By Mari Selby, Selby Ink

Besides a really odd sounding word what is a webinar? And why should it matter to you as an author or publisher? A webinar is a web-based seminar of a presentation, lecture, or workshop that is transmitted over the Web using video or audio conferencing software. A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements: the ability to give, receive and discuss information in real-time.

In other words, a webinar is a great way to interact with your fans, followers, and readers as well as grow your social networks. Events are one of the best ways to promote you and your book on social media. Webinars enforce key book marketing strategies: post and post often, engage with followers, and influence a network.
Additional benefits authors will discover when using webinars include: an expanded reach with reusable content, the ability to make money with reusable content on a website, reinforcement of a brand message, added value to live presentations with polls, surveys and Q&As, and the opportunity for the possibility of a global audience.
We suggested to one of our authors, Ron Chapman, who was also an award-winning radio show host for more than 45 years that he do webinars. Because of his experience handling a live show and hosting a variety of guests, he really took to the idea.

Although Ron has written a number of books, his focus on progressive recovery was ideal for interactive work. At first the numbers of people showing up were few, but he persevered. Eventually with the help of cross promotion and social media network participation, Ron’s contacts blossomed nationwide with recovery groups. Today, Ron is busy speaking at recovery centers and meditation retreats throughout the country while selling his books at the back of the room.

Hosting webinars are not for everyone and there is a good deal of work involved. The process begins with creating a seminar people want to attend. Then perseverance is necessary, showing up again and again to encourage fans to track you and your books. Cross promotion over several social media networks helps to build a following. Readers and fans not only buy your books they are also the word of mouth supporters to promote your message.

Answer these questions. If your answer is yes to any of them, then you are a good fit for creating and developing webinars:

• Do you have a topic that is best explained through a live Q&A?

• Do you want to do a follow-up presentation to a live presentation with a group of readers that may have questions about your recent book?

• Do you want to increase the reach of your live presentations?

• Have you partnered on a book? A webinar is a solution that can combine your two different styles into one fluid presentation. Now you and your partner have a tool that you both can use and reuse.

• Do you want to create a conversation, have engagement, involvement or connection on social media?

• Do you want more than just a conversation? Do you want to create a viral effect around a topic?

Now that you have decided to create a webinar, the following three options offer webinar software:

GoToMeeting: Offers mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone and for Android. This software won the SIIA CODiE Award for Best On-Demand Mobile Application in 2012.

Zoom: This software boasts high video, audio quality in addition to unique features like screen sharing on the iPhone or the iPad.

FreeConference: With this free software, users can set up calls between 10 different people on three continents with call scheduling, and coordinate the call logistics with the moderator controls in an online personal meeting room.

All of these software options can also share audio, documents, and applications with webinar attendees.

Word of mouth marketing sells 80 percent of all books. Webinars build a social media presence. Ask yourself if you are ready to interact with your followers and readers. If you are, then turn a presentation into a conversation. And that conversation then becomes a sale.

mari_selby_150Mari Selby founded Selby Ink in 1998 after working for a small publisher where she was successful in improving their sales from 20,000 books to over 100,000 books in one year. All of us at Selby ink are passionate about healing and transformation, we prefer to work with books that make a difference in people’s lives, their relationships, our society or the planet. Our passion for your books is a key to making your work well-known, while international contacts will provide the edge you need to create a successful promotional campaign. Selby ink’s publicity and promotional services range from book-shepherding, to developing virtual and physical speaking engagements, to building a social media network, to creating national broadcast campaigns. Contact Selby Ink today for a free, short consultation about you and your book. Connect with Mari any day on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.