Why Your Marketing Copy Should Agitate Your Readers

In my last post, I began a series on how to write effective body copy for your book promotion campaign.

I detailed why it’s essential to make your body copy look “at-a-glance” friendly, so more readers will be drawn to your book marketing materials.

This week I want to move beyond how your book marketing copy should look, and get into what it should say.

So let’s do it.

It’s always important to begin your book promotion copy by talking about your readers first, and by showing you have a clear understanding of their need, desire, curiosity, thirst, or challenge.

This is a good rule to follow when writing your book’s back cover copy, your Amazon description, promotional emails, website sales copy, etc.

When you demonstrate that you can relate to your reader’s challenge or thirst, you’ll be in a strong position to illustrate why your book is exactly what they’re looking for.

It’s also a good idea to go one step further and “agitate” this need or desire in the mind of your readers.

To find out how to do this … keep reading.

Talk About Your Readers First

After you create an attention-getting headline, your next step is to write the body copy of your book marketing piece.

This is the point at which you want to resist the temptation to begin by talking about yourself – or by busting into a description of what your book is about.

Instead, you want to begin your book marketing body copy by:

  • Talking about your readers first
  • Showing you have an understanding of their need, desire, curiosity, thirst, or challenge
  • Agitating and amplifying this need or desire

Now, when I say “agitate,” I don’t mean you should anger your readers or talk smack about them.

Instead, you should simply identify their need, desire, thirst, or challenge and then amplify it in your readers’ minds to some degree.

Now, I’m sure you’ve seen extreme examples of this technique in consumer advertising – most notably in marketing for weight loss and financial products.

Do you lose sleep at night wondering if you’re saving enough for retirement? Social security, Medicare, stock market ups and downs. How does it all fit together? The complexity of planning for your golden years can be intimidating. And the fear of outliving your money can cause extreme anxiety …

This is an example of agitation taken to the max, and I don’t recommend doing this with your book marketing copy, unless you think doing so is the right strategy for your audience.

However, I do recommend that you agitate your readers to some degree when you begin your book marketing copy.

Using this technique is a great way to talk about your readers first, and to demonstrate you have a clear understanding of their needs, desires, wants, challenges, etc.

Book Marketing Copy Examples

Here are two examples of how you can use my agitation strategy when beginning your book marketing copy.

Nonfiction book – Five Minutes for Fundraising, Martin Leifeld

Let’s be candid. Fundraising isn’t easy. It’s hard.

Especially when you want to ask prospective donors for large gifts. The uncertainty of how they will react is a challenge, which can make you nervous – if not outright uncomfortable.

The good news is this: Giving makes people feel fantastic inside.

In fact, most people want to support organizations, programs, and causes that are important to them.

Bridging the gap between your fear of asking and people’s natural desire to give requires that you master skills that make fundraising less intimidating … and much richer and rewarding.

Novel – The Butterflies, Kimberly Waldron

Within everyone’s mind is a curtain. And you never really know someone until you’ve been behind it. So, how well do you really know your friends … your family … or your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

In her new psychological thriller, The Butterflies, author Kimberley Waldron forces you to peel off the mask you present to the world … and cope with the reality of your own imperfections.

You’ll be challenged to confront the darker thoughts that knife their way through your soul. Thoughts not even your closest friends would suspect you have.

In both of these examples, I direct my copy to the reader and agitate their need or desire, but not to the extreme.

In the nonfiction example I wrote for Martin Leifeld, I touch on the tension fundraisers feel when it comes to asking for sizable donations.

In the copy for Kimberly Waldron’s book, I ask readers to examine the darker impulses they have in their own minds that attract them to psychological thrillers.

Once you’ve identified and agitated your reader’s need or desire – is it time to break into an explanation of how your book will meet their need or quench their thirst?

Not yet.

Your next step is to get your readers excited by painting a picture with your words that describes how their lives will look and feel if they’re able to satisfy their need, quench their thirst, or overcome their challenge.

I’ll show you exactly how to do this in my next post.

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



Will this post help you engage book buyers by agitating their needs and desires?

Please leave a comment and let me know!

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