“Content is king.” The statement has been used so much it’s become cliché. Nevertheless, it is still true and creating valuable content means you provide information not available anywhere else.

One way to do this is to do your own research. Collect data online by asking a group of people to provide responses to a question or a series of questions. The information that you collect is uniquely yours so it can be a big selling point for making your book stand out authoritatively.

Let’s say you’re a historical fiction writer and you want to find out what people’s responses are to visiting a particular historical site. You could create a form with a question and then share it with those people who have visited the site by asking on Twitter or Facebook. A better way would be to connect with the historical site and ask for permission to survey their visitors. If you share the results of the form with them and acknowledge the historical site in your book in a positive way, they may be glad to share the form with their list.

There are many ways to create a form on the web. You can write your own if you have coding skills but, for most of us, the easiest way is to use an online form service. Some are free and others charge a monthly or yearly subscription.

One of the best options is using Google Drive. Under Google Drive, you have an option for creating a form that you can send in an email or post on a website or Facebook page. You can view a short video tutorial [3:31] that will get you up and running quickly.

The information gathered from your form can provide statistical information to write a chapter in your book or an article or news release.

If you’re an author and feel stuck in your book marketing, get a jump start by learning about the best and latest book marketing strategies in the Authors Academy.