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Quit Selling Your Book Like a Book

You shouldn’t sell your book like a book. People aren’t looking for books. If a person really was just looking for a book they’re probably using it to balance a table or kill a spider.

Besides, you didn’t write a book. You wrote a story. A book is bound pages or a file transfer. A story is a world of wonder and excitement and crafted ascension of tension and relief. It’s that part where the hero failed, the lovers were forced to part, and that part where the antagonist gets what they had coming.

It’s amazing places so vivid we feel like we were there even if they never existed. It’s scenes that play over and over in our minds as if they really happened to us. It’s characters that find a home in our imaginations and hearts. A story is so much more than a book.

But, still, we promote them like a book: “A great read” “A heart warming romance” “A spicy thriller.” We tell people it’s a science fiction book. We tell them it’s a fantasy, or a romance, or a historical thriller and we end up telling them, not why they will love it, but, where to put it on their bookshelf.

We need to stop selling books. We need to start selling the stories inside.

See some examples of how we’re selling stories. Not books.

Your Words Are Ugly

Your Words Are Ugly. So Are Mine.

I was a copywriter for many years. As the guy that writes the headlines, there was always one thing you hated to hear a client or teammate say. “Nobody reads the copy.” You hear it a lot. Almost everyday. It hurts to hear your hard work dismissed as an evil necessity that’s only there if the beautiful layout grabs the readers attention.

Like many things, it hurt because it was true. We tried to deny it but deep down we knew that rarely would a headline be the reason a person stopped to read the ad.

It’s not our fault. Compared to images, words are uninviting, boring and ugly little marks messing up a nice clean surface. Of course the art is going to get peoples attention. Of course a great design is going to get them to look at it. And, according to an old adage, the art director’s picture is worth a 1,000 of our ugly little words. Read more