ASP 40: The 5-Minute Book Marketing Review

Quote of the day:

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

– Peter Drucker

Steve is by himself today, talking about the step-by-step process he uses to go through a book’s presentation and look for ways to improve it. He calls it the “5-Minute Book Review.”

The main takeaway here is to think like a potential reader. Figure out what will make or break their decision to buy your book, and then give them what they want.

Check out the video:

Here are the main 10 factors to consider:

Part 1: Above the Fold

The most important part of the page, with items displayed before you scroll down.

1 – Cover

The cover must be eye-catching, otherwise you will lose your readers before they even get started. It should also be genre-specific, and must resonate with readers and give an idea of what type of book it is. And it should NOT look like it was created in Microsoft Paint!

Check out Episode 23.

2 – Title

Try to come up with a catchy hook. The classic example is 4-Hour Workweek.

Then make a promise in the sub-title. This should communicate the clear-cut benefit of buying the book.

When it comes to fiction titles, try to find a title that creates curiosity.

Go to Episode 29 for more info.

3 – Description

Does your description speak to the ideal reader? Does it explain what the book is and why they should check it out? Put as much effort into writing your description as you do your book.

For nonfiction books, use a simple three-step formula:

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Mention that there’s a solution to that problem.
  3. Show how your book provides that solution. Use copywriting to really hammer this point home

With fiction, start with a tagline or a sentence—something readers understand. An example is Bella Forrest’s book A Shade of Vampire. Here description is simple: “Avatar Meets Twilight.”

Describe the plot, but speak in vague terms, enticing the reader to check out the book to learn more.

For both fiction and nonfiction, you could include copy that helps with the buying decision. For example, mention Wall Street Journal or New York Times bestseller lists where relevant, number of reviews or review quality, number of books sold, etc.

4 – Description HTML

For HTML, don’t do one long paragraph. Instead, separate using HTML. H2 should be used for the headlines, bolding pulls out words, italics emphasize words and bullet points are an easy way to communicate with your reader quickly.

Also make sure to draw attention to important parts of the description.

Check out Kindlepreneur’s Description Generator tool and Academic Tutorial’s HTML Tutorials.

5 – Pricing

People do pay attention to price. Too high? Too low? Your price should match what is common in your market.

For Steve’s books, he prices from $2.99 to $5.99.

Part 2: “Look Inside”

Do a good job of not only engaging readers, but also marketing your brand.

6 – Lead Magnet

A great strategy is a free gift (with link) that entices people to click and join your email list. This must be compelling, with bonus points if it directly relates to the current book.

For nonfiction books, consider offering a free checklist or short ebook of tips. For fiction books, you could offer a free short story.

7 – Links to your website and any other properties.

While you are at it, you might as well do a bit of promotion for your website, and any other relevant sites or properties you are pushing.

Part 3: Below the Fold

8 – Editorial Reviews

You are looking to highlight positive reviews on your book, especially reviews or comments from popular authorities in your market. This is optional, but can be very effective.

Add the editorial review to your book at

9 – Reviews

The thing about reviews is that you don’t have a lot of control. You could just as easily end up with negative reviews as positive, and it might not even be a reflection of your quality, but simply a grumpy person. But reviews are something people look at, so it is worth trying to attract reviews.

Specifically, people gravitate to the 1-star reviews and read about things that people don’t like, so obviously, the more positive reviews you have, the better.

10 – Product Details

A small page count (like 30ish) usually looks a bit thin, so try to go a bit bigger than that. Readers tend to avoid some indie publishers who take shortcuts, so aim for at least 60 to 70 pages for nonfiction and 100 to 150 for fiction.

These days, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a traditional publisher or are self-published, although people do look at this, so it is something to be aware of.

Finally, consider your best seller’s ranking (BSR). The lower number the better. This doesn’t really impact readers, but I always like to look at it as an indicator of my books’ performance.

Turn your idea into a bestselling book!

Download your free copy of The Bestseller Checklist at Learn the 46 steps we personally follow when self-publishing our bestsellers.

Looking for a supportive community of writers and authors?

Be an Authority and join the Authority Self-Publishing Facebook group.

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