3 Copywriting Tips for Writers
Promoting ourselves as authors is one of the hardest things for writers to do. There's that self-doubt that tells us we're not good enough, that our readers couldn't possible care about us and what we do. And then there's the fear that our readership will stay stagnate or start decaying like a dead sow.
I've talked about battling self-doubt on this blog and I've talked about other areas of resistance as well. All of those forms of resistance can hold us back and keep us from sharing what is important to us.
Despite your thoughts on the matter, readers love to hear from you, and with social media, that is now possible! We think you're celebrities and we look up to you. If you respond to us (Thank you, John Lescroart and James Bell Scott!), we feel special! There's a spark in us that makes us appreciate and admire you even more.
So, it's important for writers to understand that readers really do care about you and they would love to hear from you. Once you understand that, we can move on to how to write your promotional copy for your books.
The reason why that is so important is that it will give you confidence when writing your own promotional materials. The publishing world today isn't what it used to be. Publishers aren't promoting their authors as much as they used to, so most of that burden now lies on the author, you.
It's really difficult to toot your own horn when you feel self-doubt. It's hard to take your experiences and spin it into an engaging biography. Even though we spin words all the time in our novels or short stories, there's something about writing about ourselves that stumps us. What to say? Will readers really be interested in what I have to say?
Tell the self-doubt to go away and get to work! Here are your copywriting tips:
Use that passion you felt when you were writing your book
When you feel passionate about your product (i.e., your book), your confidence and passion show through your promotional copy. What excited you about your book? What intrigued you about your character or the plot line?
Figure out what readers want to know
The easiest way to figure out what your readers want to know is to ask them.
But it's hard to ask them if you don't have access to your readers. Do you do book signings or tours? If so, provide feedback cards and encourage your readers to submit them. Maybe you could do a free book drawing for their feedback. Along with that, ask them if it's okay that you email them on occasion or on a weekly or monthly basis.
Another tool to use to find out what your readers want is social media. Send out a tweet asking for feedback. Or create a survey through SurveyMonkey and encourage them to take the poll. Offer some sort of reward or a drawing.
When you know what type of information your readers want from you, you'll have an easier time writing your own promotional materials to promote your book.
Use words that intrigue, entice, or woo
Without lying to get more readers, use strong enticing words that make your readers' eyes widen with awe when they see them. Think of Ralphie in A Christmas Story, how his eyes widen, his mouth opens slightly and the corners start to curl up, and his head starts going up and down slowly when he imagines his teacher giving him at A+ for his themed writing assignment about the Red Ryder BB gun. You want your readers and prospects to get excited about your book when they hear about it. And when they hear about it again and again, they get even more excited.
A great cover will help with the visual effects. There's something about a great cover that just gets us excited. But the words need to continue to pull us in. Use action and vibrant words in your copy. Keep the copy concise and vivid.
Do you have any questions about copywriting tips? If so, leave them in the comments section and I will answer them in future blog posts.