Online Selling Channels

Online Selling Channels

There is a multitude of online selling channels where you can promote and sell your published work and all should be considered.  Obviously the big ones like Amazon (see POD Printing), Google Books, Book Depository and Goodreads are all very effective when building a noticeable international presence. Make sure you research the distribution terms for each, as they will have varying percentages they will want for a sale, their fulfilment terms (meaning stock on hand) will also differ from each other.


Generating traffic to your links is one of the hardest things to do when it comes to creating a website or anything you want to promote.  Here are many ways internet online and offline where you can grab the bull by the horns so to speak…  Most of the methods are free but do require a bit of effort on your part, I promise it will pay off if you stick with it.

Don’t disregard the paid ones but gain experience with the freebies first.

Directory Listings

This is an old age method but it still works well.  The objective here is to build traffic, so if you seriously want it, put your link as many places as possible.  By directory listing, you are getting one-way links back to your site which is a great thing and improves your PR.  Not your traffic, but PR is a way to get on your Google’s top pages and therefore more traffic.  Reciprocal links are not the best way, but if you are brand new, sometimes you have to do it.  If you can do one-way links it is much better.  Search engines put a higher ranking on one-way links, so concentrate on those.

Link Exchanges

Again, reciprocal link is not as highly rated, but is still very effective. You need to exchange links with as many websites as humanly possible and for best results.  It’s not a good idea to have a music site and have a lot of links exchanged with a food site. It is a good  idea to have the music site exchange links with other music related sites though such as CD mastering, mp3s, other recording sites… This shows a great deal of relevance with search engines. Name your links page something like musicresources.html.

Take some time or request assistance from your publishing consultant to find the suitability of listing your books on websites such as Powells, Abe Books, Publisher’s Weekly, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million. Book publishing can be a rewarding and profitable experience with the right advice and tools.

Once these and any other international online selling channels have been reviewed and activated, then look closer to home and search for the key selling sites in your country.  For example, in Australia, Fishpond, TheNile, Wheelers, Red Hen, Seek Books, and Bookworld are the most accessible sites available.

In most cases, listing your self published book on Nielsen’s Book Data helps in populating many of these and more obscure websites with your listing.  Each country has a different office for Nielsen’s, so Google for your local contact.  It is worth noting that some sites automatically populate their sites with your listings a few weeks after your ISBN registration is completed.

Try listing on auction sites like eBay, TradeMe, Gumtree, Live Deal, Craigslist etc.  A simple listing on a local auction site could build more profile than you originally thought, as once a product becomes popular, it becomes a noticed and in demand product.  Plus the percentage you would pay to these auction sites is usually far less than what a bookshop would expect.

One very important part of Online Selling Channels is spreading the word.  Once you have successfully had your book publication listed on these sites, share the word.  Through social media especially, tell your fan base the latest listings.  It shows positive activity and popularity which again creates a mindset in the buyer it is worth a look.


Understanding how Search Engines work is of prime importance if you want your Web Page to be found by viewers or potential book buyers using them.  The fastest and easiest way to start getting your site attention is to register it with the major search engines and Web directories.  There are two primary kinds of search engines (with many variations).

They are:

Search engines use automated software (known as robots or spiders) to follow Web hyperlinks, harvesting information about sites as they go.  When someone submits a query to a search engine, the engine returns a list of sites, ranking them on their relevance to the keywords used in the search.  How search engines assess your site and determine the relevance of the words is difficult to predict, as it often depends on how the specific engine works. Some engines, such as Excite, use artificial intelligence to recognize concepts that frequently appear together.

Learn the basics of search engine optimization

Powerful web content includes keywords people use to search for your site.  To get a high ranking, your web content must be loaded with keyword phrases and still remain engaging to read.  Don’t let your content get stale as with most marketing materials, it’s easy for your message to run its course.  A website is a constant work in progress.  Build it and they will come doesn’t apply here.  It must be refined and added to on a regular basis to keep it fresh.  The keywords should be related your self published book.  Book Printing- keeping printed books on hand to sell is important as you can not sell something you don’t have possession of.  Keep printed books stock up.


Google Page Rank (or PR as it is often referred to as) is simply an indication of the number of websites that link to a specific website.  It also attempts to indicate the quality of those links.  PR ranges from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the ‘best’ PR and 0 being the ‘worst’).  The vast majority of small business websites will usually find they have a PR of between 0 and 5.

To calculate a particular site’s PR, Google uses a fairly complicated algorithm based on the number of web links that it is aware of that link to the site in question.  This algorithm will also take into account the PR of the page that is providing the link, thus a link from a web page that has a PR of 7 will be considered more valuable than a link from a page with a PR of 4.

Because of the way in which links from higher PR-ranked sites are considered more important, many people are choosing to buy links from websites with high PR’s just so that they can increase their own PR.  Some sites can sell simple text link on their home page for over $700 a month purely based on the fact that they have a PR of 7 or above.

TIP: Try to get your website ranked higher, then you can advertise text links on your page & earn a profit.

The reason that most people want to increase their PR is because Google takes this statistic into account when determining where a website will be displayed in their search results.  Many people assume that a high PR automatically equals a high search engine placement for their chosen keywords.  Not so…. PR is just one of over 100 different factors that Google takes into account when deciding where your website will feature (these factors and the main algorithm change on a very regular basis).  It is perfectly possible for a website with a PR of 5 to get a higher ranking than a PR 7 site if it has better content or is more relevant for the search term in question.


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