Websites and Newsletters

Written by Michael LaRocca

If you are selling anything, you should have a website. If you are selling ebooks, you should consider it mandatory. How many people do you know who read ebooks but don't accessrepparttar Internet? None come to my mind.

The best thing about having a website is that you can quite probably do it free. Later, once you know what you're doing, you can choose to buy a domain name and pay a hosting service if you want.

You can pay someone to design a gorgeous site for you, loaded with graphics, complete with a secure server andrepparttar 124322 option to buy right there, but I didn't. My publisher doesrepparttar 124323 selling. Writing a site yourself, loaded with information and a place to click to send someone to your publisher, is simple.

Forrepparttar 124324 actual mechanics of web site construction, send a blank email to

So let's talk strategy.

"Hi, I'm Michael LaRocca and these are my books." This approach will guarantee that anyone looking for Michael LaRocca will find my site. But when we consider that no one's heard of Michael LaRocca, how many people will seek out my site?

Here's a possible solution.

Let's say you've written a book where most ofrepparttar 124325 action happens on a snowmobile. Put togetherrepparttar 124326 best damn snowmobile page in history. Everything that anyone wants to know about snowmobiles should be on your site. Make itrepparttar 124327 kind of resource that any snowmobiler will go visit again and again. Then slip a little note in there mentioning your fiction book. People will find your site, and during one of those repeat visits they'll buy that book.

Basically, fill a need. Give folks a reason to keep coming back even if they think they'll never buy your book. And please, put more on there than just your book. In my case, I kept a high- traffic site running for almost a year without a single product to sell. My site is a reference source for readers and writers. More writers than readers, probably, but writers read too. Maybe notrepparttar 124328 most original approach, but I write in so many genres that I haven't come up with anything better yet. I might later on.

Being helpful is my "sales gimmick," but I just so happen to enjoy it. People don't log ontorepparttar 124329 Internet withrepparttar 124330 purpose of spending money. They log on for information or entertainment, then maybe make an impulse buy while they're at it. Give them information and/or entertainment and they'll keep coming back.

If you throw in just a little soft sell, and do it right, they'll eventually make that impulse buy as a favor to you. Hopefully after they read one of your books, you'll hook them and they'll come back specifically to buyrepparttar 124331 rest.

Search Engines

The single most important and effective way to bring traffic to your website is to place it inrepparttar 124332 search engines, inrepparttar 124333 appropriate categories. You want to place it inrepparttar 124334 top ten or twenty slots.

The best way to learn how to do this is to send a blank email to You'll receive a free five-day course by email, over 200 pages long in all, that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

Also, visit Search Engine Watch and subscribe torepparttar 124335 free newsletter. Useful advice on a monthly basis.


Why do I have a newsletter? To tell you when my books are for sale, of course. To announce each new book as it becomes available. It also comes in handy whenever I changerepparttar 124336 address of my website, as a way to tell folks I've moved.

But of course, almost nobody will subscribe to a newsletter just for that info alone. Just groupies. I've got over 600 subscribers, and certainly they're not all groupies. Nope, I'm actually providing useful info and filling a need again. And slipping in occassionalrepparttar 124337 "read my book" message while I'm at it.

If you don't feel you can write a newsletter, you can userepparttar 124338 "free content" sites to get someone else to dorepparttar 124339 writing. Instead of paying contributors, you simply allow them to include their URL. They'll appreciaterepparttar 124340 free advertising, and you won't have to write for your newsletter unless you feel like it.

Please Unsubscribe Me

Written by Luther Powell


"Unsubscribe me" "Please remove my name from your list" "It is not what I wanted, take me off" "I didn't subscribe to this, remove me" "I'm not interested in an old man's tales. Take me off your list." "I don't have time to read all of this email."

These are some ofrepparttar messages I received from those who want to unsubscribe. These arerepparttar 124321 nice ones. I have not listedrepparttar 124322 "nasty" ones. They are messages that no publisher wants to see. We work hard to get new subscribers, and then we shutter when we receive a message from one asking to be remove.

Why does one unsubscribe? There are many reasons. It may be they do not likerepparttar 124323 newsletter. If so, they haverepparttar 124324 right to be removed fromrepparttar 124325 mailing list. I learned long ago that you cannot please everyone. I am sure it is not because there is anything offensive in it. However, one unsubscriber informed me that she was a woman and did not want to read a man's point of view. Perhaps, that was offensive to her.

A few have complained about there being too many ads. I agree with them, but what am I to do? Free ads are offered in order to get new subscribers. They arerepparttar 124326 life blood of a newsletter. Try publishing one without free ads and let me know how successful you are. If I could publish a newsletter without offering free ads, I would gladly do so, but it would soon fail. I try to overcomerepparttar 124327 dislike of free ads by publishing a part 2 each week, containing free subscriber ads. However, I made one BIG mistake this past week. I imported 132 new subscribers into my mail server and two hours later sent them part 2 without sending part 1 first. I know you don't have to guess what happened. I received 41 unsubscribe notices within 12 hours. I am still wringing my hands over that error. I learned a good lesson. I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!!

It would be wonderful if we could publish a newsletter likerepparttar 124328 offline publishers do. Fifty-two issues a year for an annual fee. I don't think we would have many subscribers online if we charged a subscription fee, e.g., $12.00 annually. I would have to stop publishing in about two weeks.

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