Promoting Your Book Online

books Julien Smith and I are hard at work writing our first book, Trust Agents, about how the social web helps turn relationships into serious business (or some such). We’re still several months off from that book seeing the light of day, but we’re already thinking about how to promote the book.

Seth Godin just launched Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, and as part of the mad rush, he set up some bloggers with free copies to give away. He also put out an audiobook version on iTunes for .99 cents (I bought it). He built a social community ahead of the release of the book. In essence, Seth did a whole new slew of promotions that were completely and utterly different than what he used to sell The Dip. In fact, he does something completely new EACH TIME to promote books.

In thinking about Trust Agents, and in seeing how different people have used the web to extend and promote and breathe life into their books, I’ve got a few ideas on what we might do. I thought I’d share with you, get your opinions, and then also make this post into a resource for those of us trying to figure this all out together. Sound okay?

Promoting Your Book

Warm People Up With Blog Posts – Some authors blog about their book ahead of time. We’ve done that a bit on our own sites, but we might launch a blog specifically around the book and the ideas behind being a trust agent, as well as how-to information for people looking to become a trust agent themselves. Lots of authors have figured out the blogging-to-warm-up-sales premise.

Offer A Free Preview eBook – In a way, Julien and I have already done this with our Trust Economy ebook, but that was thinking from a year ago, and this has evolved a great deal. Perhaps Julien and I will do another ebook as we move along.

Record Conversational Podcasts – Julien and I keep threatening to do this: a series of audio podcasts that are essentially a capture of the conversations we’re having while forming the book. We think it’d be fun, because it’d show you how our idea-forming process works, and it’d give you all the crazy exchanges that happen before we get to the actual writing part.

Online Events – When the book is closer to coming out, we’re going to have some online events. We’ll ask you to help us get the word out about the book, and we’ll try to find some ways to have fun with that. Beyond a blogging campaign, where we ask all kinds of folks to blog their thoughts on trust agents (not the book, but on the concept), maybe we’ll have some kind of live online experience, either via video or in a chat room or something, where we can have some fun and maybe get the word out even more.

Nominate Other Trust Agents – The book has all kinds of examples of people we think are trust agents (people like Lionel Menchaca, Matt Cutts, Robert Scoble, Mario Lavandeira, and plenty more). What if we built a spot for you to point out people you think deserve to be called trust agent?

Online Workshops – Our book has lots of practical advice and action steps. We could definitely offer free online seminars to extend out some of what we’ve put together for the book.

And Beyond

Both Julien and I have lots of ideas on how we want to promote the book, both online and off. We’ll do our best not to drive you crazy with it, though we’ll certainly do our share of asking for your help with getting the word out.

Your Ideas

How else would YOU promote a book these days? What have you seen that’s been effective online or off? What is most valuable to you as a prospective reader of such a book?

You see, beyond my own interests, I think there are many people coming to the web to find ways to promote their books in new ways. How have you seen it done?

Photo credit, Nate Steiner

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