Okay, you’ve written your book, you’ve had it edited and proofread (or are most of the way through the process), and now you’d like to tell the world about it. This can be done in person (e.g., speaking, book signings, or other in-person events) or in print (e.g., advertising, brochure, flyer, or other print media).
Here are some guidelines for creating an effective print piece to get the word out about your book.
- Identify Your Goal(s)
What do you want to accomplish with this print piece? Are you trying to get peers or customers to buy your book? Are you trying to build your image or your brand? Once you know your goal(s), you can choose the type of information and format that will work best for you.
- Identify Your Audience
If you’ve done effective marketing before your started writing your book, this step should already be done. If not, you need to know who your printed piece will be talking to, the kind of language they use (e.g., formal, informal), and what they care about (their needs and wants that your book addresses).
- Develop a Key Message
An effective ad, brochure or flyer will have one central idea. What’s yours? Please note: Do not put together a random collection of information, thoughts and data. This will bore your readers and will defeat your goal(s).
- Make an Effective Presentation
What’s new about your book? Make your pitch short, simple and to-the-point. Divide your visual presentation into clear blocks, each with one idea. Keep in mind that, like an “elevator speech”, you have a very short time to capture your reader’s attention.
- Make Your Headline or Header Persuasive
The top level of wording of your print piece is the bait that will lure your readers into going further. What wording will capture their imagination? Is it the subject? A key word? Does it seem to address them personally and directly? Is it a statement or a question?
- Create an Eye-Catching Design
The design should enhance your message, not detract from it. Architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form ever follows function”. So never let the design be the most important element of your piece. Make sure your piece highlights the most important facts or figures. When you present quantitative information, use data; when you present qualitative information, try using graphics. If your budget allows it, hire a professional designer; but be sure to keep the message first and foremost.
- Spread the Word
How will you get your ad, brochure, or flyer into the largest number of hands? You can certainly use print media, though this is becoming less of a factor as the years go by. You’ll probably want to use electronic media, which include blast e-mails, personal e-mails, social media (e.g., facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.). And don’t forget about blogs — yours and others (people who might be willing to accept your ad, especially if you do something in return for them).
Be sure that you write some kind of conclusion and, if appropriate, create a call to action.
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