Honest Copywriting Does Sell Books

August 2009
by Shel Horowitz

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SKILL SETS: COPYWRITING

Honest Copywriting Does Sell Books

by Shel Horowitz

I confess: I’m a marketing heretic. I’ve built my career on breaking all the rules—and I break one of the rules by refusing to hype. This can be a challenge when marketing books. It’s a very crowded universe, and people won’t respond to just “Here’s a new book.”

Among the common copywriter tricks that I avoid are:

Duplicitous deadlines.“If you order in the next 24 hours, you get these extras . . . ” In many cases, the offer will hold longer than announced. Deadlines are very effective motivators, but I will put a deadline in my copy only if it’s real.

Suspect testimonials.“‘This is the best book ever written on the subject, and if you don’t read it, you’ll regret it forever’ — B.J. in Austin.” Who? Good testimonials are critical tools for marketing success, but endorsement providers should be identified at least by name and relevant credentials. Not Aunt Thelma, but professors, authors, business leaders, sports and entertainment figures, and so on as appropriate for the particular book. And the quote shouldn’t be some vague generality; it should present a concrete, specific r…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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