Join me on Facebook, too!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Turn Off Book Buyers With These Five Marketing Phrases

Catching a reader's eye and sparking them to learn more about a book is a crafty science. Between 600,000 to 1,000,000 books are published each year in the United States alone, Capturing attention, and ultimately dollars, requires unique skills. What are you going to say to get your book to stand out among the 1500 to 3000 new titles that were published today?

A recent post by Geoffrey James, contributing editor to Inc. Magazine, got me thinking. James listed nine tired phrases that turn customers off. Instead of igniting them to turn on to a product, phrases touting "the best service" or "industry leading," blunt customers' senses. The statements are seductive to the seller, but mean nothing to the reader.

Can you separate yourself from the pack by using ubiquitous and empty phrases?

Five overused and tired phrases for book marketing are:

1. "Gripping mystery!"
Really? Unless the phrase (or any other) is a quote from a well-known author or review source, it's best to steer clear. A mystery, by its very definition, should be compelling. 

2. "This book is a real page turner!" 
If the book is more than a single page, how else are you going to read it? "To read this book, you have to turn the page! Really!" This statement qualifies for the big, "DUH!" 

3. "A must read..."
According to whom? Someone who doesn't have a clue about me or my preferences is telling me I must read something? Nope. Not going to happen.

4. "Best-selling!" or "Number One!"
Unless the book is on a curated and verifiable list, like the New York Times' Best Seller list, forget about it. The same is true for touting a leading sales rank. Books can be top selling for a few hours on Amazon, then drift off to oblivion. Sure having a high rank for a few hours or days is exciting and validating for the author, but such phrases tell us nothing about the book.

5. "New!"
Phrases relating to time can expire. "Available now!" is temporarily true and a book can be out for years before readers learn about it, becoming “new” to them.

Use precious ad space or social media word count judiciously. Effective marketing triggers a response and buying books is all about the reader’s curiosity. Readers move from tag line, to front cover, to back cover, then inside perusal. Once inside, either the story is going to make them want more, or not.

Try a question with a link instead of a stale statement.

“What if your very existence threatened an empire?”*

Find out what works for your books and measure the results. Don't be afraid to try something no on else has done. After all, you're trying to prove you're one in a million. 

* Yeah, I know. Cheap trick, but it worked, right?