About six years ago Internet fascinated me. Someone told me that I could place a billboard on World Wide Web and forty million people would go by and see it every day.
I was completely entranced with idea that my information could be delivered anywhere in world in less than a minute!
Immediately dialed telephone number shown on a vacant billboard on freeway and asked how much it would cost to put my face on that billboard. The reply was "ten thousand dollars a month."
I decided that Internet was a cheaper option and set out to place my banner in view of 40 million people. Boy, was I in for a surprise. In over three months of exposure on "net" I received only a hand full of hits. The only e-mail I received was from other people like me who had shelled out lots of money, only to find that no one was viewing my home page.
I paid a price but learned a valuable lesson. "The potential of Internet in book selling is fantastic, but you have to learn tools of Internet marketing or you will never make any money regardless of product or service you offer." Fortunately, same tool that so entranced me six years ago is same tool that I find to be most effective in selling over web.
That tool is called an "autoresponder."
An autoresponder is an e-mail service that works something like a fax- on-demand. For an author or a publisher, it works like this. You create an article or sample chapter of your book. You load that chapter into your autoresponder or e-mail on demand. You publicize e-mail address of your autoresponder in your e-mail signature file, your web site, your business cards, order forms, and in any printed advertising about your books.
The potential buyer sees that he/she may sample a chapter of your book. He types in your autoresponder e-mail address or clicks on it if he is on-line. As soon as e-mail is sent three things happen. 1. The document is found stored on a web server and delivered immediately to potential buyer. The process takes less than one minute and is operational 24 hours a day. The buyer may read your article or chapter in e-mail or print it out and read it offline. He/she may forward article to other people.
2. You (the author or publisher) get a receipt e-mail that gives you name, e-mail address of potential buyer and any comments that he/she may have wanted you to see.