Saturday, October 27, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Creating a Book Series and Brand

Make Mine a Series!
Use Your Book Title to Create a Brand...and a Book Series

By Susan Kendrick

(It was an honor to develop the book positioning, subtitle, and front and back cover sell copy for this book. The title, however... is all Dottie. Read on to learn more.)

This seems like a good time to acknowledge a legend in the speaking and publishing industry, Dottie Walters, and to use her books as an example of how to create your own book series.

Dottie Walters, who passed away in February, 2007, was a marketing genius, world class speaker, bestselling author, and speaking industry icon. She was also dearly loved and respected worldwide.

The Origins of a Series
Dottie's international bestseller, Speak and Grow Rich, has and continues to help new and veteran speakers reach their greatest career potential. Interestingly, her now famous book title is a prime example of one of the book title strategies we use and teach--"Use a Twist on a Familiar Phrase." Speak and Grow Rich was a twist on the title of Napoleon Hill's bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich. Dottie was a longtime fan of Hill, and he of her. About Dottie he said, "Dottie, how does it feel to have blown a handful of inspirational stardust into the world?"

Dottie's grandson, Michael MacFarlane, started developing Share and Grow Rich after Dottie's death, to honor her, her life, and her career. President of Walters Speaker Services and Walters International Speakers Bureau, Michael was Dottie’s business partner and traveling companion for 17 years. He witnessed first-hand her "sharing" philosophy at work in her own life and career and in the lives of the authors, experts, and speakers she counseled. Dottie's philosophy, which drove her own career and the success of others straight to the top, was:

"SHARE everything you know, and people will beat down your door for more."

What you can learn from Dottie and her book:
(See other articles on this blog that cover the following points in depth. Use the "Search Blog" link at the top of this page.)

1.) Create your book cover before your book is finished--so you can start marketing and selling your book before it's finished
You'll notice that the shopping cart status for Share and Grow Rich on Amazon is still "Pre-order this item today." With the cover complete, this book is already out there selling itself, even though the book has not yet been released. You can do the same for your books and products--on your own website, on affiliate websites, through media interviews, on Amazon, etc.

2.) Use your book title to build an entire brand
Speak and Grow Rich became a bestselling brand for Dottie because she made it so. The domain name,, is not just a website for her book, but for her entire business. It says right on the home page that this is "The #1 Source for TOTAL Speaking Success." This one site offers seminars, products, Sharing Ideas magazine, articles, and more. Use this same "book-to-brand" approach as a business model for your books, products, consulting, seminars--whatever you have to offer. Then other books in that series automatically reap the benefit of and build on the visibility you have already created.

3.) Develop a book title with series potential built right in
Many authors and experts have books or ideas for book that could--and sometimes should--be broken down for different target audiences. For example, you might have a proven way to help people manage their money, but that guidance contains dozens of particulars for different situations. The book-series solution is to create a series of books for your different target audiences, each with a host of specific tips, resources, timelines, exercises, worksheets, checklists, etc.

Your book series might look something like this:

Your lead book or series "template":
The Money-Smart Guide
A 12-month plan to erase debt and enjoy the good life

Books in your series:
The Money Smart-Guide
A 12-month plan to erase debt and enjoy the good life
or ...
... Entrepreneurs
... Young Families
... Retiring Couples
... College Graduates
... Medical professionals
... Authors, Experts, and Speakers

You can see how you could develop a series of niche books and book titles depending on your particular expertise and how you can grow and expand that expertise for various markets.

Back to Dottie
There are a variety of ways to create book titles and book subtitles that become a bestselling book series. In Dottie's case, the structure of her book title itself--not just the subtitle--provided the flexibility to create a series. Speak and Grow Rich became Share and Grow Rich. Try out these ideas for your book or pproduct and see how you can create both book titles and book subtitles that stand strong on their own and also easily expand to grow with you and your business.

"The solution is close at hand."
One thing Dottie always said that I still take with me is, "The solution is close at hand." Look closely at who you are, what you offer, and how that can expand that beyond what you are doing right now to keep growing your own business and the lives of others. That is the seed of your own bestselling series. Get started!

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email
© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Getting and Using Testimonials

Getting Testimonials for your Book?
Use the Three P's

By Susan Kendrick

Your back cover copy will be a mix of copy that positions your book as the ideal resource for your target market ... and testimonials that back up that copy. Most often, what the testimonial says is less important than who says it. A recognizable name carries a lot of weight for people looking for a reason to trust you and spend money on what you have to offer. A good strategy is to use at least one of the “Three P’s” of testimonial selection—Person, Position, and Place.

Aim high!
* Person
—This is someone who is a widely recognized “household name” in either the consumer market or your own industry. In the consumer market, choose people who are well-known authors, celebrities, TV personalities, sports figures, or spokespeople. Within your given industry, choose a someone widely recognized as a pioneer, a leader, a known and trusted resource.

* Position—This is someone with a high-level title, like CEO, president, vice president, director, etc. He or she might not be a well-known name, but that title reflects authority, credibility, leadership, and expertise—someone who can lend that same credibility to you and your message.

* Place—This is when you choose someone who again, may not be well-known, but represents a widely recognized and respected company, organization, or association. Whenever possible, aim for someone with a high-level position or title as well.

Start soliciting endorsements as soon as possible because it can take time to make a connection and get a quote. Make it easier for the people you are approaching by writing and submitting sample quotes from which they can choose or at least use as a springboard for their own ideas.

How many and how much
Given the size of your back cover, plan on using about 300 words total. This gives you room to create a powerful "elevator speech" for your book, while leaving enough open space to give the back cover a clean, uncluttered look.

Since your back cover will include a headline, intro positioning copy, possible bullets, a bio, and one or two other elements, you don't have room for a lot of testimonials. Use three and try to edit them down to sound bites of about two lines each. If you have or are planning to get more than three testimonials, consider using one at the top of your front cover, but only if it is from a highly recognizable "household" name in your market.

This isn't just about asking for something
One final note, don't feel like you are only asking for something for yourself when you approach someone about a testimonial for your book. If your book has high-quality content, and you are going to actively market it, then you have something of value you are offering others as well--an opportunity to get even more visibility and recognition for their name, expertise, book, business, or organizaiton.

Did you know?
The last thing most authors and experts think about when publishing their books and information products is the first thing you can do to start making money. Learn 13 ways to profit from your book's #1 marketing tool You'll also see some great testimonials, so that you, too, will remember to enjoy the process, make friends, and create good ways to work with others. Go to,

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: How to Use Google News Alerts to Grow Your Business

Google News Alerts:
4 Ways to Use Them as Free, Easy PR for Your Book or Product

By Susan Kendrick

What are Google News Alerts?
Google News Alerts are updates of Web news on topics of your choice, delivered right to your email.

How to get Google News Alerts
Go to On that page there are just four boxes to fill in:

_ Your Search Term
_ Type of news you want
_ How often you want to receive them
_ Your email address

That's it. You're ready to have news on your topic delivered to you once a day, as it happens, or once a week.

4 Ways to use this service as an author or expert:

* Keep up on news in your field
Use Google News Alerts to keep up on news in your industry or field of interest. This information can enhance your research for the book or product you are working on and let you know who else is active in this field.

* Think like a PR person
Each time you read what shows up in your email, think like a PR person and see how it relates to you, your business, or your book or product. Given your expertise on this subject, what do you have to offer? The writer or editor of this article may report on this topic frequently.

* Get recognized by being helpful
You can make a writer or editor's job easier and get some visibility for your expertise at the same time. Contact this person and let him or her know that you are available to provide additional information, perspective, examples, statistics, success stories, and advice. Writers and editors of publications are always looking for good sources of information and experts they can quote. Again, make their job easier.

Approaching writers and editors this way, because you have read their articles and think you can help them, is a much better way to "pitch" your expertise than simply to cold call and tell them what you have to offer. Approach people with a genuinely helping attitude and you can create relationships that will help you both.

* Have your book title and subtitle ready
This is good time to mention once again the wisdom of developing your book's title and subtitle early, while you're still in the manuscript stage. By doing so, you can tell writers and editors you talk to that you are the author of a new book on this topic and that the title of that book is "Your Title and Subtitle." This has far more credibility than just saying you are working on a book, but having nothing to show for it. If you have the front cover designed, all the better. You can show someone your complete book cover--that this is a real book in production and is expected to be released in (date).

Imagine getting all that advance recognition for your book or product. Imagine being quoted in a publication as the author of a forthcoming book. Even if your final title and subtitle change before you go to press, a good working name for your book is priceless.

If you are not quite ready to reveal information about your book or product, you can still respond in the way described above as an expert who has credibility because of your business, background, speaking, seminars, retreats, consulting, etc. Use what you have!

Google News Alerts on "Book Titles and Subtitles"
This is one I get. If you are in the process of or even thinking about writing a book, consider getting these same news alerts as well. It is one more way to see how often news about books has to do with how good or appropriate the title and subtitle are. Ultimately, you want your book covered in the media, so it's helpful to see what's being said about other books and authors. You'll learn a lot.

Get more Book Cover Coaching articles
I've posted two articles on this site so far that are commentaries on Google News Alerts on Book Titles and Subtitles. To see these articles, type "Google" in the "Search Blog" box at the top of this page.

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Writing Books With Blogs

Google News Alert for:
Book Titles and Subtitles

By Susan Kendrick

Google News Alerts are a regular feature on this blog. Subscribe now (see form on left) to get these News Alerts and the commentary you will find only at "Book Cover Coaching." -- Seattle, WA, October 21, 2007
Tom Masters, Orion Wellspring, Inc.

“Blooks” Are in Bloom: Author Helps Writers Go from Blog to Book
"Authors are discovering that blogging offers them a new way to create their work, build a readership, and land a book deal."

What this Google News Alert means for you
The reason that this article came up as a Google News Alert under "Book Titles and Subtitles," is because of this quote in the article:

" . . . blogs share many structural similarities with books: title, subtitle, table of contents (categories) and topic-focused content (posts)."

The article shows that a blog is a "parallel universe" for your book--a place to write, expand, research, try out ideas, and create a valuable body of work. And, with a blog you are doing all that for actual readers, people who read your blog. Writing to your target audience becomes a real thing, not just an exercise in visualization. Also, in line with our advice here at "Book Cover Coaching," the article shows that working out your title and subtitle is as much a part of the development process for your book as creating the content itself. And, of course, to that we would add that developing your back cover sales copy is also part of that process.

Which came first, the cover or the book?
The answer should be "Both." Your title, subtitle, and back cover sales copy are all things you can be working on before you write your book and certainly at the same time you are developing your book content. This does two things:

(1.) The outside influences the inside, and vice versa. Your book cover is a great place to focus your goals for your book, what it will offer your readers, and how it will stand out in its market. For example, if you envision telling your readers on the cover of your book that you have 9 ways to help them solve a problem or achieve something really amazing in their lives, you can structure the book into those nine chapters, or make that a central chapter in the book. The same goes for including helpful checklists, website addresses, exercises, interviews with other experts on your topic, etc. How you want to position the book informs how you write the book, and how you write the book determines what you can say about it on the cover to get people to buy it.

(2.) Developing your cover as your write your book enables you to have your front cover and your back cover sales copy ready to go before your book is released. And, this lets you promote and sell your book before it's released! Why wait to start getting paid for your expertise as an author? To see examples of authors who are doing this--on their websites and on Amazon--go to:

How to start a blog
If you haven't already, I hope you will start a blog to make writing your book (and developing your book cover title, subtitle, and back cover sales copy) easier and more rewarding right from the start. Here are three good blogging options to consider:

See this Google News Alert on Book Titles and Subtitles in its entirety at:

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Book Titles With The Same Name

Two Books With the Same Title
(Could this happen to you?)

By Susan Kendrick

See the PW article excerpt below, then answer the questions.

"Hey, That's My Book Title!"
By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 10/19/2007 10:31:00 AM

In November, St. Martin's Minotaur will publish Person of Interest, a mystery by Edgar Award-winning author Theresa Schwegel. In February, Viking will publish A Person of Interest, a novel by Pulitzer Prize finalist Susan Choi. We got both authors on the phone together to talk about the coincidence. ...

Click below for full article:
Hey, That's My Book Title!

Article Excerpt:

PW: How do feel about the coincidence?

TS: It doesn't bother me. I think if anything, maybe the title will be more recognizable across the board either way. People may say, "I’ve heard of that book!" Maybe they’ll pick it up either way.

SC: I think they’re really different books. I don’t think our books are in danger of being mistaken for each other... They’re not books that are going to be elbowing each other in sections in bookstore or in the mental space of readers.
hope there will be some sort of harmonic convergence and both of our books will do really, really well.

Book titles can't be copyrighted
Book titles can't be copyrighted, so there are bound to be different books with the same titles that show up in all categories. Note that both of these books are fiction, but ...

  • What if these books were non-fiction?

  • What if one of them was yours?

  • What if you were using yours as a brand builder and lead generator for your business, products, seminars, or consulting?

  • What if your book and the other one were on two different topics?

  • What if they were on the same topic?!

Please post your comments!

The Same or Different?
The books in the article above are both being released at close to the same time, so outside of industry rumor, they could not have known about each other--hence, the coincidence. But add them to the list, and there are now five (FIVE!) fiction books with this same title.

In the interview, neither author seems bothered by the situation. But, then, they are each award-winning authors who already have a loyal following. The issue of having the same titles changes somewhat if (1.) you are using your book title to build your business, or (2.) you are the newcomer to the situation.

Which came first?
Of course, the inevitable problem is that since books can't be copyrighted, even if you are the first one to market, who's to say someone else won't come along later and choose your same title for their book. You'll just want to be sure that if or when that happens, you've established a your own reputation and loyal following in your market. That's why securing the domain name is also helpful. See our "5-Step Checklist for Book Title Domain Names" at

See more "Doubles"
Learn more about bestselling books with the same name--and what that means for you? Check out the "The Book Title Quiz" about three current Amazon bestsellers. Go to

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Shopping Cart System

What Has Your Shopping Cart Done for You Lately?

By Susan Kendrick

OK, it's Friday, and I'm ready to unabashedly rave about how great our shopping cart system is. All week it's been doing amazing things for us. If you don't have a shopping cart system yet, if you have a love-hate relationship with your shopping cart, or if you simply want to do things on your shopping cart more easily--read on.

The pre-crash days
Our old shopping cart was quirky, hard to access (impossible) without help (total intervention) from our web designer. Then it crashed a whole network of users. That’s when we switched. And, here's why we chose our new one.

Our new cart is not only easy to use . . .
We've now had our new shopping cart system for almost a year. It lets you quickly add or change products, prices, special promotions, and more with just a few clicks. You can add free downloads of special reports, MP3s, and other ways you reach out to or stay in touch with website visitors and your customer base. Plus, you not only track actual product sales, but how many people even click on any given link. You can split-test different headlines, links, etc. Add to that all the features we have yet to use--and it's still all really quick and easy.

And that's the key
You should be able to go into your shopping cart system whenever you have a good idea --and make that idea happen right now. No waiting for someone else with the keys to the mansion to set things up for you.

One of the things we like best,
and what gives us the greatest sense of trust and confidence in this shopping cart, is that when we do have a question, there is a real person, one of a small group of technical support staff, that picks up the phone every time you call. They will answer any question, walk you through any step, and even check what you've done to make sure everything will run smoothly for your next big product launch or promotion--all over the phone.

Take it for a free test drive
Try this shopping cart for 30 days for free, and see what you think. Set up a product, special report, broadcast email, etc. In just a few minutes from now, you can be ready.
Click here for more information and your FREE, 30-Day trial membership

One more time--does your shopping cart do all this?
Selling online should be easy. You spend enough time and energy developing new products and services, thinking of ways to stay in touch with your customers, getting people to take action once they get to your website, etc. Your shopping cart should be there simply making it happen. This one does!

* A real person picks up the phone and answers your questions—every time.
* Dozens of special features are designed with you, the online entrepreneur, in mind, whether you’re just getting started or already selling millions of dollars in products and services
* You can choose from affordable yearly or monthly payment plans
* It's compatible with more than 50 major merchant gateways—this is huge!

You owe it to yourself and your business to at least take a look. This is the same shopping cart system used and recommended by Tom Antion and many other top Internet marketers who also use this powerful, super easy system. Look around and you'll see what I mean.
Now, click here your FREE 30-Day test drive

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: How to "Position" Your Book to Sell

Positioning is Everything!
7 Questions to Help Sell Your Book

By Susan Kendrick

Your First and Best Marketing Tool
Your book's back cover copy is your first and best marketing tool. It is the elevator speech for your entire book and the foundation of all your book marketing efforts. This is where you will "position" your book to sell.

What is Positioning?
Think of “positioning” as where your book stands in relation to three things: your readers, your market, and your competition. Then, take a more active role,. Use this information to decide what you will say about your book to "position" it in the best possible light. Your back cover does not give you a lot of room to work, so get to the point and be clear, concise, and compelling.

7 questions to get your creative juices flowing!

1.) How does your book address your readers’ wants, needs, hurts, hopes, or deepest desires?

2.) What do your readers already know about your topic and what do you bring them that’s new?

3.) What differentiates you and your message from similar books already on the market—what’s unique about your ideas, perspective, approach, process, focus, experience, background, etc. In other words, why you and not someone else or some other book?

4.) Are you a "first" or "only" in what you bring to this subject or some aspect of this subject?

5.) Do you fill an important gap in the information available on this topic? What’s been missing that you address?

6.) What else makes you stand out in a crowded market, or are you able to create a new niche and dominate it, right from the start?

7.) And, most importantly, what will your audience get from your book that they can’t get anywhere else?

Some historical context (Hang in there, this is good!)
You can learn a lot about positioning from David Ogilvy, often called “The Father of Advertising.” In 1948, David Ogilvy founded the agency that would become Ogilvy & Mather. Starting with no clients and a staff of two, he built his company into one of the eight largest advertising networks in the world. Today it has 359 offices in 100 countries.

Ogilvy & Mather was built on David Ogilvy's principles . . . that successful advertising for any product is based on information about its consumer . . . and adherence to reality.

Check this out:

Get more on Ogilvy and positioning on page 32 of John Kremer's indispensable guide to book marketing, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book. Pick up a copy at

Here's what it says:
“David Ogilvy, author of Confessions of an Advertising Man, once listed thirty-two things he had learned during all his years as an advertising man. Of the items on that list, he said the most important was how you positioned your product. Results, he claimed, were based not so much on how the advertising was written as on how the product itself was positioned.”

Have fun and get creative!
Answer the questions above and tell us why your book is the definitive, go-to resource on your topic and how you stand out from the crowd. Then, learn how the right positioning helped one author sell 105,000 copies of his first book. Go to Remember, positioning is everything!

Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: The Transition to ISBN-13

Book Industry Study Group

Are You Ready for ISBN-13?

From Susan Kendrick
This is the third of three installments on ISBN numbers.

This is the big deal in ISBN numbers. Whether you have an existing book or are working on a new one. Here, again, is the scoop from Book Industry Study Group (BISG). They can help you with anything you need to know:

are now beyond the January 1, 2007 transition deadline.
Is your company compliant?

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) provides a standard way to identify books in global trade. On January 1, 2007 the book industry transitioned to 13-digit ISBNs, phasing out the use of 10-digit numbers.

This change affects everyone who uses ISBNs throughout the world. Be sure your company is ISBN-13 compliant. Follow the links below for more information.

To see the rest of this article and the links mentioned above, please go to:

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Book Cover Coaching: New 979-Prefixed ISBN Numbers

Book Industry Study Group
BISG Press Release:

New 979-prefixed ISBNs to Appear Early in 2008

From Susan Kendrick
This is the second of three installments on ISBN numbers.

New York, New York – The first ISBNs to be prefixed by 979 are likely to be assigned in the second quarter of 2008, according to the International ISBN Agency. This is the first public announcement by the Agency to include a date for the appearance of 979-prefixed ISBNs.

What this means for you
To see the rest of this announcement about the 979-prefixed ISBNs and its importance for authors, publishers, and others in the book trade, please go to:

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Book Cover Coaching: ISBN Numbers

Where to Order Your Book’s ISBN number

From Susan Kendrick

This is the first of three installments on ISBN numbers.

Bowker is the official U.S. agency for assigning ISBN numbers.
learn more, and to order ISBN numbers, visit the Bowker website at: Here's what you'll find:

What is an ISBN number?
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique 13-digit number (which transitioned from the previous 10-digit number on in January 2007) that identifies one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition. As the official ISBN Agency for the United States, Bowker is responsible for the assignment of the ISBN Publisher Prefix to those publishers with a residence or office in the U.S. who are publishing their titles within the U.S.

How to Order ISBN numbers
As the U.S. ISBN Agency, Bowker assigns ISBNs to firms in the U.S., as well to locations outside of the U.S. To learn more about the ISBN or to order an ISBN, please visit the U.S. ISBN Agency website at

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Book Cover Coaching: Back Cover Copy--Category Subject Headings

Book Category Subject Headings:
Make sure you choose the right one for your book

By Susan Kendrick

A necessity for any book, the Category Subject Heading gives consumers, distributors, and booksellers a clear definition of your book's content. Your book cover designer will place this category at the top, upper left-hand corner of your back cover . . . but it is up to you to choose the right one.

Where to Get One
For a complete list of available Subject Category Headings, which are updated and added to annually, go to The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) website. BISG is the book industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards and research. Click on the link below to go to the Subject Headings page and follow the two-part directions there:

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Book Titles--Choose Clarity Over Cleverness

Book Title Strategy No. 3:
Choose Clarity Over Cleverness

By Susan Kendrick

Everyone wants a book title that's fresh and original—a real attention grabber. But in the drive to be clever, you can easily sacrifice clarity. If your book title is catchy, but no one knows what it's about, it's not doing you any favors. It's one of the reasons many books fail before before they even get out of the starting gate.

IMPORTANT: Be very clear in your book title. Say what your book is about, especially for non-fiction books that offer information people need and are looking for. Also remember that your non-fiction book will become the most powerful lead generator for your business. Make sure your book title speaks to your credibility as the expert on your topic and a leader in your industry.

Is This You?
Anyone who is churning out pages and pages of book title ideas needs to pay attention. Those ideas can start to be a rehashing of words and phrases that no longer bring out the essence of the book.

The Name-Tag Approach

To create a title that is clear, think of your book title as a name tag. If you are a book, and I walk up to you in a crowded room (like a bookstore or Amazon), will I know exactly who you are and what you do--just from looking at your name tag?

Try This Exercise
Fill in the blanks of the five following book title templates, below. Remember, your name tag is the way to get a conversation started with your reader, or anyone else in the room for that matter--distributors, radio hosts, magazine and newspaper editors, etc.

A few of the following book title templates may work better for you than others, but try all five to see what happens. And, fill each of them in a few times to loosen up your thinking and experiment with clear but different kinds of answers.

ROUND 1 -- Bestselling Book Title Templates

1. This book is the ultimate guide to _________________________________________

2. Reading this book is a proven way to be a _________________________________

3. Reading this book is a proven way to have a _______________________________

4. This book shows you how to get from _________________ to __________________

5. The wisdom in this book unlocks your capacity to___________________________

RULE: Decide WHAT to say, then HOW to say it. Then, once you have your name tag in place, you can tweak it to create a certain tone and feel. Add a word that interjects some fun, warmth, trust, authority, calm, excitement--whatever will enhance the effect you want it to have on your target market. You can also add words that show who the book is for, when to use it, etc., to add even more clarity.

ROUND 2 -– These Book Title Templates, used by Amazon Bestsellers

1. This book is the ultimate guide to
Getting Things Done
By David Allen

2. Reading this book is a proven way to be a Sneaky Chef
By Missy Chase Lapine

3. Reading this book is a proven way to have a Four-Hour Work Week
By Timothyb Ferriss

4. This book shows you how to get from
Good to Great
By Jim Collins

The wisdom in this book unlocks your capacity to Eat, Pray, Love
By Elizabeth Gilbert

See how much you know about these book just from their titles?
And you haven’t even gotten to the subtitles yet!

What else you can do right now?
Look around at the book titles that capture your attention. Dissect them to see how clearly they tell you what they are about. Then see what else in the title pulls you in.

For example, on my desk right now, I have a copy of Dan Poynter's book, The Self-Publishing Manual. This title says exactly what the book is about. Dan then uses the word “Manual” to further show that this is the definitive guide on this subject. And, now in its 16th edition, this book lives up to its good name.

An Example of Template #1:
This book is the ultimate guide
to Self-Publishing

Remember the Rule!
Decide WHAT to say, then HOW to say it. You’ll save yourself time, aggravation, and be in a much better position to come up with a bestselling title for your book. Hear what Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Rick Frishman and others have to say about “unlocking your capacity to . . . Take Your Book to the Top!” Click here:

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: NPR Radio Broadcast . . . What Makes a Bestselling Book

From Susan Kendrick

Listen Now -- only 4:15 minutes -- see link, below.

"Best-Seller" — What Does It Mean to Be One?
by Lynn Neary

All Things Considered, October 10, 2007: The New York Times bestseller list used to be the gold standard of the publishing world. But these days, there is a proliferation of lists, and stores prominently display their own "best-sellers."
That begs the question: What does it mean to be a best-seller? And how important is that label to the publishing industry and its customers?

Click on this link to access the NPR webpage with this story:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Domain Names for Book Titles

Book Title Domain Names:
The 5-Step Checklist

How to search for and register domain names for any book title
AND, make that process part of your overall book title strategy

By Susan Kendrick

On October 5, 2007, I gave you shortcut techniques for how to create available domain names you want for your book title—especially a one-word book title, which is usually more challenging.

Now, here is the bigger picture—a quick 5-Step Checklist for how to search, evaluate, and register domain names for your book titles, of any length!

The 5-Step Checklist

1.) Search domain names early--as soon as you start brainstorming book titles. You can do free domain name searches at If a book title idea you have in mind is taken already taken as a domain name, that’s a sign it could already be the name of a business or some other trademarked entity. Or, it could just mean that someone else owns it, but it is not being used for any particular website. To find out, key the domain name into your browser as a .com to see where it takes you. It will either take you to a website that is using the domain name, or take you to a website where the domain name is for sale.

2.) Investigate the competition. If the website using the domain name you want is for a product, service, or business in the same field as yours, don’t go any further. Start working on another book title and domain name choice. Here's why: You need to find a book title, and a domain name to go with it, that will help you build a unique presence for your book or product, one that stands alone and will not be confused with a similar offer.

3.) Ensure your success. If the .com you want is taken but represents a completely different industry or market, there is a solution. Add words to or otherwise modify the domain name so that you can find one that is available. See my posting on October 5, 2007, Book Cover Coaching: URLs for One-Word Book Titles

4.) Get the .com! It's worth the effort to register the .com for any domain name you plan to use to promote your book, build your brand, and establish yourself as the expert on your topic. It's often easier to find a domain name available as a .net, .biz, etc., but this seems second class. It says that someone else has the “real” domain name. It says that someone else was doing this first, and is doing it bigger and better. It says that someone else is more reputable, more of an expert. These are all things you want someone to think and say about you. So, don’t mess around--get the .com. Once you have that, then get the .net, .biz, and the rest to completely secure your brand.

5.) Register all possible versions of your domain name. Get the misspellings as well and as other derivatives ("2" and "two, to," etc.), including the domain name with the words separated by hyphens. Also, if you find an available domain name for a book title you are even considering, get it. Domain names are cheap. Less than ten dollars is a small price to pay for owning a piece of Internet property that may be the beginning of a powerful online presence for you and your book.

"People have bought my book based on the title alone," say many authors we work with. "My book title and cover got me picked up by a major distributor," says another. Just a few good words will do the same thing for your book. Go to to learn how.

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: The Positioning Power of Subtitles

Google News Alert for:
Book Titles and Subtitles

By Susan Kendrick

Whatever your politics . . . If you're working on a title for your book, you will learn an important lesson from this interview!

These Google News Alerts will be a regular feature on this blog. Subscribe to this blog now (see form on left) to get both the alert and the commentary you will find only here at "Book Cover Coaching"!

October 7, 2007
BALTIMORE SUN -- October 8, 2007

RE: Columnist Liz Smith, on TV commentator Chris Matthews’ new book, “Life’s a Campaign”

About the interview, Liz says:
“I REMONSTRATED with Chris over the name of his book, saying that people who aren't hot into politics might not be interested from the title. He nodded, "Yes, I know. But I subtitled it 'What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success.'"

According to Liz, this works: "I had already read the book and found it a general primer for how to succeed in life by studying those around you. And it's a whiz."

What this Google News Alert means for you:
Make sure your book title and subtitle work together to pull people in. In this case, the book's title, Life’s a Campaign, is a twist on the phrase, "Life’s a Carnival" or perhaps, "Life's a B----"? Either way, author Chris Mathews sets us up for the overall tone and content of the book. Notice the main topic word in the title, “Campaign,” so we know what the book’s about . . . almost!

And that's the point here. This is where Chris deftly cozies up to a subtitle that uses the strategy of quickly moving from the specific to the general--that is, from a niche topic to a larger, crowd-pleasing look at life and how we live it. In this case, the specifics are “campaigns” and “politics” . . . which quickly shifts to the general arena of “friendship, rivalry, reputation, and success.” Together, the book's title and subtitle seem to say, "Hey, if you're not especially into politics, no problem--expect more and get it in this high-stepping look at life, through what just happens to be this particular lens."

Could this book title and subtitle strategy work for you?
Make sure your book title and subtitle work together to pull people in: Create a title and subtitle combo that identifies the topic AND sets the tone. In this case, the book title strategy was "Use a Twist on a Familiar Phrase." Then, pair up that title with a subtitle that comes in to deliver the perfect punchline.
Don't wait for your book to get noticed by major media. You can, and should, start promoting your book before it's even released, using one simple book marketing tool. Find out how these authors did it at:

See this Google News Alert on Book Titles and Subtitles in its entirety at

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: URLs for One-Word Book Titles

15 Simple Ways to Get the URLs you want
for Your One-Word Book Title

By Susan Kendrick

This article is the follow-up to the 9/15/07 posting, “Book Titles: One-Word Wonders.”

If you’ve done any searching for domain names, you know how hard it can be to find one that’s available. For one-word book titles like Giving, Blink, Winning, or the one-word book title you have in mind, it’s even more challenging. Let’s face it, the kinds of common, everyday words that make great one-word book titles are usually already taken, and in many forms. But, there are ways to make them work. (Note--If your book title is a few or several words long, you will likely find it easier to secure it as a domain name as is and should do so. If you can't, then the tips below will work for you, too.)

One way is to create a URL that shows it is specifically for a book--see the first few suggestions in the list below. Second, as long as your one-word title is not being used in a similar field or industry, you can take advantage of more options like "place" and others below that establish your URL not just as your book, but as your overall business brand that you are using this book to build.

How to do it
To create this kind of book title URL, add words to or otherwise modify the book title so you can find a URL that is available. Here are some examples. In each suggestion below, the blank represents the book title. You can also experiment with using prefixes and endings together. Whatever you choose, remember that the URL has to be easy to say, easy to hear, and most of all—easy to remember.

Here are 15 ideas to get you started:

Need more?
As you can see, the list can go on and on. Consider adding works like “go,” “plus,” “ultimate,” etc. The particular meaning of your one-word book title will also present you with a wealth of unique ways to create memorable URLs. So, you now have not only a way to find just one URL that's available, but many that will help you throughout your book marketing efforts and that will secure the brand for your book and your business. So, get started and good luck!

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Back Cover Headlines

How to Create a Killer Back Cover Headline
aka, the "CUT and FRY" Technique . . .

By Susan Kendrick

If you’ve spent any time brainstorming a title for your book or information product, this back cover headline technique is for you. Remember all those title ideas that didn't quite make the final cut for front cover? Go back and look at them again. One of them could be a killer headline for your back cover.

Using the "Cut and Fry" Technique
A favorite example comes from a book cover title we worked on that was published in 1998 by Larry Clapp and is still getting five-star reviews on Amazon. You’ll see below why this book cover headline is still fresh in my memory. Part of it is because of the lively team dynamic that included Dan Poynter, self-publishing expert and bestselling author of The Self-Publishing Manual, now in its 16th edition. If you don't have this book, get it! Go to

Larry Clapp's book is about healing from and preventing prostate cancer. This author refused to have surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for his cancer, instead opting to investigate alternatives therapies. Since he successfully survived on his own terms, and wanted to warn others about the potential harm of more invasive procedures, he wanted to call his book:

“Don’t Let Them Cut or Fry Your Prostate”

While this is an extremely powerful and commanding phrase . . . it only tells readers what not to do, instead of telling them what they can do or what positive benefits this book offers them. It’s also just a little scary. The solution that evolved for this title was:

“Prostate Health in 90 Days: Without Drugs or Surgery”

Much better! Again, this book is a gold mine of information, guidance, and encouragement for many men, as well as for their wives and partners. This brings up another important point about book titles. Studies continue to show that the majority of book buyers are women. While many men will read and often buy a health book like this for themselves, the more likely scenario is that many more women will buy it for their partners, husbands, sons, fathers, etc. So, which of the two titles above do you think would appeal more to the majority of buyers?

A larger part of this book’s marketing success is due to its now very powerful positive title that offers tangible results in a positive way. Imagine the relief people feel when they read or hear about this book and discover that this kind of solution is available to them. Is your book the solution people are looking for right now in their lives? Let them know exactly what it can do for them.

Back to the headline.
Here’s where “Cut or Fry” comes back into play. Imagine turning that book over, or looking at the back cover copy on your website, Amazon, or some other site, and seeing that zinger of a back cover headline, “Don’t let them cut or fry your prostate!” The author kept that phrase he initially felt so passionate about as the title, but used it where it serves the book much better.

Remember all this when you need a pull-em-in headline for the back cover of your book or information product either in print or online. Keep whatever doesn't become your title, and mine that list for ideas and power phrases that can become not only your headline, but other sound bites and taglines as well.

We recently worked with an author who used his book's title and back cover sales copy to help land a major distributor. To hear from this author and others who are using their book cover copy to successfully market their books, go to

Questions? Please give us a at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc.