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Book Microsite in Action

Guest post by Jake Poinier

Call it serendipity. A few weeks ago, the post “Books Don’t Sell Themselves! Microsites Help Reel in Readers” hit me right between the eyes. I was in the process of finishing the first drafts of two books—The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid and Help! My Freelancers Are Driving Me Crazy: 12 Keys to Driving Loyalty and Results from Your Creative Workforce—but was wavering on whether I’d want to launch a dedicated website among all the other tasks. After all, I could just stick with being on Amazon and linking from my Dr. Freelance blog and corporate website.

Nancy Prezno’s post convinced me that it was worth it to take the extra step to create a book microsite. And I knew from many years of working with Burick Communication Design that they would be able to develop something to help me reach my goals for MoreCowbellBooks.com, my new book publishing entity.

I had several goals that I needed to meet:

  • Branding, look and feel. There’s always a risk to mixing graphic designers, because it can be a challenge to replicate someone else’s style. Burick was able to take the colors, typefaces, images and other elements to create a cohesive branding look. Nobody would ever guess that the books and microsite had different graphic designers. (Oops, the secret’s out!)
  • Establish myself as an author. Neither my blog nor corporate site really seemed an appropriate place to position myself an author without diluting their main messaging. Having a dedicated book microsite made that easy.
  • SEO. I’d chosen the name “More Cowbell” for its SEO potential, so that was a given. The site itself is keyword-rich with terms freelancers and clients would search for. And finally, having my multiple sites linking to each other provided additional “link juice.”
  • Freelance rate calculator. This was a major component. In The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid, I’d offered a few fairly lengthy calculations to help freelancers determine their rates. Recognizing that an online calculator would be a far better way to accomplish that, I included a link in the text (and a hyperlink in the Kindle version) that takes people directly to two custom freelance rate calculators on the microsite. “Freelance rate calculator” is also a powerful SEO search term, creating a reason for people to find the site who don’t even know about the book–and become potential buyers.

The books are selling well in the early going. Now that I’m past the launch phase, I’m on to thinking about what comes next—additional freelance rate calculators, sample giveaways, merchandise, blogs, videos, and developing a mailing list. And, of course, I’m already brainstorming book #3.

Find out how Eileen and her team at Burick Communication Design can help marketers like you implement a promotional campaign with stunning digital design that connects your marketing, branding and new book launch with business results. Learn more at www.burick.com

Jake Poinier

About Jake Poinier

In addition to running the Dr. Freelance freelance advice blog, Jake Poinier is the owner of Phoenix-based Boomvang Creative Group and, as mentioned above, More Cowbell Books.

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