Monday, December 24, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: The Book-Marketing Holiday Quiz

The Book-Marketing Holiday Quiz:
Test your book-marketing know-how.
Can you answer these 10 questions?

By Susan Kendrick

It's officially the holiday! I hope all your stockings are hung and you are relaxing either by a cozy fire or on a lawn chair, depending on where you live.

Now for some fun. Here's a way to keep your book marketing savvy sharp, even as you take much-needed time to reflect and recharge.

It's our First Annual Book-Marketing Holiday Quiz!

First, go to www.Amazon. Search "Books" then click on the "Bestsellers" link at the top of the page. Each of the questions below is from the first 25 books on that list:

1.) About which book and author did Oprah say, "I've been counting down the days to this show!"?
HINT: This show aired in September 2007.

2.) Which two books have the shortest back cover copy, but speak right to the heart and identify their target audience in the process?
HINT: Would you dare to go to this extreme of less-is-more on your back cover?

3.) Which books are part of a series of FIVE or more books?
HINT: There are three of them.

4.) Which book title is an example of a "neologism"?
HINT: "Neologism" means a new word or expression and is the book marketing secret behind such bestselling phenomenons as Freakonomics.

5.) Which non-fiction books use their subtitles to describe specific benefits or solutions to the reader?
HINT: I count four.

6.) Which books use their subtitles to make memoir or personal experience more relevant to the reader, which by the way is one of the most challenging aspects of creating covers for these kinds of books. Do you think the ones here succeed?
HINT: I count four of these books as well.

7.) Which book uses the front cover to promote the author's TV and nationally syndicated radio shows?
HINT: This much copy could be a real mouthful on a front cover, but this book still has a clean, lean, billboard appeal.

8.) Which two book covers use quotes by other bestselling authors to help market them?
HINT: One is fiction and one is non-fiction.

9.) How many book title strategies do you see represented by the books there?
HINT: There are at least 10 -- some are included as articles on this blog.

10.) Which book title is part of a poem that is found in the book itself?
HINT: This book has just been made into a movie

Bonus Round!

11.) Now look at the top 50 Amazon Bestsellers. Which book made it to this list . . . and hasn't even been released yet?
HINT: This book is available right now as a "pre-order" only. But this author is already making money on this book. Not bad! How will you use your cover to pre-sell your book?

How did you do?

If you absolutely can't find the answers, hang in there. I'll post them next time. But, right now it's time to enjoy the snow and my family. Best wishes to all of you for a relaxed and inspired holiday with those you love.


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

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Price Your Book to Sell

How to Price Your Book:
Use These 3 Factors to Help You Decide

By Susan Kendrick

Pricing is one of the most important decisions you will make for your book, and one of the final decisions in the book cover process. You can determine the price based on three factors: competition, page count, and printing cost. Think of these as the three C's. Ideally, all three of these factors work together to help you arrive at a price that's best for your book.

Pricing is just one component of your book's back cover. For a complete 10-Step guide to creating your entire back cover "elevator speech" for your book, please download a complimentary copy of our easy-to-use 17-page report, "From Back Cover to Bestseller."

If your book will be shoulder to shoulder with other books on Amazon, in bookstores, catalogues, book clubs, etc., one way to decide on price is to do some comparison shopping. What is the price range for other books on your topic, for a similar audience, and of similar length? Determine the low and high end of that range, and then either price your book comfortably in the middle or slightly higher.

Price and perception of quality are closely linked, so if you charge too little, you risk undermining your book's credibility. In other words, if your book is one of the cheapest on your topic, it may be assumed that your book doesn't have as much to offer as other, competing titles. On the other hand, if you price your book at the highest end of the price range, depending on your target audience, you risk losing buyers who may not be ready to spend that much. Of course, some authors and publishers will intentionally price their books high to enhance the perception of value and exclusivity of certain titles. Knowing your competition and the buying habits of your target audience will help you find your best price fit for your market.

Page Count
The following calculations come from the website of
Morgan James Publishing, whose author-friendly Entrepreneurial Publishing™ model is a great resource for self-publishing authors looking for the book marketing perks of working with a publisher. Here is the MJ breakdown of how to calculate the price of your book based on both manuscript word count and page count. They note that the price is determined in part by competing titles, and that you can increase or decrease the price of your book for competitive reasons.

Manuscript . . . . Page Count . . . . Recommended
Word Count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Price Range
20,000 (or less) . . . . . 75 (or less) . . . . . . $ 8.95 - $10.95
40,000 . . . . . . . . . . . 120 . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.95 - $13.95
60,000 . . . . . . . . . . . 180 . . . . . . . . . . . . $13.95 - $16.95
80,000 . . . . . . . . . . . 240 . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.95 - $19.95
100,000 . . . . . . . . . . 300 . . . . . . . . . . . . $17.95 - $21.95
120,000 . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20.95 - $23.95
140,000 . . . . . . . . . . 420 . . . . . . . . . . . . $22.95 - $26.95
160,000 . . . . . . . . . . 580 . . . . . . . . . . . . $25.95 - $29.95
180,000 . . . . . . . . . . 540 . . . . . . . . . . . . $27.95 - $31.95
200,000 . . . . . . . . . . 600 . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95

Printing Cost
The following section on estimated printing costs is from Dan Poynter's website:

But what does it cost to publish? Let's compare prices for traditional ink-press printing, PQN (Print Quantity Needed) and POD (Print-On-Demand, one book at a time such as DocuTech). We will compare a softcover (perfect bound) 144 page 5.5 x 8.5 book with black text and a four-color cover. Press (ink on paper): $1.55 each but you have to print at least 3,000 to get a price this low. So, your print bill will be $4,650. See below. Digital printer (short run): 500 copies for $2.80 each or a print bill of $1,400, or 100 copies for $5.17 each and a print bill of $517. POD (single copies): May run $6 to $10 and are often bundled with other services. Print-On-Demand is a good option when a book has run its course, your inventory is exhausted and you still receive orders for a couple of copies a month. Rather than invest in inventory, you can have books made one-at-a-time as needed.

Dan notes that for hardcover books, printing traditional hard or "case" binding runs about $1.00 extra per book.

Like so much else about your book cover, pricing is also about positioning and perception of quality. And, as you can see above, book pricing also needs to take into account production costs and other profit-loss calculations. Use the three pricing factors above to confidently decide what's right for you and your book.

Do you have questions about the book cover for your book?
Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

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

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: 5 Places to Send Online Press Releases Right Now

Get the Word Out!
5 Places to Send Online Press Releases Right Now

By Susan Kendrick

(See the 5 websites and link to Entrepreneur Magazine how-to's, below.)

Sending out press releases online is just one more way to rev up your book marketing efforts, even if your book hasn't been released yet. This is because press releases are not just announcements about your book or product. Ideally they show how your message, approach, technique, process, etc. relates to currently newsworthy topics and trends.

The real goal of your press releases

The real goal of your press releases is to position yourself as an expert resource, someone with vast experience and knowledge of a particular issue or topic. You want to be someone that journalists, TV producers, and radio show hosts confidently turn to for background info, a comment, or full interview. When you describe yourself as the author of a "forthcoming book" (another good reason to finalize your book title as early as possible), you further enhance your expert status.

The thing to remember is that your press releases are not about you--they are a way to make your expertise available in a way that helps media professionals do their jobs better. This is just one more way that helping others is the best way to help yourself.

Entering the daily flow of online press release distribution should become a consistent part of your book marketing efforts, whether your book has already been released, or is still in the development stage. And, like everything you do to promote your book, view your press releases as another good way to reach out and create relationships, this time with the large number of media professionals who are always looking for reliable sources of great information.

Here are 5 ways to get out there and be seen by decision-makers online!

See a recent article in Entrepreneur magazine for tips on using each of these services. Go to

(Scroll halfway down the page to the "Spread the Word" article.)

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Book cover coaching: How to Turn Your Book Cover Into Instant Website Content

9 Ways to Create
Instant Website Content with Your Book Cover

By Susan Kendrick

We say it again and again -- do it right, and your book cover becomes the foundation for all your book marketing efforts. With a once-and-done approach, you can go on to use your book cover sales copy anytime you need powerful, at-a-glance, "short copy" to promote your book.

Use your front and back cover text to create your:
__ Website content
__ Press releases
__ Pitch letters to the media
__ Talking points for radio interviews
__ Online catalogue copy
__ Proposals to book distributors
__ Proposals to joint venture partners
__ Speaker Materials
__ And more!

So, how exactly does this work?
One of the best things I can do for you is bring you behind the scenes to see how our clients are using the book covers we develop for them as their number-one sales and marketing tool, in this case, as website content.

Howard Bono is the author of The Money Thing Made Easy.
We developed the title, subtitle, series name, front cover tagline, and back cover sales copy for Howard's book. We told Howard how he could use this copy and his cover to launch all his book marketing efforts. Howard's a great student. Look how he has used his book cover to create his book website content from the ground up.

See the dramatic "Before" version of this book!
Note: Howard's "Before" cover was one of 12 please-help-me! makeover candidates that we included in our "Live and Uncensored" Ultimate Book Cover Makeover teleseminar. To get this teleseminar--complete with visuals (in a separate PDF file), commentary from us AND one of today's leading book cover designers, please click on the "Cover that Book" Photo on this blog or Click Here. The Makeover teleseminar is Bonus #3 in this total Book Cover How-to package.

9 Ways to Instant Website Copy:

Go to

1.) Book Series Name
We created the series name, "The Everyday Millionaire," for Howard. It's a large enough "umbrella" to encompass all of Howard's proposed future books, products, and services. See how Howard uses this series name as a main graphic feature on each page of his website to continually build that brand visibility.

2.) Front Cover
Brands are created by exposure, repetition, and consistency. Howard makes the most of this by showing you the front cover of his book multiple times and in multiple ways throughout his website. The front cover is on his Home, About the Author, and Books pages. Even on his video, the book is displayed on Howard's desk as the primary visual.

3.) Front Cover Tagline
We created the title
and subtitle for Howard's book, then added the tagline, "Spend smart, dump your debt, and finally put some money away." You can see how well that tagline works as a main headline at the top of every page--that conversational, down-to-earth tone shows who Howard is and what makes his message different.

4.) Back Cover Sales Copy
Many people use the back cover sales copy as actual content on the website page. What Howard has done is more "Amazon-esque." On the Home page, when you put your cursor over the book's front cover, it changes to the back cover. Then on the Books page, he shows the actual front and back covers side by side, with the option below to "Click to view book cover full size."

5.) Link to Speaking
Notice the Speaking page on Howard's website. In the book's back cover bio, we mentioned that Howard also does workshops. This is an important point. Use your back cover bio to promote your other related services you offer. Then, again, use this copy to create the content on your website by creating a link to that service.

6.) Free Downloads from the book
The back cover copy also mentions in a bolded sub-headline that this book contains "Easy-to-follow forms, step-by-step summaries, and eye-opening questionnaires." Great. Can't wait to see them? Howard has included three of these worksheets as free downloads right on his Resources page. He could also make these downloads available when visitors submit their name and email, so that he can build a list of qualified prospects and stay in touch with them about special offers, his blog, new products, radio shows, teleseminars, etc.

7.) Link to main business website
One question people frequently is, "Should I put my book on my existing website or start a new website just to market the book. The answer is both. Then create links back and forth between the two sites and to your blog. You can see how well Howard does this. His book site links to his existing business website, Old West Mortgage, and blog. Both of those sites not only promote the book but, again, use it as the centerpiece of their content.

8.) Tone
Now look at the consistency of tone between Howard's book cover and website content.
We had someone ask us recently during a teleseminar how to avoid "compelling words that don't overpromise ... or resorting to fear tactics or hyperbole to talk about the benefits?" In personal finance, as in any book category where you help people in their personal lives or businesses, honesty and integrity is critical. Howard's title, subtitle, tagline, and back cover copy are all examples of how to create a connection of trust with your buyer and share the benefits of what they will get from your book without in any way overpromising.

9.) Website Domain Name
We talk a lot about how to use your book title as your domain name, and that's Howard's next step. His book website is currently named for his book series name, but he is renaming it which is easier for people to remember and key in, especially when he talks about it on his radio show, "The Money Thing with Howard Bono." This radio show, volume discounts on larger book orders, and more are all features he is building into his new site ( still in progress).

Howard emailed this week and said,“I am still thrilled with the book cover. I am constantly getting comments from readers and even some literary agents about the title, the series name, and just the overall look and feel of the book. I am proud to show it. The feedback I am receiving regarding the content is very positive as well.”

Get Bonus #3
Again, to see Howard's "Before" cover and the rest of the Ultimate Book Cover Makeover finalists and the Ultimate Makeover Winner, it's available as Bonus #3 in our complete book cover package. Click Here to learn more.

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

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

Monday, November 19, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Google Blog Alert -- Always Judge a Book By Its Cover

Google Blog Alert for:
Book Covers

From Susan Kendrick

This one came in a couple of days ago. It's too good to pass up!

Always judge a book by its cover
By Christina, Allison & Busby Books

"Like Speed Dating and Shoes"

"... ALWAYS judge a book by its cover. Book covers and book buying go together like speed dating and shoes -- if in doubt, look no further. Call me shallow, but in 90% of cases they will tell you all you need to know about what's inside."

So, what to wear: Doc Martins or sandals? Stilettos or boots? Date on!

Happy Publishing.

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

Book Cover Coaching: Book Titles--Use Four-Letter Words

Book Title Strategy No. 4
Use Four-Letter Words (OK, Five)

By Susan Kendrick

Just as one word titles have great visual impact (Book Title Strategy No. 2), so do a few short four- or five-letter words. They possess that same authority and presence. They are the "Strong, Silent Type" of the book title world--all marketing muscle and no flab. They mean business. They make you look. They command attention and respect. You can't help but take in
these titles in at a glance and immediately want to
know more.

These titles also look good at any size

Because of the dimensions of a typical 6" x 9" book cover, short words can be used to create a vertically stacked title that works well with those cover dimensions. Even as an online "thumbnail" graphic, which is how most covers appear on websites, blogs, and Amazon, this short stack holds its power at any size to create a billboard look for your book.

Sold? Here are some examples.

To show you the visual "pop" of these short-word book titles--and maybe more importantly, to see what a major New York book PR firm looks for in the titles it promotes --take a look at the following Bestsellers on Rick Frishman's Planned Television Arts website.

__ New Ideas From Dead CEOs
__ 3-Hour Diet
__ The Birth Order Book
__ The Last Link

__ The Rule of Four
__ Evil Inc.
__ Big Bad Wolf

Will your book cover pass the PR test?

In a recent email exchange with Rick, here was his comment that came up about the importance of your cover: "The way your book is packaged tells us a lot about you and your message. Bring us something we can sell. Give us a book cover that can help make that happen!"

Rick, president of Planned Television Arts, is also
executive vice president at Ruder Finn, and executive
publisher of Mega Book Publishing--a division of Morgan
James Publishing. Take a look at these website links to see how the marketability of your great content, starts with a great cover, AND how the title and subtitle is the foundation of that cover.

Now, imagine what could have happened to these titles

We often use and teach others to use a fill-in-the-blank exercise (several of these phrases together actually make up another one of our title strategies). One of these phrases, to get you to summarize your basic
message and think in sound bites, is:

This book is the ultimate guide to ______________________

Let's use New Ideas from Dead CEOs for this exercise as an example of how to go from a title of long words to short words. Imagine that this title started out like this:

Take 1
-- This book is the ultimate guide to ...
"Business Principles from the Corporate Legends Who Developed Them "

OK, that sums it up. But, keeping in mind that we want to find short words to say the same thing, so far we only have "from." The next round could go something like this:

Take 2 -- This book is the ultimate guide to ...
"Business Ideas from Legendary CEOs"

OK, so now we have substituted "ideas" for "principles" and "CEOs" for "Corporate." Notice how the process of tightening the message into shorter words is helped by being more specific each time as well. "Corporate" becomes "CEOs" specifically. And, if it already says "CEOs," does it really need to say "business"?

Todd Buchholz is known for his edgy take on things. So to bring his personality into the mix as well, let's move right to the edge with these words, too:

Take 3 -- this book is the ultimate guide to ...
"Ideas from Dead CEOs"

Almost there. What would really give this title some pop, make it stand out as the fresh new business book it is, and give it one final irresistible twist? Here it is--the paradox of "new" ideas from "dead" guys, getting the point across that these time-tested principles are still as relevant as ever:

Take 4 -- This book is the ultimate guide to ...
New Ideas from Dead CEOs

Now, stack each word on top of the other and see the final impact. The dark humor of the cover graphic completes the look ,without competing with the sheer word power of the title itself.

The Four-Letter-Word title strategy is one of many, and most stand-out titles represent a combination of these strategies--we use and teach at least 23. Now, look at that Bestsellers page again. There are examples of at least four other other kinds of title strategies. We'll cover these in coming articles. Now, Click Here to see what else Rick, Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Tom Antion, and seven authors have to say about the book marketing power of your book cover.

And, remember to check back here for more book title strategies over the next few weeks.

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

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

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:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Google Web Alert:
"Packaging is Everything!"

From Susan Kendrick

Well, I'm back after a short break. Thanks for your patience. I have some great articles lined up for you this week.

Here's what's happening on Wednesday
This Google Web Alert is about the teleseminar both Graham and I will be the featured guests on this week. It's being hosted by our good friends at The Blog Squad™ and is a great addition to what we're doing here together at Book Cover Coaching™.

Your online product can beat the odds!
Want to sell more ebooks and info products online, click on the link below:

Packaging is Everything! The Blog Squad and Write to Your Market That's why we, The Blog Squad, have invited book cover experts Susan Kendrick and Graham Van ... testimonials, and other buy-me-now book cover copywriting.

We'd love to have you join us!

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

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

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.