Welcome back to our new Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: August 7th, 2008 ]

When you are a self published author, sometimes book promotion is about who you know. Other times it is simply about having the time to devote.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fast way to find the people or places that were right for your book? Knowing how to conduct an advanced Internet search that yields applicable results is very important. Luckily, it’s also very easy, and in case you don’t know how, I’m going to show you. Go to the Google website at google.com but instead of simply entering a term, use the “Advanced Search” by clicking on the link that says “Advanced Search” in small type next to the “Search” button. You will find a page that enables you to fine-tune your search. By conducting smarter searches, you will find places to promote your book faster. 

You can promote your books on Google for free. You’d sell a lot more books if a lot more people knew about them. Google can help make that happen.

  • Help users discover your books: By matching the content in your books with user searches, Google Book Search connects your books with the users who are most interested in buying them.
  • Keep your content protected: Users are able to preview a limited number of pages to determine whether they’ve found what they’re looking for. 
  • Drive book sales: Links to bookstores, online retailers, and your website make it easy for users to go from browsing to buying — with new ways to buy and access your books coming soon.

Learn more at: books.google.com/partner/

google books

I should warn you right off the bat that a lot has changed since I first blogged about Google’s partnership program for authors, and one of the things that has changed is the link you’ll need to follow for more information.  (The one I provided back in 2008, preserved above, no longer works.)  Your new one-stop shop for know-how as an author interested in Google’s partnership program is:

www.google.com/googlebooks/partners/

The link address may seem only subtly different, but I promise you won’t regret taking the time to access the updated materials Google has compiled there, including recommendations for self-promotion, resources for authors and publishers, and a collection of success stories.  (And let’s face it, we love tapping into the glow of success, if only to learn how others are finding ways to make it work.)  And let’s not forget Google Play’s “Book Partners Center,” a separate (but linked) resource which provides step-by-step instructions on how to publish your book as an e-book in the Google Play store, and put your story on Android devices the world over.

What I wrote in 2008 about optimizing your online presence to help:

a) users discover and access your book,

b) you protect your rights and maintain creative control, and

c) drive book sales …

… remains 100% accurate.  Google can help you do these things, but the ways and means have evolved in the last seven years––dramatically.  I recommend glancing at Self Publishing Advisor’s primer on Search Engine Optimization (SEO); you can find the summary post and links to the individual posts here.  Why?  Because Google is a multi-platform tool now when it comes to self-publishing.  Not only can you use Google Play to host and sell your book as a self-publishing platform, but you can use Google Analytics to analyze engagement on your personal webpage (or webpages), and you can optimize all of your web content across all of your different social media accounts and blogs and so on to better feed into your promotional campaign.

Google is so much more than a search engine, now! ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

2 thoughts on “From the Archives: “Promoting your Self-Published Book on Google”

  1. I love the idea of this feature in revisiting old articles about indie publishing, and the updates here definitely offer indie authors some valuable content. I wonder, though, about all the trouble these days with piracy of books from Google Play. Dozens of indie authors have complained that the piracy is worst with Google. Any thoughts?

    1. I’ve definitely heard that, thewriteedge. I’ve even seen words like “cesspool” associated with Google Play because of how enabling it has been for book pirates. The good news is that Google is taking steps to put a lid on piracy (http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/08/29/nytimes-rousting-the-book-pirates-from-google-play/) … but the bad news is that there are loopholes with the new system, just different loopholes than before the issue was addressed. The problem, as I see it, is with book piracy as a whole, not just Google Books–many of the books being pirated were never published by the original author on Google Play; they were published elsewhere as ePub or PDF files, and then some criminal entrepreneur purchased or stole one copy and then multiplied it across a number of platforms. This is my impression at least.

      The greater problem, in my mind, isn’t “We have to get Google to stop book piracy!” but rather a question of “Why are people stealing books in the first place?” There’s no doubt that authors deserve the lost income that stolen books represent, but I wonder whether the mode of publishing is shifting more towards that (originally) espoused by authors like Andy Weir, who built “stealability” into his plan as a viral kind of marketing. As the self-confessed “book pirate” author of one article (http://leancrew.com/all-this/2014/05/how-the-kindle-turned-me-into-a-book-pirate/) states, “Once you get a taste of the freebooting life, it’s hard to go back.” One of the most convincing reasons to self-publish your book in AS MANY formats is possible (and as quickly as possible) is to get a foot in the door before the pirates do.

      This was a long and rambly way of saying … here are some disconnected thoughts about Google Play and book piracy. Sorry if it was incoherent!

      – Kelly S.

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