Thursday, July 9, 2009

Make Sure Your Book Cover Drives Traffic to Your Website

How to Stay in Touch with Anyone
Who Buys or Even Sees Your Book

Susan Kendrick

As you may have seen from other articles and posts on this blog, we are big proponents of strategically writing your book cover to make the most of it as the lead-generating tool it is. One way is to use it to drive visitors to your website in such a way that you learn who they are and how to stay in touch with them.

Terry Whalin's new book, Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, is a good example of this particular lead-generating strategy. Terry is a veteran literary agent and publishing expert. He has also become a good friend of ours in the book publishing industry. We respect him and the work he does to help authors, so are pleased to use his new book cover and his book as an example.

Think About How Things Usually Happen

Even if someone has already bought your book, there is no guarantee that they will ever visit your website. And, unless someone buys the book from your website--if they buy it on Amazon, in a store, or from a catalogue, for example--you will never know who they are or how to stay in touch with them about what else you have to offer.

Furthermore, when people do visit your website, you need to have a strategy in place for finding out who they are how to let them know about your other products, services, special offers, teleseminars, and more. This is typically called a "name capture" device.

Here's How to Make That Happen -- Right on Your Book Cover

One of the best strategies for making sure people visit your website and give you their contact information is to include an offer right on your book cover that they have to go to your website to claim. On Terry Whalin's new book, notice the gold seal on the upper right-hand corner of the front cover that says:

$84 Value
On Page 206

This offer, of course, does two things. First, it provides an added incentive for buying the book. But the bigger picture is that is does what any good, lead-generating book cover should do; it makes people go to page 86 to find out how to get their free ebooks. What they will find on page 86 of this book (or on the inside of any book using this strategy) is the following:

_ A website address they can visit to download their free gifts.

_ On the website will be a bit of copy that says something like,"Click here to download your free ebook."

_ To complete the download, the usual steps are for the person to submit just their first name and email address.
No big commitment there.

_ Next they receive, usually by email, either the ebook download or a direct link to it.

_ And, if you're the author, what did you just receive? The name and email address of someone interested enough in what you you do to download a valuable learning tool from you.

_ And, what will you do with that information? Use it to stay in touch with this person with further information, related products and services, and more special offers.

In other words, you have just started a relationship with a new prospect who is as interested in you as you are in them.

3 More Tips for Using This Strategy

__ In the example above, Terry offers free ebooks. But, you can offer other free downloads, like a workbook, checklist, quiz, list of related resources, a teleseminar, interview with a related expert, etc.

__ Also, instead of putting the website address inside the book, you can include it right on the book cover, along with the offer. The address can be a memborable, brand-building URL that links directly to a free-standing, one-page website set up for this purpose, or to a specific page on your main website.

__ This type of offer can also be part of your book's back cover copy. Then, when you use both your front and back cover copy as your book website content, you can make turn that "sticker" or "seal" into a live link. This way, your free offer is right there with the rest of your sales copy, just as it appears on your cover, which, afterall, has been written and designed for maximum selling power. Make the most of that by using your complete front and back covers right on your website.

It's All About Building Relationships

And, relationships are the very heart of your marketing. I use Terry's book as an example because I have known Terry for a long time and respect both his expertise and the integrity with which he reaches out to authors.

"You are exactly right," said Terry when I asked him about his book cover. "That 'button' on my cover is one attempt to register every one of my readers. I've actually got a number of those elements inside my book in the "dig deeper" sections. For example in the chapter about how to get a literary agent, I include a link to over 400 agents. If the reader uses any of these resources, they get on my list for additional marketing and products--but more importantly to build a direct ongoing relationship."

Start With Quality

Whatever it is that you use as an incentive for people to visit your website and tell you who they are and how to stay in touch with them, make sure that what you offer them is of true value. It should be educational, inspirational, instructional, or all three. Giving members of your target audience something of value is a great first step in building a loyal, long-term relationship.

If you are just as interested in what's inside Terry's new book (including the free ebooks) as in what you just learned about his book cover, check out his book website content where you can see a trailer and learn more about why his new book may be a great match for you and your publishing dreams.

Remember, your book is a lead generator. Make the most of it! If you have any questions about how to use the strategy above on your book cover, or if you need help coming up with a good incentive for your book, please contact us at Or, pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-634-4120. We regularly use this strategy on the book covers we write, and would be happy to help you use it on your book.


Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved., 1-888-634-4120.


Dr. Michelle Hutchinson said...

This is a great article, Susan. Thanks for posting. I have forwarded it to several of my clients.

Dr. Michelle Hutchinson
President, Wordhelper Professional Editing Services

Write To Your Market, Inc. said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your comment and for sending this article on to others. Let me know if you or your clients need any feedback on how to make the best use of this idea on their books.


Shel Horowitz - Ethical Marketing Expert said...

Brilliant. Terry Whalin's always been a smart guy so not surprising that he would do this.

May I reprint this article some time as a guest post in my Book Marketing Tip of the Month? Probably best to respond via private email hel AT or Twitter to @ShelHorowitz