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.

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