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.