Every single day the book marketplace is presented with hundreds of new authors and books. Their readers are flooded with messages, pictures, persuasion to buy and promotional offers. The market is fit to bursting. So, how can you carve your way through the others to try and rise to the top and your books be picked up from the shelves (virtually or physically!)?
Firstly, you need to remember that you and your book are unique and, as such, in what is such highly competitive field, you need hook your readers with promotional material that’s compelling and makes your book stand out from the crowd. Let’s have a look at how top-quality copy for your book descriptions, posts on social media, advertising campaigns and websites can help you rise to the top ahead of the competition.
- Who is your target audience?
Catering for the right audience with your promotional material is one of the most efficient (not to mention economical) ways of building up you as a brand and selling your books. Find your target audience through searching and watching online. Search for key words, add a poll to Facebook or Instagram and scour the web for ideas. Once you know who your readers are and how they buy their books, you can target your marketing and promotions accordingly.
On average, people spend under eight seconds taking in the cover of a book or reading an advertisement before they click to buy or read more. Therefore, your promotional copy must be really enticing and appropriate to their interests. If you understand your readers, through your copy you are speaking directly to them – so make them feel like you are.
- Write enticing taglines and headlines
They’re ever so important! Why? Because they draw in your readers. Your headlines need to be specific and clear so that you don’t confuse readers. Additionally, you need to play to your readers’ interests and simple hyperbole won’t cut it. The phrases you use need to resonate on an emotional level with your audience. Lastly, keep them succinct. Lengthy headings put people off. If impressions are made in the first few seconds, don’t put off your potential readers with waffle!
- How to write your book description
Your readers need to know why they should buy your book when there are so many others there to consider. Writing the book description is therefore crucial. Writing the description should not be that different from writing the opening page of the book itself. It needs to grip the reader and make them want to find out more.
The description should be short and in small paragraphs that are easy to read. Remember, they’re not going to stand there and read a lengthy passage, they could just open the book and begin to read if they wanted that! Keep it short and sweet! Secondly, be specific. Why should your reader want to read it? Make sure here that you use the keywords mentioned above that will hook in your target readers. Importantly, don’t give the game away! It’s not meant to be a synopsis! It should give just enough information for the reader to want to read on without any spoilers.
- How to write author newsletters
A newsletter allows you to be in contact with your readers and let them know of up-and-coming book releases or promotions. It’s a great way to get pre-orders in too! However, for this to work, your readers need to sign up in the first place, then they need to open the newsletter email rather than scrolling on past. So, how do you achieve this?
Firstly, you need to carefully get the right kind of readers to subscribe to your newsletter. It won’t matter how good the wording of your newsletter is if your target audience isn’t getting it. To get readers to subscribe, don’t go for hefty, large prizes as you are bound to get some people signing up for a chance to win before unsubscribing at a later date. Instead, opt for smaller giveaways, such as a free book, or something that is appropriate for your book.
Secondly, again you need to think of the interests of your readers. Yes, your newsletter should be about you as an author and your books, but readers need to be able to engage with the content that you write. A book recommendation might work well, or maybe a shared photo of something inspiring could be appropriate.
Thirdly, don’t be click-happy and send lots of emails. Clogging up inboxes is going to put people off and they’ll unsubscribe, rather like you ‘hide’ those Facebook friends who post multiple banal statuses a day.
- Social Media Content
Social media has really taken off and it would be wise to capitalise on this lucrative platform. It’s a great tool to grow your following but, as with your newsletters, you need to be careful not to be an all-too-frequent a poster. You don’t want your followers to get fed up of you right before your next book launch. Using a 10% versus 90% split works well, with 10% being book promotions and 90% being related content such as recommendations or a shared interest such as cooking or animals. If you engage your followers in your likes and dislikes (and ultimately theirs too) they will be much more likely to see and engage in your book promoting posts.
You could test your copy in a boosted post, such as on Facebook. Thousands have books have brought in sales this way. Including an intriguing line from the book can also help to entice readers.
Our tips for compelling copy and promotional material should hopefully give your book sales a boost. A key piece of information to take out from all our tips is that less is sometimes more, whether that be shorter book descriptions or less frequent social media posts. With our tips you may just find that your readers actually end up buying more.