5 Surefire Ways To Optimize Your Book’s Sell Sheet

Introduction

In order to become, or remain, financially successful as a self-publisher, you must be able to quickly and effectively get your marketing message to your book-buying audience. Your book’s sell sheet is an excellent tool to do this. It’s a perfect marketing tool for offline AND online marketing – because it’s simple to understand, and gets directly to the point.

And, as The Professor likes to say, it’s “no fuss, no muss, no waste, no bother,” for you or the buyer. (He has a many insightful gems like that. I hear them all the time. He has one for every imaginable situation. But, he’s a very wealthy business genius, so we all listen.)

Here Are The 5 Essential Elements To Optimizing Your Sell Sheet:

Optimization Tip # 1: Keep It Simple

The genius of a sell sheet is that it’s quick and easy to read. It’s supposed to convey the most important and pertinent information about your book in a short, simple, and obvious, format. And, it must be appealing to look at and read while doing all of that. All of the information on the sell sheet must only be concerned with your book. No extraneous information necessary. In other words, don’t oversell or exaggerate.

Ask yourself: “What information is absolutely necessary that will help the buyer make the decision to find out more about my book, or go directly to buying it?” Get to it quickly. You only have about 30 seconds to hold onto the person reading your sell sheet. Use every inch of it very wisely.

Optimization Tip # 2: Differentiate Your Book

You’ve all heard about differentiation a million times before. Differentiate yourself, your message, and your book, from your competition. You know this already. If you didn’t already know how to differentiate yourself, your message, and your book, from your competition, BEFORE you wrote your book, you have much bigger problems that a sell sheet can’t fix.

Your message that you want, or need, to share with your reading audience, and how you write about it, needs to come through on your book’s sell sheet. Look at yourself, your message, and your book, from the perspective of your audience, your readers, your customers. Now show them how you and your book are different, or better, or more insightful, for your book’s subject matter, than your competition is.

Optimization Tip # 3: Build Visual Hierarchy

By “visual hierarchy,” I mean that the reader’s eyes should first be drawn to the most important item on you sell sheet. This item, or text, or photo, will probably be the biggest item on the page. This might be the book’s cover, for example. Or the title of the book near the top. You should get the idea here.

Then their eyes should be drawn to the second most important item on your sell sheet. Maybe this is a word or statement about the book’s subject matter. The text here might be bigger or more colorful than the other text on the page. Then on to the third most important information that you want the reader the see next. And so on.

Typically, these items start at or near the top of the page, which is where most people first look it. And when viewing on a computer screen, almost always from the top down. Your goal is to help the reader navigate your sell sheet in a pleasant, visually appealing, and easy to read format.

Optimization Tip # 4: Back Up Your Claims

The person reading your it will decide if you’re qualified to write this book, and help them with their problems, in a matter of seconds. Again, look at yourself, your book, and your sell sheet, from the perspective of the reader.

And then ask yourself several questions: “Is this person believable? Does this person look and sound like he can help me with my problems? Help me improve my life? Help me find the answers I need?” Does he have believable qualifications that prove he can write about this book’s topic?”

Remember, every word and picture on that sheet can help or hurt your credibility. It’s up to you to convey your claims about your book, and about you, to the reader in such a way that’s believable. Too much embellishment, or boasting, and you will lose them – in a matter of seconds – and they won’t come back.

Optimization Tip # 5: Make The Call-To-Action (CTA) Easy

By “easy,” I mean KEEP IT SIMPLE. Provide several uncomplicated ways for the reader to contact you and get more information about you and your book. This can be your telephone number at your office. It can be an email address directly to you. The absolute minimum that you must have is a link to your book’s website or landing page. It can also be a link to the book’s Amazon page.

If your book is available for sale to book stores, libraries, and universities, you should mention that your book is available through book distributors Ingram, and Baker and Taylor, for example. Keep in mind how your book’s demographic, or readers, buyers, customers, and clients, will most likely want to contact you.

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to have more than one sell sheet for your book. You can create one that is more directed toward your clients that visit your office, for example. One for the people that read your blog. And, you can create one for libraries and schools. You wrote the book, so you already know who your audience, or audiences, is for your book.

Your book’s sell sheet can help you give your audience the appropriate message that is most likely to resonate with them to the highest degree, and help them to make the decision to buy your book.

Creating a good sell sheet for you book really is “no fuss, no muss, no waste, no bother,” for you or the buyer. (Oh no! Now I’m doing it!)

Sell More Books With an E-mail Newsletter

NOTE: Because many words in this article are likely to trigger sp^m filters, we’ve disguised them with symbols (e.g. sp^m). This will ensure a higher delivery rate if you use this article in your e-zine.

If you’re selling your book online, you’re practically guaranteed to increase sales by publishing an e-mail newsletter, or “e-zine.”

Why? Well, for a start, it’s a super way to give readers a taste of your expertise and style along with samples of your content. This ensures they’ll come to be familiar with you, trust you, and hopefully buy your book when they’re ready for more information.

Also, it’s a great way to *capture prospects* who aren’t ready to buy your book when they visit your site, but are still interested in the info you have to share.

Based on my own experiences in marketing my manual, ‘Boost Business With Your Own E-zine,’ here are 7 ways to help increase book sales using an e-mail newsletter.

  1. First thing: Encourage e-zine SIGNUPS on your Web site where you promote your book.
    Before you even begin publishing, start collecting e-mail addresses. Place a signup form in many places on your site to invite visitors to subscribe to your free e-zine. This way, if a visitor isn’t interested in buying your book today, she can sign up for your free e-zine. Now you haven’t lost her, and she’ll learn even *more* about your book from being a subscriber.

    E-zine publishers also report GREAT signup results using pop-up and pop-under boxes at their Web sites.

    Examples: On my main site, http://www.ezinequeen.com, I feature a signup form on EVERY page, as well as a pop-up box. On my book sales site, [http://www.ezinequeen.com/tutorial], I have a pop-under box that appears once you close the main window.

    Remember: NEVER sign anyone up without her permission!

  2. Feature EXCERPTS and/or TIPS from your book in your e-zine.
    These can be either direct excerpts or short tips that summarize some of your content. Go through your book and highlight individual tips or small sections that could stand well on their own. Just don’t give away the whole store! For example, giving your readers a whole chapter of your book in each issue is going overboard.

    Besides lifting material directly from your book, try some other spins on your topic such as a list of top 10 tips, a how-to article, a list of resources, or a review of a trend in the industry.

    Example: One of my clients, a life coach, has a hard-cover book out right now that features 101 tips on how to attract what you want in life. Each issue of her weekly e-zine features one of those tips, along with a brief explanation of how to implement it.

  3. Directly after your article, give a quick PROMO BLURB that shamelessly plugs your book.
    Why right after the article and before anything else? If someone reads your article/tip and says to themselves, “Gee, that was great information,” they’ll be ready to hear what else you have to share on that subject. Really pump it up and have a good time with it.

    Example: “Did you like today’s article? If you did, you’ll LOVE my new book, ‘Double Your Business in Six Months.’ It’s jammed with more than 257 great ideas to help you grow your business FAST. Learn more and order now at [Web address here]. You can begin using my best tips within minutes!”

  4. In each issue, offer a TESTIMONIAL from one of your book purchasers.
    Let your readers know that many other people just like them ARE buying your book and LOVE it. Idea: Create a small section in your e-zine for this purpose. In each issue, feature a short testimonial from one of your readers here.

    Example: “What ‘Beauty Blastoff’ Readers Are Saying: ‘I can’t tell you how much your book has helped me improve my appearance. Thanks to your tips, I’ve lost 20 pounds, cleared up my skin, and rid of all my unwanted hair. Now my rich ex-husband even wants me back. You’re a saint!'” – Suzy Smitten, Los Angeles, Calif.

  5. Offer your readers a SPECIAL DISCOUNT for a l1mited time.
    Make your readers feel special by offering them a special discount on your book when you can. For best response rates, make it a limited time offer to lend a sense of urgency. I did this with my manual when it first came out and got great results.

    Example: “For Subscribers Only: Buy my book before midnight this Friday and receive a 20% discount!”

    If you can’t give your subscribers a discount, offer something else to make them feel special, such as a bonus report or free phone consultation with their purchase.

  6. Mention your book in as many other places as possible in your e-zine.
    Bottom line: The more you mention your book, the higher your chances they’ll buy. While your opportunities are endless, here are a few ideas to start with:
  • in your masthead (This is where you give the reader info about your publication – usually at the very top.)
  • in your editor’s or publisher’s note (This is where you give a personal note to your readers.)
  • in your article (If you mention a certain point that you cover wonderfully in your book, say so!)
  • To attract even more prospects, advertise your e-zine in your everyday e-mail SIGNATURE FILE.

    You know what a signature (or “sig”) file is, right? It’s that little blurb with contact info that you can automatically insert at the end of every e-mail you send. Besides your obvious contact information, give a quick plug for your book AND e-zine.

    Why? Well, if you just advertise your book, some people will read your sig file and think, “That’s cool, but I don’t want to buy anything right now.” BUT if you advertise your FREE e-zine, they’ll likely take advantage of your offer. THEN you’ve got them on your list.

    Example: Here’s what I have at the END of my sig file, after my contact information: “BOOST BUSINESS by publishing your own e-mail newsletter! Learn how now – sign up for fr*ee how-to tips at http://www.ezinequeen.com.”

  • (c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved.