Thursday, November 15, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Two Good Reasons to Start Your Cover NOW!

Cover Your Book to SELL ... and WIN Awards!
Family sweeps 2007 USA Best Book Award Finalists
(What will your title and cover do for you?)

By Susan Kendrick

(See links for these two books below.)

Authors and creators of books, ebooks, and information products often ask us when is the best time to develop their titles and back cover sales copy. The best answer is, "as soon as possible!" Whether you are still in the idea stage, partway through your manuscript or content, or if it's finished, make your title and sales copy a top book marketing priority right now.

First, a word from the authors

Dawn and Robert King and their daughter, Aja, recently sent this email: "We wanted to share with you that our book LIVE A VIBRANT LIFE and Aja's book, THREE GRIN SALAD, (11 year old author!) have just been chosen as finalists in the 2007 USA Best Book Awards! The top authors and publishers in the world entered their titles."
__ Live a Vibrant Life is a finalist in the "Health-General" category.
__ Three Grin Salad is a finalist in "Children's Educational" category.

The stories behind these two books are examples of why to start the title and back cover sales copy process early.

Here's why

We worked with the authors of these two books to develop the titles, subtitles, and back cover sales copy while the books were still in the manuscript stage. This made a big difference for Three Grin Salad. This book by 11-year-old author Aja King is full of "recipes" for a healthy, happy life for kids, so we dove in and came up with the title, "Three Grin Salad." Great! Only problem was, none of the recipes currently carried that name.

We asked Aja if she would be willing to change the title of her “Be Happy Recipe” to “Three Grin Salad” and then add "three grins" to that recipe along with or instead of the smiles. She and her mom, Dawn King, were enthusiastic about the change. So, they made the changes to the manuscript, and a new book title was born.

Book Marketing Point #1

Even though this is a children's book, it is a great way to show how working out your title while your book or product is still in the creation stage can give you a lot more flexibility. You can craft a bold, unique title and then adjust your content to match.

Think of it. Many times the title for your book reflects your process, approach, or method. So, the name of that process will come up over and over again in your content. This is a great way to reinforce your now "branded" approach to your topic. Many authors have manuscripts where the working title comes up in every chapter. Once they have the final title choice in hand, they go back into their manuscripts o
r other content to make the change there as well.

Position, Position, Position

Live a Vibrant Life is the story of a book needing a title, subtitle, and back cover sales copy that would bring out its benefits in a way that speaks to those who are already familiar with its topic--nutritional supplements--and also reach out to a new audience of people hungry for more energy and vitality in their lives, but not necessarily familiar with or ready to use supplements as the way to achieve that.

So, take a look a the title. It's pure benefit, no matter who you are. It doesn't do the obvious and say, "Supplements for Better Health." It says, "Live a Vibrant Life," because that's what you learn how to get through this book--that's the main BENEFIT. Supplements are the "how"--A Vibrant Life is the "why." Now look at the subtitle. Three more big benefits. Bang. Bang. Bang. Only then does "with the power of supplements" come in to tell how.

Now look at the back cover positioning and sales copy for this book (see Amazon link, below). Even on that small piece of marketing real estate that is the back cover, the sales copy gives you an at-a-glance sense of what's inside this book that you already know you want for your life. It's not about the features of supplements. It's about the results you can expect by following the guidance in this book. It also takes on and diffuses the usual arguments right away. Again, this book is about benefits and results, and that "why" is more important then the "how" for people looking for results.

Book Marketing Point #2

Having this elevator speech, this back cover positioning and sales copy, in hand before your book or product is even released, means that you can use it to start selling your book or product ... right away. Having the total cover in hand--cover design included--means that you can post it on your website, on Amazon, and more. Dawn and Robert King have covered a lot of ground since they released their book in November 2006. That's because they were busy marketing it with just the cover long before that.

Look around on Amazon and see how many books are available as a "Pre-order this item today." This means that they are for sale--you can see the cover and all the great back cover sales copy right there under "Search Inside," but the book itself has not been officially released (or in many cases even completed!)

So, two great books, two good reasons to make your title, subtitle, and back cover sales copy a top book marketing priority right now. For 12 more ways authors and experts are using their covers to sell books and products before they're even finished, go to

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

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

To see both of these books ... inside and out,
click on the cover images below:

1 comment:

Goddess said...

What a divine series of articles this is. Wish I'd found you before writing Goddess Gift: Discover Your Personal Goddess Type. For those of us writing in the spiritual arena, replacing lengthy "woo-woo words" with "short and sassy" can be a challenge. Looking forward to more inspiration from you!