Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Book Cover Testimonials? No Problem

Create Powerful Book Marketing Copy-- Even When You Don't Have Big-Name Endorsements

Susan Kendrick

Click on image at left to see final front cover and back cover sales copy for this new book, released November 11, 2009.

A big concern for authors and experts is getting endorsements. You add credibility to your business, books, products, services, consulting, and speaking when you have recognizable names or organizations behind you.

"A testimonial from a well-known industry expert can be a powerful addition to your book's cover. However, for a first time author these can be difficult to land," says Steve Pavilanis, author of A Life Less Anxious. Steve did end up getting an endorsement from an author / expert in his field that he used on the front cover. The back cover, however, relies solely on solid marketing copy.

Getting testimonials, especially from big-name industry experts and authors, is a process that takes time for an author. Because many authors and experts are publishing books to meet specific goals and deadlines, they often don't have the time, even when they do start the process early. In that case, know that there are at least 10 essential marketing elements that you can use to build your back cover copy, and just one of these relies on having testimonials.

Steve's book is a great example of powerful back cover copywriting that does not rely on testimonials. It makes such a compelling case for the message in the book and the authority of the author that you don't even notice. What would actually be worse is adding a quote from a "nobody," someone that means nothing to your readers or other decision-makers. Those kinds of quotes can be dangerous in that they can actually detract from your credibility instead of add to it.

Use These Same Book Marketing Copy Tactics on Your Book Cover

Take a closer look at the back cover copy
that my partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, wrote for this book. Analyze the headline, the opening positioning paragraph, the conversational style, the bullet points, the feeling of this book marketing copy being fresh yet authoritative, intelligent yet accessible. Even if you are not looking for the particular solutions that this book offers, you can see how it would appeal to someone eager to find answers from such a trustworthy resource.

Knowing that you have many choices for creating powerful sales copy is important, especially when you see so many books that use only testimonials as their back cover copy, to the exclusion of any other sales copy. If you'll notice, these are usually books by authors who are already well-known and widely read, and often the book is their second, third, fourth, and so on. You also see endorsements-only copy on fiction books, which is a format often used for that genre. Many of these books will have the story summary and author info on the book cover flaps.

You are different if, like so many authors and experts we work with, you are publishing a book to establish yourself as an expert in your field and you want your book to be a serious lead-generator back to you and your services. In that case, you need powerful back cover copy that does that job.

One other thought that may help is that if and when you do get the testimonials you want once your book has been released, you can add them as a high-visibility section of your website and to subsequent printings or editions of your book. You can also use those testimonials as a way to stay in touch with your list, the media, and others you want to keep updated on the success, newsworthiness, and credibility of you and your message.

If you have any questions about how to write your book cover copy or testimonials for approval, or if you have questions about how we can do that for you, please feel free to contact us at

To the success of you and your books,

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

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