Many authors are intimidated by ‘copywriting,' considering it somehow less creative than writing books.
Copywriting is writing to sell, or writing so that people take action on our words.
We need copywriting for our sales descriptions (or back blurbs), as well as our author websites.
Today, copywriter and author James Palmer shares some tips that will help you get to grips with copywriting.
Congratulations! You’ve just written and published your first book.
That’s a major milestone, and you should be really proud of yourself. But the work’s not over yet. Now that the book is done and out there for all the world to see, you have another job to do:
Here is where a lot of writers feel frustrated and confused about what to do next, and how. But don’t be. Here are 3 copywriting “tricks of the trade” that can help you beef up your nonfiction book’s sales page and reach more readers.
What is copywriting, you ask? Basically, copywriting is the creation of persuasive marketing materials that entice readers to buy something. Behind every great promotion is some strong copywriting.
I know most of you reading this are probably not copywriters, but that’s OK. I’m going to show you some things you can start doing right now to sell more books. Here goes.
#1 Hit Their Pain Points
If you’ve written a how-to book, your description needs to adopt a problem-solution format. In this structure, you first highlight the problem your book solves, and then tell how your book solves it. Really highlight your potential reader’s pain. They’re checking out your book because it might solve a problem they are having. Convince them it does!
#2 Benefits Vs. Features
This one is a biggie that sometimes even experienced marketers get wrong. A feature is a physical or material component of something. For example, if we were selling a BBQ grill, and we said that our grill had four heavy duty burners with a lifetime guarantee, that’s a feature.
The benefit is what that feature does for our buyer. So in our grill example, the benefit is that these burners will heat evenly and last a lifetime.
The benefit is what our customer wants. Not the feature. In your nonfiction book, the benefits are all the things your book teaches that will help your reader.
#3 Use Bullet Points
You don’t have a lot of room in a book description to tell everything your book is about, and you shouldn’t even try. But you can tease what’s in store for your reader by using bullet points.
Writing bullet points is a fine art, but with just a little practice you can be writing bullets like a copywriting pro.
Just follow these examples:
- Should you cut bread completely out of your diet? The answer may surprise you.
- 5 ways to kick your home-based business into overdrive starting tomorrow. Starts on page 7
- The one thing you should never ever feed your dog. Page 4
- The 5 characteristics almost all successful leaders share.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Notice how each bullet either asks a question that your book answers or teases with specific information found in your book, making readers want to download it immediately!
And there you go! You now have some proven copywriting “tricks” that will improve your next nonfiction book promotion.
But Wait, There's More!
I know I’ve thrown a lot of stuff at you, but here’s a bonus tip: 2 Ways to Become a Better Copywriter in Your Spare Time.
Are you ready? Here goes!
#1 Read Books On Copywriting And Marketing
I recommend Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, The Copywriting Handbook by Robert W. Bly, Words that Sell by Richard Bayan, and The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy (that last one alone has helped me write many a sales page).
#2 Start A Swipe File
A swipe file is a collection, online or in print, of sales letters, headlines, advertorials, and other marketing pieces. The next time you see one of these, copy and paste it, or clip it out and put it in a physical folder. You never know, it could be the inspiration for your next marketing push.
Look for those that resonate with you. Did it convince you to purchase? Why? Could it be modified for your own marketing? Become a student of copywriting and marketing. A swipe file will help you do that.
And that’s it! Marketing doesn’t have to be hard or scary. Learn, experiment, and most of all, have fun with it!
How do you feel about writing marketing copy for your books? Please leave your thoughts below and join the conversation.
James Palmer is a copywriter, marketing consultant, and author of science fiction and pulp adventure. He enjoys helping other writers master their marketing. His latest novel is Star Swarm. For more information on his writing, visit www.jamespalmerbooks.com.