How to Add Extra Grab to Your Book Marketing Headlines

In last week’s post, I showed you how quick and easy it is to write simple headlines that engage readers and motivate them to want to learn more about your book.

As I said last week (and it’s worth repeating), headlines are the most important real estate in your book promotion campaign – so never waste the space!

In this post I build on last week’s tip and show you a subtle technique you can use to add extra grab to your book marketing headlines.

You can do this by creating a tight connection between your book promotion headline and your first line of body copy.

I call this my “setup and payoff” technique.

Your headline is the setup and the first line of body copy that follows is the payoff to your headline. Master this skill and you’ll grab and engage the attention of more book buyers.

And the more buyers you engage – the more books you sell.

So let’s get into it.

Don’t Write a Sharp Headline … and Then Leave Readers Hanging

To set this tip up and give it context, let me begin by telling you what NOT to do.

Don’t write a sharp engaging headline, and then follow it with body copy that has nothing to do with the headline.

Last week I showed you how to write simple headlines that engage book buyers and motivate them to dive into your body to learn more about your book.

But if your body copy is completely disconnected from your headline, it can be a big letdown for your readers.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this sensation when reading question headlines. At some point you’ve probably read a question headline along the lines of … “Would you like to know a quick way to boost your energy?”

Your mind says, “Yes!” and your eyes immediately dart down to the body copy beneath the question. And then the first thing you read is something like … “Fatigue and low energy is a problem for many adults. Especially in the mid afternoon after you’ve just eaten a big lunch.”

When this happens you feel like you’ve been left hanging because the question posed in the headline isn’t answered in the first couple lines of copy.

So, if you don’t like being left hanging in this manner, don’t do it to your audience when you write your book marketing copy.

Instead, do this …

Tie Your Headline to Your First Line of Body Copy

Your book marketing copy will always have a more sharp and professional polish when you create a direct connection between your headline and your first line of body copy.

Again, I call this my “setup and payoff” technique. Your headline is the setup, and the first line of body copy that follows is your payoff to the headline.

This technique is an easy way to maintain the attention of readers who were grabbed by your headline. When you use it you’ll keep more potential book buyers engaged with your website sales page, Amazon description, back cover copy, eblasts, and other book marketing materials you create.


Here a few of the proven headline format examples I shared with you in my last post. This week, I’m going to add a line or two of body copy beneath each headline example.

What you’ll see is an immediate connection between the headline (setup) and the first line of body copy (payoff) beneath.

Problem-solution headline (Healthcare book)

Reverse Your Chronic Pain Without Drugs

You’ll feel energized and rejuvenated when you can finally ditch your pain medications for good! Here’s how you do it …

Reasons why headline (Lifestyle investor book)

7 Reasons Why Cash Flow Investing Can Set You Free

Reason #4 is something you can implement today. So you may want to jump to this part of the book first!

Great Escape headline (Adventure book)

I Got Arrested in the Most Dangerous Places on Earth!

Forget what you’ve heard about the depravity that pervades U.S. prisons. I’ve been in shackles and chains in insect-invested cells in North Korea and Iran.

Provocative question headline (Psychological thriller)

Could You Find Yourself Rooting for a Serial Killer?

If he were killing people you despised … I bet you could. What does this say about the thoughts you keep hidden in the darkest recesses of your mind?

In each of these examples there is a tight connection between the headline and the first line of body copy that follows.

This is an easy way to further engage potential book buyers in that split second when their eyes dart from your headline down to your body copy.

Setups and payoffs. Master this simple but effective headline writing technique, and you’ll keep a lot more eyeballs on your book marketing copy.

And that leads to more book sales!

In my next post, I’ll teach you another writing strategy that snags potential readers as they skim and scan your book marketing headlines.

Until then, take a lot of action and make things happen!



Will this post help you master setups and payoffs when creating headlines for your book marketing copy?

Please leave a comment and let me know!

If you got a knowledge boost from this post I encourage you to share it with your crowd!