Tag Archives: bookbuzzr

Marketing with Book Preview – Browse Inside your Book

When you walk into a bookstore, you have the ability to pick up a book, open the cover, and read through as many pages as you wish so you can make a purchasing decision. Sure, you read the back cover first, and maybe that was enough, but at least you have the option. When marketing your book for its potential readers, you want to give them the ability to preview the book as well, so they can decide to purchase a copy for themselves.

There are three main methods for providing a book preview, and while all of these seem to compete, it is important to be aware that each one provides a different avenue to expose your audience to your book. In sheer marketing terms, using all of these options would be a beneficial use of your time. Finally, be aware that every one of these options are completely free.

Book Preview with BookBuzzr

BookBuzzr.com offers authors a Flash based book preview that not only has the feeling of physically turning pages, but it allows extraneous, author added details about the book to be included with the embedded widget. Furthermore, there is an extensive list of sharing options for social networking, blogging websites, and email, with a detailed list of instructions for each site.

BookBuzzr even allows you to use the micro-blogging website Twitter to let your followers know whenever your book was viewed. Secondary to that, the BookBuzzr account on Twitter promotes authors and books that are found on BookBuzzr as just an additional benefit for their authors. Going even farther, the fReado (parent of BookBuzzr) website offers listing and rankings for books that have been popular on the website, called their Movers and Shakers.

You can setup your account directly on BookBuzzr.com. You decide how many pages and which pages will be visible to your users, so you can share as much or as little as you wish. This is clearly the most advanced book preview widget available for free today.

Book Preview with Google Books

Everybody knows Google, and if you are searching for certain topics, Google Book Search will provide three books relevant to the search at the bottom of the page. If your book isn’t added to Google Book Search, its odds of appearing in this search are greatly reduced. Of course, Google offers an additional Book Preview widget. There are a few steps you should go through, starting with adding your book to Google Books and configuring all your settings, including custom purchase links, images, and page preview (with optional download). Once the book is setup, you will want to create the preview widget through their book preview wizard.


The Google widget can be configured as a button or a full embedded view. It is HTML based so it doesn’t require Flash to be installed, though the browsing is completely linear and not natural to how a buyer would browse a book in a store. There is an additional benefit of Table of Contents scanning, which makes the table of contents clickable within the preview, taking you directly to the appropriate page within the preview. Like BookBuzzr, this can be used to embed your book preview into your author or book’s website.

Book Preview with Amazon Look Inside

Amazon offers its Look Inside feature to any author or publisher who has their book listed on Amazon.com. Unlike the previous two options however, it is only available on Amazon.com. There is no embeddable widget. The preview is built into the page itself, triggered by clicking on the book’s cover image. Amazon offers a full FAQ for using and setting up Look Inside for your book. While this service won’t provide any additional marketing for your book, it will provide browsing of a small portion of your book for organic Amazon.com visitors to your book’s Amazon page. Be advised that every Amazon domain is different, and thus setting up Look Inside on Amazon.com will not carry over to Amazon.co.uk, and so forth.

Generating More Revenue for Book Authors Through an Amazon Affiliate Tag

It amazes me when I see a link from an author to their book on Amazon without attaching a personal affiliate tag. Sure, sometimes it’s hidden behind a shortened URL, but other times it is completely absent from the link. It’s critical to understand one thing:

Amazon Affiliate tags allow you to earn a minimum of 4% on all sales of your book through that link. On a $10 book that is 40 cents. Sell multiple books per month through that link and it can become 6.5%. In the UK the rate starts at 5%.

If you are a self-publishing author, it’s likely that a sale on Amazon is not generating as much revenue as a sale on the self-publisher’s webpage, but buyers buy where they choose, and sometimes Amazon offers a better deal (in price or shipping). So, it’s imperative you maximize your revenue while still offering the best options for your readers.

stack of US dollars

So how do I get started

Get a blog or website setup for your book. It’s easy and can be free. You can setup a blog at Blogger.com or WordPress.com completely for free. You can get more instructions in an article on The Creative Penn, “How do I setup my own blog?“. If you are more technical or want some more fine-tuned control, you can setup your own dedicated website on a shared hosting site like Dreamhost for less than $10 per month. Dreamhost offers a one-click WordPress blog install and even has web hosting coupon codes available to save you $50.

Getting your affiliate code

The next step is to get signed up for the affiliate program on Amazon, starting with the Amazon.com Affiliate Program website. The website will walk you through everything and provide you with a code that ends in -20 (for the US region). It will also unlock a status bar when you browse amazon that allows you to easily create a link to your book that includes your affiliate code. However, to maximize the benefit for your readers and for your revenue, you need to also setup your affiliate code from Amazon Canada Associates and Amazon UK Associates.

How do I get paid?

If you’re located in the US, Amazon US will pay you via Direct Deposit or Amazon Gift Card. Canada and the UK will mail you a check once you have earned over $50 Canadian or £100 British Pounds. Be advised that you will need to provide your social security number to Amazon so they can provide payment to you.

What’s the best way to ‘sell’ the book on your blog or website?

Put up a cover image of your book along with your title and a brief description. Create a dedicated page for purchasing the book. Provide links with current prices (and any coupon codes!) to numerous sites so your readers can shop at their preferred vendor. Make sure your links are built with your affiliate tag with the help of the affiliate websites so you can get your small percentage on the sale. Remember, if you only sell 1 book it won’t matter, but selling 1000 will suddenly mean $65 or more in your pocket. Here’s an example book purchase page on a dedicated website.

Why should I bother making an author or book blog?

Control your destiny, market your own book. It’s critical that whether you self-publish or have the promotional arm of a publishing company that you contribute to the marketing efforts by making you and your book visible on the web. Allow readers to find your book, understand its contents, get a personal connection to you the author, and even preview the book through Google Book Search or BookBuzzr (more info on this in a later post). Anything you can to make your book more present on the web and you as an author more visible can only better your future as a writer and increase your book’s sales.
Don’t take my word for it, check out what The Creative Penn has to say in 10 reasons to blog.

Image photo credit of Amagill: Flickr, Creative Commons – Attribution.