Become an Expert and Establish Your Book’s Value
Have you ever wondered how to sell your book? One of the frequently asked questions every author gets is, “What’s your book about?” The answer to this question is tricky, and can lose an author a lot of book sales if the asker finds it lacking. This is not the time to explore the recesses of you main character’s crazed, lunatic mind. This is not the time to give a multiple part lecture series on the trials, plights, and destruction of the Native Americans during the Jackson presidency. These things may be very important to you, but they will bore your audience. What you have to remember is this: people don’t really want to know what your book is about; they want to know what is in it for them if they read it. People buy things out of self-interest. They want whatever they buy to add value to their lives. This is why you must market yourself as an expert. If people’s main reason for buying anything is to add value to their lives, then they are going to seek out experts to guide them to the things that will do this most effectively. Luckily you are an expert, after all you did write an entire book. Always present your answer to any question from the position of authority while focusing on your audience’s main concern: what value will your book add to their life? Remember you have to give your readers a return on investment. They have to feel that they got something in exchange for their hard earned money.
So, how do you determine what value your book gives to its readers? A good way to do this is to write value statements. These are individual sentences that convey to your readers how your book specifically will improve their lives. Some things to keep in mind while writing your value statements:
- They should tell readers how you know your book will improve their lives, not just how you think your book will improve their lives. Remember you know because you are an expert.
- They are not guarantees. Though you are an expert, you only provide the tools the reader needs, it is up to them to make any change in their lives.
- They should be emotionally driven. Emotions speak louder than logic. People, more often than not, will make decisions based on their heart and not on their head.
- They should include quantifiers. People like to hear how something will enable them to enact a positive change. For example, “This blog will help you increase your book sales.”
- They should not include:
- Clichés or ambiguous statements. They will keep you from standing out in the crowd.
- Teaching points. They can come across as preachy.
- Technical terminology or religious expressions. They will alienate many readers.
- Negative statements. Honey is always more attractive than vinegar.
- Keep it short. We live in the age of news tickers, Twitter, and 20 second commercials. People want bite size information that they can take with them and easily share with others.
Once you have determined your book’s value statements, what should you do with them? Put them everywhere. Incorporate them into your personal bio. Place them all over your website. Include them in your newsletters and promotional materials. Put them on the back cover of your book. Use them in media interviews. And, you guessed it, personal conversations. These value statements, dear author, are how you answer that ever tricky question, “What’s your book about?”
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What is your book about? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.