hat is a (e)Book Landing Page, how does it help authors market their books and should you have one?
A Typical Scenario
Picture the scenario, as an author at a networking event with people in your industry, the conversation turns to you and your latest published manuscript. You casually mention that your book has just been released to the world and is available through local bookstores including the online retail giant Amazon.com
People are interested, your business card gets handed out a number of times to people who promise to have a look at your book. The business card directs the recipient to your website for more information on the book.
But then what?
Has the relevant page on your website been structured to entice the customer to purchase the book?, or does the sales page just contain an image of your book along with a blurb and possibly a sales link that is not easily visible?
How much thought have you put into the design and layout of your book sales page?
A Common Mistake
I have found that many of the authors I work with to improve and extend their influence online have not put enough thought into converting these valuable visits into money. Instead they leave these potential customers wandering through their website without clear direction, or in sales speak, they have no Sales Funnel.
Ideally, your book’s sales page should have as few links as possible, other than the obvious sales links. The more miscellaneous links the page has, the greater the chance that your website visitor will get distracted and wander away exploring other areas of your website and not doing what you want them to!
For this reason, I prefer creating a separate single-page website with a single plan or call to action, aLanding Page, rather than using an existing area on a website. Another benefit of using a Landing Page with a separate domain or URL is that you are able to indicate the name of your book on this page, for example: www.mynewbook.com.
So, just to reiterate, your book sales page should have a single goal. Whether this is a purchase or subscription is entirely up to you. The visual aspects included on the page including links, should be in line with this goal. To help you convince a person directed to your sales page to make that purchase or subscribe to your newsletter, consider the layout of the page. Does it nudge visitors to make the choice you want them to?
Below is a suggestion on how to tweak your book sales page layout based on my experience, leading to increased visitor engagement and sales.
This layout can be used not only to improve sales of books, but other products or services sold online.
Suggested Layout of a Book Sales Page.
Aim: The aim of any book sales or landing page should be to convert a visitor to a customer in the shortest time possible.
How: This is achieved by using an eye-catching, well thought out design incorporating one or more of the following visual aspects:
- Big Bold Claim: Eg: Lose Weight within 3 Weeks!
- Title of Book in large text.
- Benefits of purchasing and reading your book or using your product (At least four): Eg: Learn to cook using only organic ingredients to help make the process of cooking more healthy and fun!
- Purchasing Links: Include as many sales links to your book as possible, Amazon and Apple store links should definitely be here. Let the customer choose the channel that best suits them!
- Testimonials of satisfied customers to help people trust you that much more.
- Money Back Guarantee if the customer does not love the book or product.
- About the Author: Include a light-hearted write-up on you as the author with a professional image.
- Social Links: Help customers connect with you in as many ways a possible through the different social media channels.
- Call to action: Eg: Buy this book now, click here!
I have a great-looking Book sales page, now what?
The book landing page is a passive marketing tool, meaning it does not market or advertise itself. The new landing page link should be included on your business cards as an author, your email signature and generally shown wherever your book is mentioned. If designed correctly, the single sales page will effectively take someone who might not know you or your book, and convert them into a customer who makes the purchase or other desired action.
The page, once designed, should not generally need many updates, and generally the cost for a single-page design should be cheap and fairly quick should you outsource the work. There will be two costs associated with a typical landing page, one will be a straight forward design cost. The other will be the cost of hosting the single-page website. This should be a very low monthly charge.
Book Landing Pages are a cheap and effective way to help the author in the marketing of a new book. For too many authors, a well-written book will gather dust due to a poorly-executed marketing plan.
Useful Online Tools
A great tool (not free) to create a book or product landing page is found at Leadpages.net The service will create a great-looking product landing page using the recommended layout above. It will also have the added benefit of providing accurate statistics on visitors and conversions, etc.
The learning curve needed in creating your first landing page is relatively small.
The downside is a monthly charge that will add up to be considerably more expensive than if your book landing page was created by a web designer.
If you do outsource the design of your landing page to someone, consider asking them to plug in Google Analytics behind the scenes. This will give you access to valuable statistics to see how successfully your book landing page is performing. Best of all, Google Analytics is a free service!
Aside from the costs of initially hiring a professional to design your author landing page, don’t forget about the monthly costs of hosting a website. If you shop around you can find some service providers who would not charge and arm and a leg. If you are stuck ask the person designing your page who they normally use.
At MyeBook we only use Afrihost for hosting our author’s precious pages.
Example of a Book Landing Page.
Here is an example of a typical book landing created in HTML.
You will notice that a number of the recommended layout options have been used in the example. This design was created by me in less than 45 minutes.
Here is an example of a fancier landing page design created in WordPress.