5 secrets to writing bestseller book marketing copy

Today’s guest blogger is Casey Demchak, an award-winning copywriter and a recognized expert at writing persuasive marketing materials for dozens of authors who have achieved Amazon bestseller and international bestseller status. He is also a copywriter for Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula team. You can download Casey’s e-book, 7 Must-Know Copywriting Secrets that Sell More Books, at his website.  

5 secrets to writing bestseller book marketing copy

By Casey Demchak

Congratulations! You’ve written a book and now you’re ready to market it, grow your fanbase, and make an impact in the world. To do this you need a solid promotional campaign that’s backed by engaging book marketing copy.

Book marketing copy is the “sales” text you write for your back cover, Amazon description, social media posts, email promotions, and other marketing materials for your book.

However, many authors have a fear of writing marketing copy for two reasons. One, they simply don’t know how. And two, they may be uncomfortable writing marketing copy because they think it means they have to be slick, pushy, and cheesy.

If you have such fears or doubts about writing marketing copy for your book, I’m about to help you eliminate them.

book marketing copy

There are a bunch of copywriting secrets I can share with you that will help you write engaging book promotion content. However, today I’m going to zero in on five inside secrets that will definitely get you off to a strong start.

1. Understand why book marketing copy is so important.

The first secret to developing strong book marketing copy is understanding the two reasons why it’s so critical.

The first secret to developing strong book marketing copy is understanding the two reasons why it’s so critical.Click to tweet

First, compelling marketing copy gives your book, and you, a much more polished and professional image. If you’ve written a first-rate book, it absolutely must be supported by expert marketing copy.

Second, press releases and social media posts are a great way to warm up your audience and create a buzz for your book.

However, at some point you need to write persuasive book marketing copy that motivates readers to buy your book NOW … instead of later, or never.

It’s not enough to just create a buzz about your book that gets people talking. You need to compel people to actually buy it … and that’s why you need engaging book marketing copy.

2. Establish an authentic voice.

To stand out in a crowded market, your book marketing copy needs to have a distinct voice. For example, if you’ve written a self-development book that has a nurturing tone, write your marketing copy in a nurturing tone.

If you’ve written a business book that has an authoritative edge to it, give your marketing copy an authoritative edge. If your book has a clever and crafty attitude to it, write your marketing copy with a clever and crafty attitude.

If you write your marketing copy through a definite and distinctive voice, it’s going to be much easier to make it pop off the page and attract readers.

3. Write like you are talking to a friend in a coffee shop.

Great book marketing copy does NOT have to be written in a style that is catchy, sexy, and clever. In fact, I strongly urge you to write marketing materials that mirror the same tone as a casual chat you’d have with a friend in a coffee shop.

Great book marketing copy does NOT have to be written in a style that is catchy, sexy, and clever.Click to tweet

The days of slick, cheesy Madison Avenue copywriting are dead, especially when it comes to marketing books. If you write marketing copy that is filled with hype, fluff, and unrealistic promises … you’ll turn away a lot of people. And I know this isn’t the kind of marketing copy you want to write anyway.

So here’s the good news:

Marketing copy written in a conversational style can be highly effective if you lead readers through a basic motivating sequence that 1) shows you have a precise understanding of what they want, desire, or need; and 2) communicates the clear-cut benefits they’ll derive from reading your book.

It really is possible to do this by writing sales copy in a style that has the feel of a conversation you’d have with a potential book buyer. My next two secrets will give you insights into how easy it can be to do this.

4. Use simple headlines in your book marketing copy.

The most valuable real estate in the world of book marketing copy is your headlines. But as I just mentioned, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to dream up Madison-Avenue-style headlines that are zippy, catchy, and sexy. This can be a big waste of your time and energy.

Here’s why.

The goal of every headline you write is really simple:

  1. Grab the attention of your audience, and …
  2. Motivate them to read your body copy to learn more about your book.

To motivate your audience to want to know more about your book, you don’t have to be crafty or clever with your headlines. In fact, a clear crisp headline that states or implies a benefit often works the best.

Here are a few simple but effective headline types I’ve drawn from over the years when writing marketing copy for authors. As you’ll see, none of them are zippy, sexy, or catchy.


Reverse Your Chronic Pain Without Drugs

How to …

How to Build BIG Wealth After Age 50

Numbered list

9 Things Every High School Kid Should Know About Money

Success story

How I Went from Broke to Bragging in 18 Months 

Startling fact or news

The REAL Causes of Heart Disease Will Scare You 

There are many more headline types you can draw from. But this brief list shows you clearly that attention-getting headlines can be very straightforward and conversational.

5. Focus on reader benefits.

Authors often make the mistake of building their marketing copy around a summary of what their book is about. This is a mistake because what readers really want to know is what they’ll gain from reading your book.

This is why your copy must focus on reader benefits and takeaways.

Remember, when you focus your marketing copy on reader benefits and takeaways, it will be obvious to readers what your book is about.

Here is an example of this concept using marketing copy I wrote for author Martin Leifeld’s business book, Five Minutes for Fundraising.

Also, take note of the simple conversational tone in which this copy is written.


In Five Minutes for Fundraising, Martin Leifeld reveals insights you can use that have helped him raise nearly $500 million dollars for the non-profit organizations he’s served. 

Through his experience and the wisdom shared by 26 of today’s most successful fundraisers, you’ll gain the skills you need to … 

  • Ask for major gifts with ease and confidence
  • Understand how to cultivate key donor relationships
  • Assess and optimize your organization’s fundraising abilities
  • Establish practices that align with today’s most persuasive fundraisers 

Five Minutes for Fundraising removes the intimidation that comes with trying to secure large gifts from influential donors, so you can make an impact and leave a memorable, lasting legacy.

In this example I provide a strong sense of what this book is about by describing in detail it’s primary benefits and takeaways for readers. Again, when your marketing copy focuses on reader benefits, it will be obvious what your book is about.

Lastly, notice how the marketing copy in this example is written in what I call an “at-a-glance-friendly” style. You can make your book marketing copy more friendly on the eye for readers by:

  • Employing a liberal use of headlines and subheads
  • Writing brief paragraphs that are only a sentence or two
  • Breaking up your copy with short, punchy benefit-driven bullet points

Do this and your marketing copy will look like it’s quick and easy to read, which will get the attention of more readers. And when more readers check out your book marketing materials … you sell more books!

Give it a try

I hope you find these five secrets to writing great book marketing copy helpful. Remember, if you have the writing skills to craft a book, you definitely have the ability to write engaging book marketing copy.

You can do this. It’s easier than you think!

Do you write your own marketing copy? What do you struggle with the most? Please tell us in a comment. 

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  1. Thanks for a truly useful article! I do write my own copy and my main challenge is ensuring my opinion of it’s worth is objective. I do all the ‘right things’ as highlighted in this article, yet I get no results than I can see, which raises the question: is my copy as good as I think it is, or is there something else entirely that is holding things up?
    I need an objective and critical eye on my copy, but this can be expensive, so I don’t look for it. That’s where I’m at!

    1. Alan, I think it can sometimes be hard to establish a cause and effect with marketing elements. For example, your marketing copy might be stellar, but if, for example, your covers aren’t designed by a professional who knows what’s appropriate for your genre, you’re going to have trouble converting lookers to buyers. Similarly, if your Amazon page doesn’t have the right keywords and categories, or only a couple of reader reviews, your copy might not be enough to carry the day. There are so many factors to take into account!


      1. Thanks Sandra, you have the right of it! There is also the fact that books on Amazon are easily swallowed up by the sheer volume of competition. I do all the ‘right things’ like use Dave Chesson’s tools to get the right keywords, categories, use the AIDA principle to write my descriptions, and I do design my own covers, which I know is usually a red flag. Having said that, I also illustrate my own books, all graphic novels, so it wouldn’t make sense to hire someone else to do my covers in this particular case. Thanks as always for your quality content!

  2. This is great for non-fiction. How does it work for fiction? Because fiction is not promising to fix a problem or give you a new hack. It will make you think about issues. I guess that’s a key — my psychological thriller about a child therapist will give you new insights into ????? Except I don’t think that’s why people read fiction. They want a good story. Help.

  3. Hi Debra – Yes, these tips can work for fiction. Keep in mind, in addition to your story, people read fiction to quench a thirst or satisfy a curiosity, have their emotions aroused, and to be taken away somewhere. In addition to the plot, this is what people get from reading a good story. So think of the emotions your book will fuel within your readers. In your case, people who read psychological thrillers tend to read a lot of them. Not just for the story, but because they want to explore the inner workings of the mind, they want to study human behavior, they’re interested in the dark recesses of the mind and why people think the way they do. So when you’re thinking of what people will get out of your book, think about the emotions you’re going to arouse in them, and the curiosity you’re going to satisfy for them. These elements can be a big part of your marketing copy – in addition to your plot. I hope this helps – and thanks for engaging!

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