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.


Sarah Cooper said...

Great information, thank you.

Write To Your Market, Inc. said...

Hi Sarah, thank you. Great to hear from you.