Article on Self-publishing & Marketing: How to create effective Ad copy to promote your book by Heather Covington

There are over 150,000 new books and possibly more produced by small press, mainstream, p.o.d. and independent authors every year.

According to Barnes & Noble Public Relations Director, Marcella Smith, only less than three quarters of all books seeking mainstream book sales will make it onto bookstore shelves for various reasons namely, many bookstores are shifting to fulfilling a niche market as opposed to selling books from all genres, and media of course glorifies books with controversial themes making difficult for many authors to gain national attention unless they have a voice that resonates with authority, attracts readers attention and over all, very personal.

Furthermore, the downturn in America’s economy has shifted away from friendly consumer consumption and back to supply and demand. This means books have to not only appeal to a niche audience, but maintain one’s audience and attract new readers. Readers seem to flock to heavily publicized books which lead to visitation of an author’s website, book club invitations for signings and hopefully a nationwide tour which spells instant success.

However, for those authors who may have reaped the benefits of media attention and for those who are virtually only well known in their local circuit, designing effective ad copy becomes a strategy to promote more book sales.

Flyers are one of the most effective tools in promoting direct sales as well as bookstore sales. Flyers can be mailed with catalogs that reach a niche audience, e-mailed via your newsletter, distributed in event journals, networking gatherings, and even disbursed on the streets to the general public. There are even websites who will showcase your flyer. For example, has a pop up feature for event flyers. Visit their Every person a flyer successfully reaches makes a difference. So how does one create a winning flyer that generates sales? First, it is important to establish what kind of sale you are going for. Do you wish to 1. independently market your books on your site?2. Are you trying to attract book lovers into the bookstore to support your books? 3. Are you trying to promote more sales on online stores like Amazon and

If you answered yes to all of the above, you will need to get focused because it is impossible to ” kill 3 birds with one stone,” and besides… why would you want to kill the spirit of your readers who want to support you, but may feel overwhelmed by your promotional tactics.

Promotion should be fun, simple, inviting and also educational for your readers. Most of all flyers send a message that you are sincere, want the support of your readers and are willing to give back with perhaps a contest prize or some ingenious idea you may have thought of that rocks your boat and keeps you just as excited about promoting your book. Remember, promotion is only as exciting as you are about your product.

So here are 10 steps to producing effective ad copy to maximize sales.

1. Establish at the very top when your product will be available!

2. Provide a clear photo of your product and author photo.

3. Include order and contact information.

4. Give a brief details about your work.

5. Include a stellar review you received for your work.

6. Think of a slogan that is catchy and will always make your work memorable.

7. Briefly tell your audience why they should purchase your work.

8. Make sure your website is as visible as your product.

9. Offer some kind of incentive that has proven effective. Make sure it is exciting and fun.

10. Include professional graphic designing services. Remember 1st impressions are lasting impressions.

To track the effective of your ad copy, do include a tracking number on any tear off portions such as a detachable order slip. You’ll get an idea of which flyers were the most effective.

If you don’t get results, try again. Maybe you may need better graphic designing services, a more inviting photo and/or need to reach a wider base. Remember, some celebrities advertise their products in major magazines that reach millions and only produce less than 1/10th in sales and even less.

You have to let folks know you have been featured in quality media resources to keep that fire lit and peak people’s desire for your work. Media can’t do it all. Update your flyers every time you gain a media endorsement and don’t give up.









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