Whether you are selling your own books or books by other authors, a blog is a useful tool for reaching new readers and turning those readers into customers. Writing a blog gives readers a chance to get to know you, as well as a chance to compare your likes and dislikes with their own. Always give readers the opportunity to know you by presenting yourself openly and honestly in your blog. The better your visitors get to know you, the more likely they are to accept your recommendations and buy a book from you.
Read books and post reviews of the books you enjoy on your blog. Doing so attracts visitors who are thinking of buying the books you have reviewed.
Create a free affiliate account with a bookseller like Amazon.com. It provides you with links to the website with an affiliate code built into the link. Place a link for the book you have reviewed in your blog post. When a visitor clicks on the link and buys a book from the bookseller, you receive a commission for the sale.
Be honest and fair in your reviews; write about books you truly enjoyed. A negative review about a book you did not enjoy will unlikely prompt visitors to buy that book. If you do feel the need to write a negative review, write reviews about similar books you did enjoy, then add a link to those reviews at the end of a negative review.
Send a link to your review to the publisher and the author of the book. Publishers and authors enjoy reading favorable reviews; they may share your link on their own websites or newsletters. There is also a good chance they may offer to send you free books for you to review.
Interview authors. If you enjoyed a book, contact the author through email, or through social media like Twitter or Facebook, and invite the author for an interview. The less famous an author is, the higher the likelihood she may respond. Write a half-dozen sample questions and email them to the author in the request. If the author is interested, she may just answer the questions in the first reply.
Selling Your Own Books
Write blog posts about the story behind your book. Write about what inspired you to write it or challenges you had to overcome. Let readers get to know the author behind the book.
Proofread your blog posts thoroughly before posting them. Few things turn a potential reader away from an author faster than a blog that is riddled with typos, grammatical errors and incorrect facts.
Focus on quality, rather than quantity. Many bloggers insist that you should blog daily; however, this is not always true for a professional author. While you should blog as often as you can, never blog if you have little to say on a subject. Remember that every blog post you write is an advertisement for your writing.
Write blog posts that relate to the types of readers you hope will buy your books. If you write business books, write articles about business. If you write humor, make your blog posts humorous. Include excerpts of your books to give visitors a chance to browse inside a book before deciding to purchase it.
Set up a way to distribute books to your customers. For your own books there are websites like Lulu, Smashwords and Kindie Direct Publishing that help to sell your books. You can also do it yourself through a billing system like Paypal. To sell other books, sign up as an affiliate at Amazon or another bookseller.
Place an image and a link to at least one book on the sidebar of your blog. This will make it visible on every page. Affiliate-based booksellers like Amazon.com provide you with the images and code needed to send visitors to a sales page.
Upload your own book cover images to your blog website and include a link to your sales page. Copy and paste this HTML code into the sidebar of your blog to add a book image with a link to a sales page
Note that the HTML code uses a link to the sales page, followed by the location of the book cover image, width and height, then the “alt” tag in case the image does not load. Replace these details for your own sales page, book cover image, dimensions and book title.
When reviewing a book, make the title of the book in the review clickable, with a link to the sales page in the first and last paragraphs of the review.