Writing to Sell Your Book

Writing a book is challenging and you may have devoted much time and effort to mastering your writing craft and the knowledge of your genre and subject matter. When your book is completed and finally published, the real work begins. Writing good sales copy will make a significant difference in your ability to sell the book to interested readers.

You may believe that the ubiquitous “anyone or everyone” is the audience for your book. Writing sales copy to ‘everyone’ is about the same as writing sales copy to no one. Be specific with who your audience is and write directly to them. Put yourself in their shoes and consider how the book will benefit them. Think about their interests and needs first, which may not be quite the same as what you think you want to tell them.

Simple, clear, conversational language works best. The fewer words you can use to convey your benefits and persuade the reader, the better. Start with a compelling headline that grabs the attention of the reader. Remember, the specific audience that you have defined is the target of the heading. Identify the one salient point or benefit that would interest that person and build your headline around that.

If you tend to write long sentences and paragraphs, don’t panic. Go back and edit the copy repeatedly, with a focus on shortening the paragraphs and sentences. Create memorable catch phrases highlighting benefits of your book that you would like the reader to remember. Write each on a separate line. For example, if you have a How To book, a catchphrase might be “Only 5 Easy Steps!” or “No Tools Required!” For a mystery novel, you might say “Tense to the very end!” or “A mind-blowing twist!”

People relate to stories. Just as the stories in your book will captivate your audience, so your sales copy can do the same. Stories help the reader to experience what you are selling and that experience will stick in their memories far longer than after reading bland copy. Remember, this is sales copy so keep the story short.

Ultimately, the goal of the sales copy is to persuade the reader to buy your book. When making assertions that sound like facts, be careful to avoid having them be too general. Generalities sound like opinions, whereas facts tend to be specific. If possible, cite specific dates, identify resources and write detailed numbers to support your positions. This may be easier with non-fiction works than with fiction.

While you are thinking about the book from the reader’s point of view, think about all of the objections that a skeptic may raise. Make sure your sales copy addresses each of the objections in a subtle way by highlighting the benefits to be gained instead. If you do this well, you will leave them with no stubborn questions or doubts and they will be more interested in taking the next step to buy the book.

Don’t push too hard in trying to get the reader to click on the “buy now” button. Sometimes readers need to mull over things for a while. Offer them something to create a sense of urgency, such as a free eBook, a free consultation, a discounted price or some other item of value that is appropriate for you. Writing good sales copy takes practice, just as writing good books does. Both efforts yield results with persistent determination. Write on.