The Benefits of Using a Webinar to Promote Your Newly Published Book

by | Oct 26, 2011 | Book Marketing Basics, Social Media for Authors

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Guest post by Frank Anderson

In a world where authors are increasingly asked to do their own promotional work, there are few ideas better than running a webinar to promote your newly published book. Here’s why it’s such a great idea to run one:

Microsoft PowerPoint Icon

Image via Wikipedia

What is a Webinar Anyway?

For the less technical among us, a brief explanation is in order. A webinar is kind of like a PowerPoint presentation (indeed many are given using PowerPoint) given to people from all over the world via the Internet. You can talk about your book, share some of the insights that you share in your book (so as to whet the appetite of your potential readers) and generally explain why people would want to read what you wrote.

It’s Like Getting Booked for a Reading

One of the things that many authors are asked to do is to give a reading of excerpts of their book to audiences in various parts of the country. These readings usually aren’t very well attended though – if you get 50 people, you’re doing exceedingly well (unless you just appeared on the Oprah network in which case all bets are off).

Books on a bookshelf.

Image via Wikipedia

Economy of Scale

However, when you do a webinar to promote your newly published book, you gain two important things over the reading. First, you gain economy of scale, because you can give your webinar to up to 1,000 people at a time, from all over the country. This means that even if there are only 2-3 people in a particular location who may have wanted to hear you speak, they’ll still have the chance to do so because you can “bundle” their talk together with others.


The other thing you get is convenience. Let’s face it – most of us aren’t famous authors on whom the publisher is spending millions of dollars for promotion. This means that you either pay your own way to get to readings or you end up doing them primarily in your own locale. However, a webinar allows you to gain access to a much broader audience than you could by simply going to local readings. This means more sales for you and a better chance of getting that all important second and third book approved by the publisher.

GotoMeeting Start Up Screen

Image by Bruce Elgort via Flickr

Only Some Books are Suitable for Webinar Promotion

While you could hold a webinar for almost any subject imaginable, it’s best to offer them for a subject which has practical applications or information. In other words, if you were to hold a webinar promoting your new book on building bird houses from scrap wood, you’d get a decent audience together because you are offering practical information to bird enthusiasts. You can then mention that your book provides detailed designs for these bird houses and additional information on where to find scrap wood. This will help you to drive sales.

On the information side of things, if you were to hold a webinar about the Middle East process (in order to promote your new book on the history of the Middle East), you would also have an easier time getting an audience (since it’s for something which is easily discussed and on which many people have opinions).

Complete set of the seven books of the

Image via Wikipedia

However, if you wanted to hold a webinar to talk about your latest science fiction novel, it’s going to be a tougher sell because it doesn’t fit naturally into the webinar format (which as mentioned above is primarily a PowerPoint kind of thing).  That is, unless of course your name is J.K. Rowling and you’re promoting a SciFi spin off of the Harry Potter series…

Always Have a Call to Action

The other thing that’s important when running a webinar to promote your newly published book is to have a call to action toward the end. This means that you make a sales push to try to get people to buy the book. Typically, you’ll want to mention toward the beginning that a discount will be offered to webinar participants who stay until the end. You may also want to offer 2-3 free copies of the book as an incentive to keep people until the end because this will improve the chances of a sale.

25% or More Sales

Now here’s the best part: Internet marketers who use webinars to promote their products report that they get as much as 25% sales through their webinars. This means that if you had 1,000 people attend your webinar, you could get as many as 250 copies of your newly published book sold. Not too shabby for a few hours of work while sitting in front of your home PC…

Frank Anderson is a writer and blogger.  His subject of interest is usually technology, the Internet, and exchange hosting.

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  1. M.E. Anders

    Frank – I agree that this is a brilliant idea to use webinars to promote one’s book. I’m adding this to my Guerrilla Marketing Strategy. Thanks! 🙂

    • Paula

      Thanks for stopping by and glad you found some tips to add to your own marketing!

  2. T. A. Beasley

    Frank- You have given me a great idea for helping get the word out about my authors books. I am agreeing with M.E. Anders that I am adding this to my Guerrilla Marketing Strategy. Thanks a lot for this valuable information!

    • Paula

      Thanks for stopping by – we’re glad you found Frank’s post helpful!

  3. Rainy Kaye

    Great post, and definitely covers the basics. I’d love to see a post here reviewing different software and channels to actually host the webinar. I don’t have a lot of experience with these, yet, so I’ll leave that one up for the webinar gurus.


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