is the currency of the internet. If you know how to do something,
you can be certain
that someone out there wants to know about it, too. So
you've written your "How-To" book, this article by Michael
Mould tells you how
to get it in front of the people who
your same interests.
Your "How To" Book -
Customer Confidence Building
Once you have your book completed and out in the marketplace you
cannot sit back and hope the sales will be great unless you have no
desire or care to see it sell.
YOU have to promote it.
So, what can you offer that will boost customer
confidence and promote additional sales? Of course there are the
traditional promotion tools, e.g., advertising, blogging, banner cross-promotion with other websites with themes that you book can
Publishing a newsletter is a great idea too, and a very
popular way of supplementing the information that your book
already provides, but the communication with your customers is
To really get your customers involved, you need a way
for them to participate and contribute whether it be by asking
questions, or by sharing their experiences and you providing
validation of their efforts.
With a newsletter, this is difficult
because customers do not want to submit a question or share an
experience and then have to wait until the next publication to
get a response. They also like to participate in near real-time.
If you choose to set up a blog and allow
customer/reader comments, you may find customers apprehensive
about posting because there is no privacy to their post and
their post itself is subject to public rebuttals.
After trying both, I found very little willingness on the
part of my customers to contribute or to supply content to share
with other customers.
One of the things I found that is really appreciated is
to set up a restricted access message board for customers only.
This seems to be popular with customers for several reasons,
1) It gives them a place
where they can communicate with
other customers and discuss various topics of your book.
2) It allows them to
share their experiences with each other
as they work their way through what you have conveyed
in your book.
3) It gives you a
platform for sharing additional explanations
information that you may not want to share with the
by posting it on your website.
4) It gives your
customers a place to ask questions that you
5) Access is restricted,
so your customers get a sense of it
not only being their special place, but that they are
protected from the harassment and intimidation normally
associated with open message boards.
6) The message board will
allow you to answer common
questions once rather than answering individual
Besides being a way of establishing additional
credibility, providing a message board for your customers is a
great way to say "Thank You" to them and to let them know that
you are not just interested in selling them a book, you are
interested in making sure they are able to implement what it
You will also realize, and very quickly, that your
customers can teach you a few things about the very topic you
wrote a book about. This is a good thing because learning a few
things from your customers and accepting that you do not know
everything about the subject gives your customers a feeling that
you are genuinely interested in listening to them.
You might also consider inviting some other experts on
the topic to join your message board. This will not only add to
the content of the board, it demonstrates to your customers that
the intent of the board really is to help them and that you do
not feel threatened by having another expert involved.
I believe that if you opt to give this concept a try,
and let your customers know before they purchase your book that
the board is there for them, you will find the entire scenario
to be a win-win situation.
- - - - - - - -
- - - - -
About The Author
Michael E. Mould is the author
of "Online Bookselling: A Practical Guide with Detailed
Explanations and Insightful Tips," [Paperback ISBN
1427600708, CD-ROM ISBN 1599714876] and the developer of
"Bookkeeping for Booksellers" [CD ISBN 1427600694], you can
learn more about online bookselling at:
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