The Book Marketing Network

For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

FYI, Authors! Learn DIY Copywriting Skills. A Swift Seminar.

You’ve taken the time, energy, and care to write a book—laboring intensively over rewrites, editing judiciously, choosing your words wisely, and polishing the final product to perfection. And now that your work is ready to share with an audience, it’s time to tackle the crucial business of bringing book and reader together. That means marketing. And not surprisingly, when it comes to marketing books, it’s all about words.

In the advertising business, they call it “the sizzle that sells the steak.” And a big part of that sizzle is copywriting—especially in the book business. If you want people to read what’s inside, you’ve got to grab their interest with what’s written outside. And it’s not enough to just tell. You have to tantalize. Good book cover copy is a compelling mix of plot and promotion.

And just as importantly, it’s also concise. Brevity isn’t just the soul of wit, it’s also the key to effective communication—especially in our accelerated age of social networking, tweeting, texting, and micro-blogging. Today’s fleeting attention spans demand messages that make their point ASAP (like this sentence).

With that in mind, consider marketing your book succinctly with what I call “the three P’s of online copywriting.” Strive to be:

1. Pithy. Keeping it short means every word counts (and these days, even every character counts!). So cut to the chase, but make it pop. Tip: Remember to use the active tense, not the passive. Example: “Linda Steele hunts online predators. Now a cyber-psycho wants to hack into her.”

2. Punchy. When writing marketing materials, remember that bold, confident headlines always beat boring ones. Examples: “Is Bigfoot a big fake? Are E.T.’ s just b.s.?” “Absurdistan: It’s not the happiest place on earth. Just the funniest.”

3. Precise. Never use a five-dollar word where a fifty-cent word will do. It may be a cliché, but it’s solid copywriting advice. Why make a hard job lugubrious? Short and sweet goes a long way when you’re competing for today’s multitasking readers.

Use these guidelines to help you get every word’s worth when marketing your book—and spread the word that your work is worth reading!

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