How to Increase Book Sales and Make Your Book Irresistible by Adding Details to Your Titles

Nonfiction book titles succeed to the extent their titles promise desired change to a specific target market. “Promise” and “target” titles increase book sales by finding new readers, online and in bookstores. You can further the ability of your book’s title to increase book sales and find new readers by adding details to your titles. As the examples included below show, by adding details, such as numbers, to your book title, you can:

  • Differentiate. Details can help you position your book, setting it (and you) apart from the competition.
  • Enhance credibility. Title details can help increase book sales by enhancing your book’s image and professionalism.
  • Add urgency. Numbers in titles can increase book sales by simplifying complex topics and promising quick results.
  • Perceived value. Numbers can “cement the sale” by enhancing the perceived value of your book.

How title details can differentiate a book from its competition

Consider the example of Rachel Ray’s career-building 30-Minute Meals. This self-published book not only launched a continuing series of highly successful books, but it also launched one of the most successful careers on television’s Food Network. (Which I never watch, of course.)

Born out of desperation, at a time when Domino’s Pizza was guaranteeing deliveries of pizza in 30 minutes, or less, Rachel Ray’s 30-Minute Meals was originally written to help her employer–an upstate New York grocery store–compete against Domino’s. The first printing immediately sold out. It sold out because of the specificity of the “30-minute” promise.

There are lots of cook books on the market, and there would have been little reason for prospective buyers to be interested in a book with a title like “Rachel Ray’s Favorite Recipes.” But, the “30-minutes” makes a specific promise to prospective readers and sets it apart from the competition. When she was unknown outside of upstate New York, which of the following books would have sold more:

  • Favorite Recipes
  • 30-Minute Recipes

In a similar way, Patrick Riley’s The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page uses a specific to set the book apart from the hundreds of other proposal writing books on the market. Without the “one-page” promise, it would be just another book, instead of standing apart from the competition.

Using details to add credibility to your book’s title

You can also use specifics to describe the number of steps or ideas your book is based on. The number in the title implies that there is a process, or guidance system, built into your book, rather than a hodgepodge of ideas.

Favorite examples of this approach include Stephen Covey’s The 7-Habits of Highly Effective Individuals and George B. Brant’s, et al, The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Program. The “7-Habits” approach simplifies a complex topic by providing a manageable structure to approach it. The “100-Day” approach simplifies a complex program by providing a day-to-day guide to specific tasks.

A final title that succeeds because of credibility based on specificity is Leroy Cook’s 100 Things To Do with Your Private Pilot’s License. Which of the two titles, below, has the greater appeal?

  • Things To Do with Your Private Pilot’s License
  • 100 Things To Do with Your Private Pilot’s License

Likewise, the “5” in the title of Harley Pasternak and Myatt Murphy’s 5 Factor Diet s projects a feeling that there’s a structure, or process, behind the book’s advice.

Using specifics to add urgency

People, today, are in a hurry. The want immediate gratification. They don’t want to wait!

That’s why books with titles like Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenschlager’s Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days are so successful. They promise immediate results. Again, it’s the specific number that adds credibility to the urgency. Which of the following appeals to you?

  • Guerrilla Marketing in a Hurry
  • Guerrilla Marketing in 30-Days

Bill Effros’ How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days is another example of using specifics to stress immediate gratification.

Max Anders takes “specificity for credibility” even further, with the “double specificity” of his 30-Days to Understanding the Christian Life in 15 Minutes a Day.

But, perhaps the best example is 21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard DeTox Program. Here you have the promise of a specific benefit plus the promise of a specific timeframe.

Using specifics to add value

Finally, today’s readers want value. They want to know they’re getting their money’s worth. Specifics can enhance the promise of value just by emphasizing the number of options your book offers.

Consider John Kremer’s classic 1001 Ways to Market Your Book. You can’t help but think, “with 1001 ideas in the book, there’s got to be something there that will work for me!”

Conclusion

Numbers added to book titles can provide your book with a compelling sales advantage over competing books. Numbers and details provide specific proof of the title’s promise. Numbers in book titles can set a book apart from the competition, they can organize and simplify complex topics, they can add urgency to your title’s promise, and they can reinforce your book’s value.

Spend some time analyzing the titles of existing books in your field. How effectively do they use specificity to add impact to their title’s selling power? How often are numbers used to reinforce the title’s promise? How are the numbers used?

More important, take a fresh look at your book’s proposed title. How effectively does your book’s title use details and specifics for differentiation, credibility, urgency, or value?

How Branding Works in Your Book

The use of branding in your book will set you and your book apart from all the other books in your niche. That helps tremendously in selling your book and getting yourself noticed. Besides your book’s title, you can also use your brand in the other parts of your book like chapter titles, headings within the chapters, and case studies just to name a few. Not only your branding will set you apart from the pack, but it will also show that you are an expert in your niche.

An example of branding in a book would be to come up with a title like “Yoga for a Better Life”, then you can add chapters like “Morning Yoga Plan” or maybe “Yoga and a Peaceful Soul” and so on. Now, I’m no expert on Yoga. Actually until recently I always thought Yoga was the name of a talking bear who stole picnic baskets with his little friend Boo Boo. But I am sure you get what I am trying to say about branding.

Think about what your niche is and what you are trying to convey with your book, then take that thought as a keyword and use it in a creative way to be your branding in your title, chapters and so on. Branding will not only get you and your book noticed in that niche but if done effectively will create the feeling in people that you are the expert or the “go to” person for that niche.

The same with all famous authors, your book brands you, and by association your business and the branded parts will make you look like the expert in that niche or on that topic. The results of this branding will be increased book sales, personal popularity and multiple contacts.

As it has been said before writing your book and then publishing it is half the battle, a lot goes into selling it and making a name for yourself. None of this should be taken lightly if you want to be successful. With a little research and hard work you can come up with a great way to brand your book and yourself as an author.

Take a good hard look at what you want to accomplish with your book and the rest will take care of itself. The internet gives us an unlimited supply of research to accomplish any endeavor. So do the research properly to promote your book.

9 Myths that Block You From Completing Your Book Fast, p2

Many speakers, consultants, and small business owners alike
feel confident with communicating their message orally. They can
spout their message in an elevator speech with the accuracy of a
scientist. But when it comes to putting it on paper, some grown
men & women end up crying like a baby.

Through speaking and writing, I have discovered 9 myths that
often block others from writing their best book now. I promise.
It’s not hard once you know exactly what to do. Successful
writers set up a system of writing. Destroy these myths and
setup your system of writing with nine easy solutions.

Myth #5 I am stuck. I have to stop writing until I feel it again.

Unseasoned writers may play the martyr and push through just to
put something on paper or give up and try again another day. We
would never get it done like that. When you get stuck simply
close that chapter and pull out your chapter outline and choose
another chapter. If you have been following this program, you
have listed main points for each chapter. Select a topic from
that chapter and begin there.

Solution: To maintain your momentum keep your writing
commitments. Go around writer’s block by working on another
chapter. For example, while writing this book in one of my
writing sessions, I wanted to finish my fourth chapter on titles
but I ran into a writer’s block. Instead of breaking my
momentum, I came down to chapter eight about easy writing and
began there. I was able to complete my time commitment of one
hour and keep my momentum.

Myth #6 I just write whatever comes to my head and there’s no
need to re-write.

My editor will handle all that. It’s o.k. to free write when
you are working on your first draft. The idea is go get the
thoughts out of your head onto paper. For no one can express it
quite like you. Oh sure, there are some better or worse writers
but not exactly like you.

I know this may not feel good to some but its smacks of plain
ole laziness if you don’t work on making your copy the best it
can be. Don’t leave all the dirty work for your editor unless
you really can’t do any better.

Solution: Successful authors rewrite and organize their ideas
for the most impact. Avoid re-writing during your first draft.
Concentrate on finishing each chapter then you’re your tracking
time to self-edit: Check your ideas for flow, grammar, spelling,
and chapter endings. Work on your chapter titles and lead in
introductions.

Myth #7 I have to do it all myself.

Do your research and reading time apart from your writing
sessions. You may be able to ask your spouse, a teen-aged son or
daughter, a friend to help with your research. Know when to let
go of your chapters and book. Don’t self-edit and pick your book
apart word by word. Learn to use your skills at the highest
level possible. Some of the mechanical tasks of proofreading ask
a family member, part-time employee or again a friend to help.

Solution: After using your skills at the highest level, learn
to delegate faster and faster. Do the best job you can with your
manuscript, and then don’t be afraid to pass it to a
professional.

Myth #8 I don’t know anything about computers so pecking my
book out would probably take forever.

Don’t run from technology. At least take the time to learn
about the shortcuts in your current software. Welcome to the new
millennium! Embrace technology make your software work
efficiently for you.

Solution: Value your time. Learn how to do it easier and faster.

Myth #9 Computer crashes, loss of information would never
happen to me.

If you have been computing long, you know computer crashes or
loss of data can happen to anyone. Don’t take the chance of
losing your hard work. Print out and back up daily.

Solution: Develop the habit now to save your work and print
daily. Save your manuscript to an alternate space. Use a floppy
diskette or burn a cd/dvd. Safeguard your time investment backup
today and every day.

Writing a book is a journey. Most journeys go so much smoother
with a map or in our case a writing plan. Taking the simple
steps above will get you started fast and keep you going to
completion. Start today then complete and release your
significant message in a book to the world.