Category Archives: book marketing tips

Book Marketing Tips for Authors

Headlines Attract and Entice Your Audience To Take Action

Headlines Attract and Entice Your Audience To Take Action

Attract and Entice Your Audience with HeadlinesA headline is the front door of your written communication. I seem to have a knack for writing headlines. Growing up, I never imagined I would be writing for a living. It never occurred to me. I dreamt of becoming an actor. When I moved on to a career in human resources, and when I transitioned into a career as a graphic designer, and even when I became a marketing consultant. I never could have predicted that writing would be something people paid me to do.

I’ve always considered myself a communicator. Writing is one form of communication. My preferred mode is speaking. Yet writing is and has been an important element in my life. I wrote and illustrated my first book while in high school. My drive to print it myself lead to my groundbreaking entry into the “industrial arts” class. This is back in the days when girls took home economics and boys took shop classes. I was the first female student in the history of my school to challenge this model. More girls followed my lead. I was ahead of the women’s equal rights movement and the desktop printing revolution.

I found the mechanics of offset printing fascinating. Perhaps this is one of the drivers behind my career in graphic design and my focus on book production and promotion.

In each of my careers, written communication played a pivotal role. Many of my clients have said I have a unique ability to transform complex ideas into neat, understandable terms. I’ve written procedures manuals, employee handbooks, job descriptions, proposals, contracts, marketing copy, press releases, training materials, ad copy, engagement marketing content, book titles, value propositions, catch phrases, newsletters, flyers, blog posts, profiles, oh my, this is a long list for someone who didn’t start out as a writer!

My Theater Training Influences My Writing

I started out as a student of theater. From the time I put on my own plays in the backyard to studying acting in college, I loved the romance of theater. I was painfully shy as a child. By assuming a role, I became powerful and my own fears faded. It helped me put myself into the mindset of someone else, just what I need when writing marketing copy.

My theatrical training also gave me an appreciation for the importance of getting the attention of my audience. If nobody is listening, it doesn’t matter what I do or say. This same holds true for writing.

Honest communication makes a connection, whether spoken or written. People are curious. They want to see what happens next. A good headline pulls people into the conversation. A compelling headline attracts and intrigues the reader. It tantalizes. It makes a promise. A good headline is like an invitation to a party. Your goal in writing a good headline is to get people in the door.

Be real, get your reader to put herself in your shoes. Appeal to her emotions. You don’t have to shout or manipulate. Be honest.

Resources to Help You Write Better Headlines

I have two excellent resources to help you write better headlines. I’ve been using the first for two years and it has helped me improve my headlines. I am getting email open rates between 30-55%!

Headline Analyzer

Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer is a free, online tool developed to measure the emotional marketing value of a headline. Input your headline, select a category, hit enter and in a few seconds, you have the results. Go here to use it.

Fresh Title

Want to create headlines that convert? Fresh Title is an inexpensive software application  shows you examples that are proven to work. It includes swipe files to get you started. You can see real-time headlines that are trending on Google. You can store headline ideas for future use too.

Call to Action

This is your money shot. After you get their attention, what do you want your audience to do next? Creating a message that moves them to take immediate action is the very definition of a call to action. Guide them with clear, easy to follow instructions and ask them to perform one specific task.

How to Get More Marketing Tips

Like what you learned today? Want more free tips? Get them by subscribing to my YouTube Channel. I post a new marketing tip about once a week. When you subscribe, you’ll get notified when a new video is available.

  1. Click here to go to the brandvines YouTube Channel
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Free Book Marketing Tip #10: Add a Media Page to Your Website

Add a Media Page to Your Website

Add a Media Page to Your Website


Why You Want a Media Page

To sell more books, people need to know about you. A media page on your website is the place you can list your media exposure. If you are looking for new opportunities to connect with the media, it shows them you know how to make the news and adds to your credibility as a potential speaker, guest on a show, or as a guest blogger.

What to Include on Your Media Page

You can start with a few of these items and add to your page as you expand your coverage.

The Essentials

  1. Your biography (short, medium and long versions)
  2. Photos of you (professional)
  3. Images of your book cover(s)
  4. Fun facts about you
  5. Book Reviews and Testimonials
  6. Links or pdfs to media coverage
  7. Downloadable document with all of your media information (your media kit)
  8. How to get in touch with you
  9. Links to your social channels

Additional Items

  1. Links to recordings of you on air (radio, podcasts, television)
  2. Links to guest posts on other people’s blog sites
  3. A speaker sheet (like a product sell sheet for speakers)
  4. Upcoming events
  5. Sample interview topics
  6. Sample Q&A
  7. Quotes from media who have interviewed you
  8. Keep it updated as you get media coverage

Update your page as you get more coverage. Go out and make some news today.

Give Thanks Every Day

Give ThanksGive Thanks Every Day


I am grateful for my hair. A year ago, I had stubble, about ⅛ inch long. I was happy for that. I finished chemotherapy in July 2014 and I had no hair at all! I began noticing that something was amiss around Thanksgiving 2013. I barely ate anything at that Thanksgiving.

I wound up in the emergency room right after Christmas where the ER doctor told me I had cancer. Not exactly the way I planned to spend my holidays.

Good News and Bad News

I was in for a big learning spurt over the next year.


  • I was diagnosed with cancer
  • I found out I have the BRCA-2 genetic mutation
  • I lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows
  • I have some residual chemo-induced neuropathy in my hands and feet


  • I had a treatable form of cancer
  • I belong to a genetic group that responds well to treatment
  • I was otherwise very healthy
  • I didn’t have many side effects during treatment
  • I had great resources to help me heal
  • I am a survivor
  • I pay attention to my health
  • I am more forgiving of myself and others
  • I don’t waste time with negative people

Thanksgiving 2015

  • My hair is back
  • My energy is up
  • My neuropathy is reversing
  • I am feeling good
  • I have solid friendships
  • I feel confident about making my dreams come true
  • I am starting a daily practice of recognizing what I am grateful for

I wish you a wonderful day of thanks and gratitude.

Overwhelm to Action

Overwhelm to Action

It is really easy to get into overwhelm. Especially around the holidays. One of the best ways to bust this type of stress is to map out what you want and take one action at a time that moves you closer to your goal.

One Step at a Time

Doing one simple action will get you moving in the right direction. You’ll feel like a winner. One step at a time takes you from having too much to do to getting things done.

That’s your quick Tuesday Tip from brandvines.

overwhelm to action

9 Tips to Build Your Email List

Free Book Marketing Tip #9: Build Your Email List

9 Tips to Build Your Email List: Free Book Marketing Tip #9

Whether you are starting from scratch or you are building from an existing list, these tips can help you grow your email list.

You may wonder why growing you list is so important. You might be saying “I don’t have the time.” Did you know that for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you will get a $44 return on your investment according to a 2015 study by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association).

 1. Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse

An Irresistible Offer is Your Lead Magnet

How many of you want to get another email newsletter in your inbox? Stop inviting people to sign up for your newsletter. You will get more subscribers by offering something of value. something they want, like a pdf of the “9 Tips to Building Your Email List.”

Which one do you want: another newsletter or a free Tip Sheet?

2. Give Them What They Want

Offer something that helps your target audience. It could save them time. It might be a free guide. Or a sample chapter from your book, and it doesn’t have to take you a lot of time or effort to make it. It must be something that they see as valuable. Your offer is an incentive (something of value) you give to a subscriber in exchange for their real email address and permission to email them.

Types of Incentives you can offer

  • Resource list
  • Checklist
  • Tool tips
  • Mistakes to Avoid
  • A PDF of a popular article
  • A sample
  • Discount
  • A Recipe
  • A link to an informative blog post
  • E-book
  • Cheat Sheet
  • How to Guide
  • Free Gift
  • Introductory Offer

3. Automated Email Campaigns

Connect your Irresistible Offer Sign up to your email provider. Many quality email services like Constant Contact allow you to set up automated campaigns. This is also known as a autoresponder campaign.

You set up the triggers. Each email in the campaign will go out a pre-determined interval. These emails are sent out to an individual subscriber or to all of the members of a group, it just depends on what you choose.

Thinking through an automated campaign may take some time when you set it up. The time savings come in when you get subscribers to your list and they automatically start receiving the emails you created, without you having to do this manually, over and over again.

Ideas for an Automated Campaign

  • Answer FAQs
  • Provide instructions
  • Share Additional information
  • Up sell your related products/services
  • Ask for referrals
  • Sell refills / replacements
  • Collect feedback about what your audience likes and wants
  • Gather testimonials
  • Collect user-created content. Hold a contest and ask readers to enter the contest by sending you content they create. This is a great way to get testimonials and content you can use in marketing pieces.

4. Focus on Building Your List

Set a goal  for how many new emails you will add in the next 30, 60, 90 days. Then, spend time every day doing something to grow your list.

5. Invite everybody you know to join your list

Start with your friends and family. I heard one story about how a guy’s mom told all of her friends and he added 250 new subscribers in one day! You never know who your friends and family know until you ask them to help you grow your list.

6. Ask subscribers to invite to invite people to join your list to get your Irresistible Offer

Give them the exact language and the link they can share with their friends. You can give them the text for a shareable tweet or a post to their Facebook page.

7. Ask subscribers where to send their free gift

You only need two things from new subscribers, their first name and email address.

8. Set up a “Thank You Page”

Confirm and thank your subscribers. This is a step in building your relationship. Send them an automated email thank you too. Expressing your appreciation has been proven to increase subscriber retention.

9. Add a Call to Action

Get your subscribers accustomed to taking action. You can ask them to like you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter. Include a call to action in every email.

My Free Offer to You

Get started with one or all of the above actions. To help you get started, I’d like you to try Constant Contact for free for the next 60 days and there are some very special extras when you sign up during November. Click the link below to get your free, fully functioning account. Please share this with your friends. They will thank you. Email marketing has a crazy return on investment. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you will see a return of $44. That’s money in  your pocket. Give it a try today. Just click on this the link below.


Free Book Marketing Tip #8 – Prepare a Set of Interview Questions

Free Book Marketing Tip #8 – Prepare a Set of Interview Questions
Prepare Your Own Set of Interview Questions

Remember reading What Color Is Your Parachute, the job search bible, in the time before we had access to the internet? I have several dog-eared editions from my early 20s. This book was important. The teachings of Richard Bolles helped to launch careers for millions of faithful readers. It also showed me the value of research and being prepared.

What Does Searching For A Job And Talking Your Book Have In Common?

They both require research.

Researching Your Audience

Finding your audience and building a strong community is very much like the research involved in a successful job search. Today it is relatively easy to research a company, person, or group by “googling” them. If you are not comfortable with doing research, you have allies in the guise of research librarians. Make friends with the research librarian at your local public library or university library. Librarians are experts at organizing and finding information. They can assist you in finding what you are after and being efficient in your search.

When you have an interview lined up, your mission is to find out about your interviewer and who follows them (their audience). The more you know about them, the easier it is for you to create questions to tell a story that will be a match to their interests.

It is very likely that you will be asking for interviews when you are just starting out. Until you become a recognized expert, you will be reaching out to the media. Do it enough, and they will come looking for you as the expert in your niche.

Get Ready For Your Interviewed

Do your homework

Don’t expect that they have read your book. They may only know your name and the title of the book. When you come in like a professional, you make them look good. Be the best guest ever. You want them to want to invite you back again.

Find out about the person who is going to interview you:

  • What do you have in common?
  • Education
  • Places you have lived
  • What are they famous for?
  • Have they written a book?

What To Bring With You To Your Interview

  1. Arrive early
  2. Always bring printed copies of your biography (short and long versions)
  3. Print out your introduction (large type to make it easy to read)
  4. Bring printed copies of your questions and answers to them
  5. Bring your book
  6. Bring any related products
  7. Bring a good story to share
  8. Remember, this is not a commercial, be interesting and engaged
  9. Come prepared to have fun
  10. Be prepared for the unexpected
  11. If you don’t know the answer to something asked, deflect and get back to talking about what you want to share
  12. Have a positive belief that you will do a fantastic job


Doing local media can lead to regional opportunities, regional to national, and national to international. You may appear on radio, television, a podcast, or in an article, always come with your own set of questions can give you the confidence to enjoy the show, because you know all the answers.

Compelling Copywriting Draws People In

Compelling Copywriting Draws People In

I am working on a project and it is a bit of a puzzle. I realized why the words in this piece didn’t feel quite right. I decided to do a bit of research on “Compelling Copywriting” to see what would come up in my search.

Show Me

I found an infographic that is entertaining while it provides a great overview of the ways to create compelling copy.

Copywriting 101: How to Craft Compelling Copy (Infographic)

Essential Copywriting Rules

  • Know Your Audience
  • Know What You are Promoting
  • Have a Measurable Goal

Another Version of The 10 Commandments of Copywriting

  1. Your Reader is The Center of the Universe — What Do They Need or Want?
  2. Appeal to Their Emotions and Curiosity with An Engaging Headline
  3. Show The Path to Transformation (Be Irresistible, Answer Questions, Empathize)
  4. Make Your Copy So Clear a 5-Year Old Can Understand It
  5. Show Them It Works (testimonials, case studies, independent studies, photos, videos)
  6. How Will They Be Transformed? (Benefits, Features and Results)
  7. Objections are Just Unanswered Questions
  8. Engage Their Feelings Over and Over Again
  9. What Do You Want Then to Do Next = Your Call To Action
  10. Create a Sense of Urgency or Scarcity So They Want to Take Action Right Now

Improve Your Copywriting with Practice

The best copywriters are the ones that keep practicing. They measure results. The process may seem daunting. Not every product or service is easy to translate into compelling copywriting. Following the “Commandments” makes the process easier. Track your results. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t work. Keep on refining what you write.

Sales Is a Process

Sales is a process. It has steps. Identifiable and repeatable steps = system. The job of compelling copywriting is to move a prospect closer to becoming a paying customer, when they are ready to commit.

Share Your Copywriting Horror Story

In honor of Halloween, I invite you to share your copywriting horror stories.

One Sentence That Will Help You Sell More Books

One Sentence That Will Help You Sell More BooksOne Sentence that explains why someone must buy your book

Answering one question will help you sell more books

“People should read my book because_____________________________.”

In one sentence, tell people what they will get out of reading your book.

Keep it simple. Make your declaration so easy to understand, a five-year old would get it.

This one sentence must say why people would be willing invest their time and money in your book.

  • Will it help them to do something?
  • Will it scare them?
  • Will it melt their hearts?
  • Will it change their lives?
  • Will they gain an understanding?
  • Will they get relief?
  • Will they have the answers to their questions about a specific problem?
  • Will it entertain them?
  • Will it help them live a better life?

This is the most powerful statement you can make about your book. Once you have your sentence, try it out and see how people respond. You may need to make a few adjustments. Keep testing and trying it out until you get the response you are looking for:

“I must buy your book.”

Thanks to Tim Grahl and his post about what make successful book launch. It inspired me to write this post.

Share your sentence in the comment box below

Include your sentence and where to buy your book.

Take action every day to gain traction


Take Action Every Day to Gain TractionTake Action Every Day to Gain Traction

A Wake-up Call to Action

Once upon a time, there was a 37-year old woman who had a wake up call when her mother had a heart attack. For the past three-years she had not taken care of herself. She walked about 5 to 10 miles every day when she lived in San Francisco. After she moved to Sonoma, she learned to her disappointment that much of the town was not a walking friendly place. She couldn’t walk everywhere as she had in the city. So her fitness suffered.

She made up her mind to get in shape. Her work schedule and commute meant that she was away from home about 12-hours every day. So she came up with a strategy to do something small every day. She started by buying one piece of equipment, a stair stepping machine. She began her road back to fitness with a commitment of five minutes the first day. She added one minute every day until she reached one-hour on the stair-stepper.

In time she added other exercises and increased her fitness level. She continues to exercise intelligently, making adjustments as need. Her results are easy to see.

Flash Forward 25 years

The woman in the story is me.  I am now 61 years old. Since I began working out at 37 (after 3-years of being a coach potato after I moved from San Francisco to Sonoma), I have rarely missed a day of doing some form of exercise. In fact, I exercised regularly during the year I had cancer and even when I was undergoing chemotherapy. Because of my commitment to myself, my body is strong. I made some adjustments to my workout during my chemotherapy.  Sticking with my fitness routine helped me get through those hard days. I am not a gym-rat. I pay attention to how I feel and I take time off when my body lets me know I need to rest.

For me, maintaining a regular schedule is important in everything I do.  I do take time off when I need it. In fact, I have been working with physical therapist to help me regain my core strength. I find that when I take the time to honor myself by doing some form of exercise each day, it pays off big dividends.

Taking action every day to gain traction really does work. Practicing this method of taking small actions every day is easy to apply to almost any project.  I am guessing none of you wrote your book in a single day. I’m also guessing that none of you learned everything you know in a single day.

Start by making a plan

If you like working on computers there are many ways you can create a plan of action. You might put all your ideas on a spreadsheet. Another way to get your ideas on paper if you will is to use a mind map. A yellow pad and a pencil will also do the trick it doesn’t really matter how you get the information in one place you can see it. What matters is that you create a plan. Having a plan means you can identify what you want to have happen and you can measure whether or not you have succeeded in reaching your goal.

You can doing anything for 10-minutes

I’m a strong advocate of getting unstuck by using a timer. In fact I used my timer this morning to help me with a project. I set the timer for 10-minutes and when the timer goes off I’m done. The important thing about this: for that 10-minutes I focus on the task at hand and I don’t allow any interruptions or distractions. I’ve used the 10-minute method successfully for writing projects, filing, packing and unpacking, and yes, even for exercising when I’m not in the mood to do it. Try the 10-minute method for marketing.

10 Things You Can Do in 10-minutes

1. Google yourself

2. Outline a blog post

3. Make a phone call

4. Create a mind map

5. Post to Facebook

6. Find an image for your post

7. Record a short video

8. Start a spreadsheet for your blog posts

9. Look up your favorite author and visit their website

10. Put 10-minute marketing appointments into your schedule

This method gives you a win every day. Try this for 30 days and see what changes. Share your stories by posting a comment.