well for the favor. Affliate income off the books that you are reviewing or recommending is one easy way to generate income from a book property that isn't even a book yet!
The second easy way to generate income from this 'review site' is to create a space for advertising. Google adsense is just one of the advertisers who pay websites to put their ads up. These banner, box or picture advertisers automatically decide, based on the content of the webpage, which relevant advertisements to place on the page. The ads are subtle, come in many shapes and sizes and can usually be worked into a web design very quickly. What happens in this case is if the web surfer doesn't find exactly what they were looking for on your website, google offers up a few related options, and if the surfer chooses a google option, google creates a paycheck! Going back to the Astrononimal Algorithms example, there are three places where google adsense has been added to the page. The text color matches and the fonts are pretty close. These ads blend in with the rest of the website and for the most part, aren't interpreted as blatant advertisements. In his book, "The Adsense Code",
Joel Comm says that 'box ads' pay out better than 'banner ads' because web surfers are used to 'banner ads' and have begun to filter them out. Box ads have a tendency to pay out roughly 10 times higher than 'banner ads'. Websites like astronomical algorithms, stiky sheets.com track this information and have proven this to be true. Google allows three ads per webpage, so websites that decide to use this technique are advised to use it fully.
Regular advertising or other private party affilate programs can also generate passive income when carefully placed into the design of a webpage. There are many 'professional affiliates' out on the web whose website is so crammed with ads that it is difficult to wade through those pages to sift down to content. Web surfers grow tired of 'being sold,' so any ads, banners or boxes placed on the website need to be designed into that space such that the reason for the website (reviews) is clearly, and readily visible. If a website has a good relevancy rating, but has a high 'bounce' rate (surfers who take one very quick look and leave), it will not rank high. Giving the surfers the information they came to find is what a website is about. Keeping that perspective is paramount. These income generating pieces need to be subtle, relevant additions to the website if they are to generate revenue. In the book, 'Secrets to Creating Passive Income and becoming financially free,' the author gives plenty of examples and tips as to how to best accomplish this.
The third way to generate income from the website of the future book is to offer a genuine pre-sale opportunity. This is done by the author making a case that if the surfer buys the book now, before the release, then it will benefit them later. This helps the author (especially the self-published author) generate cash for a print run or something similar and gives the surfer a really great deal on the book with some bonus. Creating a deal that is a win/win proposition for both the author and the reader is the key to this income generating scenario. Ideas include a deep discount on the cover price, an additional book being sent with the order, free access to an e-book, discount into a membership club or newsletter subscription. Ideas are many and boundless, so the revenue here is potentially very high.
Click back to the top of this article to subscribe to this column, so that you'll be alerted when the last installment of this article series is posted. The fourth installment will discuss how the website will create name recognition for the author, so that it is in place as the book is released, creating instant demand for the book.
Using a website to 'prime the pump' for a new book's release is a tool of the twenty-first century for authors. It needs to be done as early as possible and the web presence needs to be vast, versatile and relevant, hitting every niche the book addresses. The tools are easy to access and costs are minimal if the author is willing to do it themselves. The income has the potential to completely offset the costs and actually create multiple revenue streams making a website launch, months before the book's launch, a major part of the book's business and marketing plan.