My Writing Friend,
Caring passionately about your writing, your subject, your whole book, that's what its all about.
That comes from writing about something you've experienced, something that has had a powerful effect on you, something that will make for a powerful book!
Ever noticed a song written about something powerful in a singers life is so captivating? And has such a emotional pull on you? Yes, it touches you, you can feel the emotions, you are on the same wavelength and you are moved!
I've spent many years writing marketing copy for numerous companies as well as my own. Plus I've created a number of companies to market a bunch of different products.
Some of the most successful ones are those that were begun with fire-in-the-belly!
Whether it was writing an ad, sales letter, brochure, catalog copy, creating a new startup company or creating a website, I needed to be motivated first.
Although sometimes, after kicking it around in my head for a few days, it would all be right there in my head, ready to burst forth as soon as I touched the keyboard. I would be motivated, excited, ready-to-go! I would know in advance that this project was going to be a success.
Oops, forgive me for talking about myself so much, this is really about you and your success...
One of my secrets of successful copywriting was to not talk about myself or even the the product I was selling, but to talk about the reader and how it would change their life.
Now you may be saying “Gil, you dummy, how do you sell a product without talking about it?” Yes, it's not that easy. Here, let me give you an example:
A number of years ago, I used to write tons of copy for the Lifestyle Fascination Catalog. I loved them, they sold all these cutting-edge products that sold well and were fun to write about. They must have loved me too, because they never told me how to write about something just kept sending me more packets of info on new products and lots of checks.
Then one day (is this starting to sound like a novel?), I received this big packet of photos and spec sheets for all these new products for their next catalog. One caught my immediate attention... “How strange”, I thought as I glanced at all these glossy shots of a (are you in suspense yet?) Queen Anne Style End Table Clock!
Here, awaiting my copywriting skills was a beautiful piece of Queen Anne furniture with a giant precision clock face peering up through the glass top.
My first reaction was... “This is dumb, nobody's going to buy this!”
But then, I thought, “what if everyone else felt this way too?” So my job was to try counter any negative reactions that a potential buyer might have, and I did this by talking about the reader more than about the table.
Sure, I had to throw in a description of the table, but I tried to involve the reader in it. In successful copywriting, instead of spending a lot of time describing the features, you take each feature and turn it into a benefit. Explaining what it will do for them.
So with this Clock Table, I started getting the reader to imagine how this table would look in their living room and then I played on a number of their emotional triggers. Such as how their friends and neighbors would be envious and how they would admire the buyers good taste (I can fudge a little when I have too).
Even if that potential buyer thought this product was a little odd, he wouldn't let that stop him from buying if he was convinced that his friends and neighbors would admire his good taste.
Now here's the rest of the story:
That Clock Table was a great success, either because of, or in spite of my copywriting. But they soon pulled the product from there catalog. Seems that it just wasn't packaged properly by the manufacturer and a number of them were coming back because they were broken in shipping. Oh, well, that's life.
Now to focus on you and that best-selling novel that's stuck in your head...
How can you take these copywriting I just mentioned and use them in writing your book? It may not be that easy, but just keep in mind how we do it in copywriting.
Keep trying involve the reader. Say you are describing a scene, write something like “How would you personally handle this?” or “Dear reader, how would you do this differently?”
And as in copywriting, let us try to turn the boring descriptions into something that's more meaningful to readers, such as: “That coach was worn and dreary, just like that worn coach you may have owned and tossed out years after it lost it's usefulness.”
Or “The walls were a bright red – how often have you seen a wall painted in a hideous color like this one and said to yourself 'What's wrong with them, are they colorblind?' “
Or “As they followed that narrow path threw the musty forest, they were struck by the pungent aroma – just like may have experienced walking through the woods on a damp, misty morning.”
If you've already written a book and are having trouble getting published, contemplate self-publishing with LuLu.com
Your Writing Friend,
P.P.S. Also checkout my four copywriting eBooks listed in the right column of this page. Even if you have no interest in copywriting, you just may find some powerful ideas in there to help with your book writing. Or maybe you might want to try your hand at working as freelance copywriter until your book hits No. 1 on the best seller list! Also my Copywriting Headlines and Copywriting Words eBooks may prove to be a great boost to the quality of your book writing. Sure, I'm trying boost sales of my copywriting books, but my main concern is to be as helpful as possible to your writing efforts!
How to write a book - Non-fiction book and novel writing motivation tips
This page was last updated: January 20, 2013
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