You may be an author, a blogger, or a copywriter, whichever, we all need to learn to write copy that doesn’t make a reader wince with distaste and that’s persuasive. It doesn’t just apply to book blurbs, but on the book sales page, it becomes super-important to write for the reader.
One type of poorly-written copy that will kill a book’s chances is a rambling, self-focussed blurb about why the author felt the need to write the book. I know that the CEO just wrote a 400-page super book and has the best interests of his audience at heart, but they forgot the WIIFM:
Always keep the What’s In It For Me in mind. Appeal to what your target audience is going to get out of the book as a whole.
This takes really looking into your audience and their media. If appropriate, take a surf on Pinterest and Instagram. Search topics of interest and find the audience’s voice. You can use a hashtag search on Instagram to find sub-topics. Take a look on Goodreads forums and see what people are saying about your genre. Note the book lists that have been voted up. This is all going to help you form a birds-eye view of what your audience and their gurus are interested in.
Always come up with at least five ‘hot selling points’ that draw directly from chapter contents but turn it into advantages. Here are some from my 2016 book. I tried to space it out with bullets and make it intriguing:
Another rule you need to remember in Blogging, Article writing and Podcasting is… talk about related topics of interest – not your book content, but stuff that’s closely related.
For my book on starting a freelance business, I wrote articles about why freelance for parents, why freelance in Australia, I gave away a calculator to work out better hourly rates, I wrote about how to get freelance writing gigs and freelance editing rates. All the things that people want to know before they dive into freelancing… or as they are diving.
Hot Author Research
While you search for the best ways to connect with your ideal audience, you may as well assess what other authors in your niche space do. Look deeper than the genre (e.g. personal development-relationships), looking at relationship advice for women over 40 etc, would be a really narrow niche.
Also do some research on competing authors and see what selling points they make. You can search on Amazon for five authors in your sub-genre, but I want you to also go to LinkedIn and search authors in your country with large followings who post regularly. Tip: If you put ‘author’ in the search keyword and then select from their career industry (e.g. health), you’ll soon have plenty to look among. They should have a link to their main book page in their URLs or in Publications. (You might only be able to see this if they have an Open profile).
I love looking at how top authors write their blurbs for better ways to reach people and grab them with plain-English points. Some of my favorite writers for this include: Scott Pape, Canna Campbell (just for the book title premise), Steve Slaunwhite & Pete Savage.
It’s not hard to re-focus your sales copy, as what do most folk want to do? They want to INCREASE their earnings, BETTER their health, IMPROVE their relationships, and SAVE their money for better things.