When running a promo in a newsletter – any newsletter, not just an Ebook Bargains UK promo – then what you’re doing is crowdpitching. Pitching your product to a captive audience who signed up for the experience.
You want members of that audience – in our case the subscribers – to invest in you and your business, in the first instance by handing over a fixed sum for a title or investing their time in a free download.
When you crowdpitch to subscribers of a newsletter you have two tools at your disposal: the cover and the blurb. And maybe three seconds.
Never mind how good the actual book is – if you can’t grab the reader’s attention in that fleeting glance over the newsletter before they delete their daily email then they are not going to click through to the retailer landing page and see all the wonderful reviews and find out what the book is actually about.
Obviously the cover is the eye-catcher. It grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to know more. If the cover doesn’t appeal the prospective reader isn’t likely to look at the blurb. But it’s the blurb that will make the reader click on that retailer button. Or not.
On our advertiser’s submission pages we suggest the newsletter blurb should be no longer than a tweet.
Now that’s partly because space is at a premium, of course.
But mainly because that’s all you need. One sentence. Short and sweet.
It’s known in the entertainment business as “the elevator pitch”.
The classic (if somewhat improbable) example is, you’ve got this great idea for a movie script and one day you find yourself in the same elevator with Steven Spielberg. You’ve got thirty seconds to engage his attention and sell the idea for your film before he steps through that door and you never see him again.
Only, with a promotional newsletter you haven’t got thirty seconds. And you’re not the only person in the elevator trying to get Spielberg’s attention. As the subscriber scrolls quickly down the titles in search of something that might appeal you’ve got maybe two or three seconds to strut your stuff. On a good day.
That’s two or three seconds for your cover and your blurb to do the job.
Chances are you spent serious time and money on the cover, or used your own highly-honed talents to get it just right. To make sure it does the job.
The blurb? Not so much.
“I can’t be bothered with all that metadata stuff. I’ve done the hard work, writing the book. Gimme a break.”
Which is why so many blurbs read like overlong synopses, or look like they’ve been added as an afterthought.
But the killer blurb is far from an afterthought. It’s the essence of your book. And it needn’t be long, In fact, it better not be.
A tweet – just 180 characters – is the perfect pitch to grab the reader’s attention and leave them wanting to know more.
“Boy meets girl. Girls turns out to be an alien. New species takes over the Earth.”
“Conjoined twins have secret affairs with one another’s Thai bride wives.”
“Mr. Darcy & Dr. Hyde. If Jane and Robert Louis had collaborated…”
The elevator pitch is the companion to your cover.
The attention grabber that gets the reader to look more closely.
If you can’t sum up your book’s USP in less than 180 characters then maybe you need to go back and read it again.
If you can, you’ve got a great tweet on your hands.
And the perfect pitch for your next newsletter promo.