Authors: Do you know what’s the most important element of your book marketing strategy? Is it posters or bookmarks? Social media ads? No. While these are vital tools in a comprehensive book promotion plan, your most influential, important marketing tool is…your book itself.
So when preparing a print copy of your self-published book, keep in mind that book readers are looking for specific feedback when forming a first impression. Book readers have emotional needs that compel the purchase of a book: Will this book take me someplace new? Teach me something fascinating? Will it deliver a powerful emotional experience that will give me goosebumps, or make me laugh or cry? Is the writing any good?
The first impression that your self-published print book makes is your strongest shot at turning a browser into a buyer. A good first impression:
- Happens in seven seconds or less.
- Can mean the difference between making a book sale or losing it.
- Speaks volumes about quality.
- Implies whether your book will deliver on its promises.
Self-Publishing In Print: How To Make A Great First Impression
Cover art. The phrase “can’t judge a book by its cover” made a lot more sense when books were leather-bound tomes that didn’t have cover art. Now, readers DO judge a book by its cover. Study cover designs in your book’s genre and work with designers to create an image that conveys big emotion. Read our articles about creating great cover art for your self-published book.
Cover copy. The copy (or text) on your book’s front and back covers can win readers over in a big way—if it’s compelling. Include abridged endorsement quotes from other authors, as well as reviews from bloggers or professional book review sites. Focus hard on creating a book blurb for your back cover that conveys the emotional crux of your story. And make sure your author bio hits all the right notes. Not sure if you’ve got your text right? Hire a professional! Self-Publishing Relief has a team of expert writers who will create a sales-building book blurb and cover copy for you.
Typesetting. After your potential buyer sizes up your artwork, he or she will flip through a few pages. If your book hasn’t been typeset well in an easy-to-read font, your reader will choose to pass on your book—and the inevitable eyestrain it promises.
Paper quality. Vellum might have been the medium of choice in the Middle Ages, but thin paper went out of style with the quill and inkwell. Choose a heavier weight paper to show readers that you don’t skimp on quality—not in your production, and not in your writing.
First five pages. Don’t expect that readers will hang around until chapter two for your story to begin. Get the ball rolling immediately! Learn more about how to write your first five pages. And to pack an even bigger punch, check out this article on the best first lines from literature (and why they work).
And One Final First Impression Wildcard That Can Seal The Deal
When you’re making a purchase, what’s one of the first things you look for? The price.
Choosing the right price point for your self-published book is a must. Pricing your print book too high can edge out potential buyers (especially in high-competition genres where slim profit margins mean high-volume sales). But pricing your book too low could suggest to readers that your book simply isn’t worth much. Some writers choose middle-of-the-road pricing for their print self-published books, but then they will occasionally augment sales with price drops. Learn more about how to choose the right price point for your hard copy self-published book.
QUESTION: Which of these elements makes the biggest impression on you?