Friday, February 01, 2008

How to Ensure your Book Cover is Ready


You have possibly heard all about this before, but just in case you haven't - I wanted to bring it to your attention.

The reason I do right now is three-fold:
1. When I took my first book through this process (31 Days to Millionaire Marketing Miracles) - the cover page difference was amazing and effective.

2. In looking at many existing poetry books, trust me when I say - you didn't follow AIDA. If possible, review what you have and update it for 2008.

3. I am in the design of my new book cover, and this cycle gets tighter and more aggressive once you accept it, and you become a powerful critic that looks at your own cover with the eyes of your worst enemy - who STILL ends up buying it by time you are done.

ATTENTION - You have 4 seconds to impress them. The front cover must have a title that can be read across a bookstore. Be attractive and fit the theme.

INTEREST - Then the purchaser will quickly flip to the back. You have 7 seconds to sell them. This is NOT a place for your bio or what inspired you to write the book. Tell them the benefits they will get from reading it, include testimonials if you have them, and leave them needing that book. Appeal to their "What's in it for me" attitude.

DESIRE - Once they've done with your back cover, they will open up the book and look at the table of contents - and this had better be organized and compelling. A book is no place for 'untitled' or lame titles for your work. You have fractions of seconds for them to STOP and want to know what the poem from that title would look like. Because then - you've got...

ACTION - They need to know, and will now take the action required to walk out of the bookstore, or hit ORDER on Amazon. Last mention here, make this process very easy - stamps, mailing a cheque, they will forget and you won't sell a book after all of your effort. Get paypal on a blog if you have to - but make it easy to buy your book!

I have spent $12,000 this past year getting educated on book production and marketing from #1 International Bestselling authors, and 14-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen, so I am passing a small but critical piece that I learned. Richard Paul Evans was the first person in history to make the New York Times #1 spot in both soft and hard-cover simultaneously, sold the most books in history as a self-published author, and got the largest advance in history for their first book (7-figure advance, yes-including JK Rowling.)

Examine the books on the bestseller list in your category, pull the book up from Amazon, look at the front, back, inside table of contents, and see how your book rates against it. Would it generate the way it is right now, enough INTEREST for someone to take ACTION and buy it?

My real improvements also came on the back cover, where it became less about 'me' and more about what the book would do for them.

Have your cover reviewed by friends, use your writing or critique group to give you feedback, and go to the bookstore and see what other people have in your genre, and then design something better.

Tracy Repchuk
President and Founder of the Canadian Federation of Poets
Dedicated to uniting people and organizations from around the world in the global promotion of poetry and poets.

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