By Susan Kendrick. Write To Your Market, Inc.. Greetings! We hope you are working on writing a book to build your business and other branding or re-branding projects that get the word out about what you have to offer. All is well on this end. We have ...
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  2. Google Instant Preview: How Does Your Website Look?
  3. Book Editing: 5 Writing Tips for Authors
  4. Book Cover Coaching: Why to Build a Book Cover Team
  5. Creating Ebook Covers - How to Choose and Use Testimonials
  6. More Recent Articles


By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Greetings! We hope you are working on writing a book to build your business and other branding or re-branding projects that get the word out about what you have to offer.

All is well on this end. We have simply moved to a new location.

Our Book Cover Coaching & Business Branding blog is now being posted on our newly designed website,

We've been around for a long time, but so had our website, so it was time for a new look and a better way to show some great examples of book covers, e-book covers, professional speaker kits, websites, and more that we've been developing for our clients. We wanted you to see examples of how you can build a brand, business, and more with the help of a book that showcases your expertise.

Please visit us at our new website and blog location.
Take a look around. Below is a list of what you will find there so you can click to whatever you may be working on or interested in right now.


Name Your Business
Personal Branding

Books / Covers
Book Titles and Subtitles 
Book Back Cover Text
E-Book Covers
Manuscript Development
Book Cover Design
Samples By Topic

Marketing Solutions
Website Content

Media Kits 
Professional Speaker Materials

Blog +

Read Our Blog
Critique & Consultation

About Us


"Cover That Book"


Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the new website and everything there. Email us at or call 715-634-4120.


Google Instant Preview: How Does Your Website Look?

Does Your Website Look Good in Google Instant Preview?

By Susan Kendrick

If you've ever been tempted to pack a lot onto your web pages, this is your wake-up call.
Size is everything now. I talk a lot about how important it is for your book cover and other branding elements to command attention and respect even on increasingly smaller online formats like smart phones. But, now the same thing applies to your websites and blogs as well.

Here's What's Happening
Google Instant Preview is a way to evaluate whether or not a web page has information you are interested in without you having to go to the particular site. You can also quickly compare the basic look and feel of each website to others that come up in your search. You simply preview "thumbnails" of these sites right on the Google search results page.

YouTube Tour of How Google Instant Preview Works

Click on the image below to watch:


See Your Website the Way Your Prospects Do

Search your company name in Google and see how your home page looks on Google Instant Preview.

- Is it appealing, professional, clean, free of clutter?
- Does a main headline and/or a single powerful graphic pop out at you?
- Is the page broken into chunks of copy that make it look easy to read?
- Does it make you want to know more, or look like much work to figure out?
- How does it compare with the preview pages of other websites?

Now, search a key word or phase you know will bring up a particular page on your website.

See how the place on the page that contains that search term stands out as a text call-out. Is this what you want your prospects to see? Does it help "sell" them on your website, expertise, quality of information you provide? 

I talk a lot about thumbnail versions of your book and eBook covers and how they have to work just as hard for you as the full-size versions--sometimes harder. Now with "thumbnail" browsing, your website has to compete in a smaller format as well.

We judge books by their covers. And, now your prospects are judging your website by its thumbnail. Make sure yours stands out as inviting, low on clutter, and high in content.

Website Graphic Tips: Choose fewer, larger, bolder images for your web pages.

Website Content Tips: Write website copy for how it looks in addition to what it says. Less-is-more has always been a cornerstone of great website copywriting. Now it is more important that ever. Get to the point and make your visitors want to know more.

If you have questions or want feedback on your website content and how you can condense it for more appeal, contact us at

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Book Editing: 5 Writing Tips for Authors

Book Editing: 5 Writing Tips for Authors

By Susan Kendrick

Barbara McNichol - Book Editor
Whether you are writing a brilliant message inside your book, or packaging your book to sell on the cover, the same basic writing principles apply. Be clear and vivid. Talk to your readers, not at them. Be conversational yet concise. And, above all--use good grammar to make it all work.

In my last post I showed how a recent client of ours worked with us and the rest of his team to create his book cover. Now meet another member of your book-publishing team, your book editor. For both long and short copy--inside your book and out—flow, organization, and grammar combine to make your message shine and give you maximum credibility as an expert in your field.

Check out Barbara McNichol's five guidelines below to instantly improve the way you write the inside of your book by thinking like an editor.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Authors: How Can You Think Like an Editor?
By Guest Blogger -- Barbara McNichol

As an author, you take your observations and experiences, draw insightful conclusions, and translate them into messages on paper (or computer screens). You don your writer’s hat to express your messages in the written word.

But don’t stop there. You then need to put on your editor’s glasses and focus on fine-tuning those words to make sure they communicate with your intended audience. That requires you to read your piece as if you have never seen it before and think like an editor.

A skilled editor examines every phrase and asks:

·       Is it necessary?
·       Is it clear?
·       Is it concise?

When you review your own writing, you likely won’t answer “yes” to all these questions. So take off your writer’s hat and look through your editor’s glasses. Then make changes based on these five common writing problems.

1. Use the active voice. (WHO does WHAT to WHOM.)

Passive: It was decided that everyone would take the class.

Active: The principal decided everyone would take the class.

2. Make subjects and verbs agree. (No mixing singular and plural.)

Incorrect: A group of writers were in town. ("Group" is singular while "were" is plural.)
Correct: A group of writers was in town. ("Group" is the subject here, not "writers.")

3. Use parallel construction. (Give your writing rhythm.)

Weak: We’ve learned to read, write, and we’re making sure information is shared.
Stronger: We’ve learned to read, write, and share information.

4. Make the subject obvious. (Don’t let your participles dangle!)

Yucky: Driving down the highway, the new stadium came into view. (Who was driving down the highway? The stadium?)

Better: We could see the progress on the new stadium as we drove by it on the highway.
5. Use specific, vivid verbs and nouns. (And don’t overuse adverbs and adjectives.)

Dull: I saw some really pretty yellow daffodils.
Interesting: I reveled in a riot of daffodils.

When you wear your editor’s glasses, make sure every word counts. What are your favorite writing/editing tips that will enhance someone’s writing? Please share them on this blog.

Barbara McNichol is passionately committed to helping authors achieve accuracy and artistry, clarity and creativity through the written word. She delivers expert editing that puts your book on the pedestal it deserves. Since founding Barbara McNichol Editorial in 1994, Barbara has worked with 200+ amazing authors. She says, “Enjoy the credibility authorship brings you with a well-edited book you can market with pride.”

To further support authors, Barbara has created a word choice guide called Word Trippers ( and produces Add Power to Your Pen, a valuable ezine for improving your writing. Contact:, email or visit her blog


Book Cover Coaching: Why to Build a Book Cover Team

Featured Client:
Dr. Brad Case

How to Use the Team
Approach to Create an
Award-Winning Book Cover

By Susan Kendrick

* Download our Free Book Cover Timeline--an easy, one-page checklist of
   what to do, when to do it, and how to work with your book cover team.

Dr. Brad Case stays in touch ... a lot.
That's because he's always announcing some new award he's received or project he's involved in as a result of his book Thugs, Drugs, and the War on Bugs. My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, worked with Dr. Case to create the marketing concepts and language for his book cover copy. We also work with a select handful of book cover designers and book interior designers, like the ones listed below, as well as book editors. See how a team approach to your book cover can get your book seen and sold, and give you expert status.

We started by asking Dr. Case a simple question.

Q. "Given the success of your book to-date, what stands out for you about the role or contribution of your cover?"

A. "In my experience, by the time a book is written, the author is too close to the project to be able to see how others will see their book and to know how to sell it. You really need some objective eyes to help you formulate a great selling cover, which is the basis of all your marketing efforts. Though you should be involved, don’t try to do it all on your own. This entire dust jacket was really a group project. I turned to Graham and Susan’s expertise because they really know how to sell books." 

Awards, Exposure, and Business Leads

Here's just a sample of what's been happening.
  • Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs won the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards contest for the Health/Medicine/Nutrition category. Over 3,000 books were entered in the overall contest. "I don’t know exactly how many books mine was up against," says Case, "but it apparently beat them all!"
  • Thugs was also a Finalist in ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year contest, and it was awarded the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award last year.
  • Dr. Case was also recently interviewed by Wisdom Magazine. Its May/June issue included a lengthy, four-page interview. They also posted the entire first chapter of Thugs on their website
  • This interview led to Case being invited by an East Coast filmmaker to be in a documentary on the healing power of foods. 

Book Covers From Mars ...

"I’ve received so many complements on my book cover," says Case. "The only thing that’s gotten more comments is my title. In fact, when I spoke to John Gray, author of the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and told him the title of my book, he literally laughed out loud, asked me to repeat it, then laughed again. I’m sure the title made an impression on him and eventually led to him endorsing the book. His endorsement led to others endorsing it." 

Who to Include on Your Book Cover Team:

Since any book should be marketed well before the actual release date, your cover is essential for that marketing to begin. Here are the three main functions you will need help with to produce a professional, "buy-me-now!" book cover. And, here is Dr. Case's take on how that team approach worked for him:

Book Cover Marketing Copy

"The back cover sales copy gets potential buyers’ attention with a hard-hitting headline and bullet points. The rest of the back cover copy expands on those benefits. The inside flap copy continues that conversation, with a more detailed synopsis, reasons to read the book, and what the reader will get out of it.

"I came up with the title. Graham came up with the much-needed subtitle. He did a great job capturing my dry humor in a subtle way. For the rest of the book cover copy, the credit goes to Graham. I basically gave him a bunch of my information and ideas. He got a feel for the overall tone and content of the book, then formulated all my disjointed ideas into a cohesive book cover that sells the book. Graham and I also played off of each other to build bullet points and the About the Author section.

"I use all the book cover language he developed as the branding and sales copy in my other marketing efforts for the book as well, such
as my book website and my main website, as well as my page on Amazon. Graham also came up with the domain name for my website:

"All of this came together to make a great cover, which led to my getting more endorsements and receiving awards—more selling points that have also found their way onto the cover." 
Book Cover Design

"George Foster was the cover designer. Not only is he a great designer, he’s a great guy with a great sense of humor. The front cover is a bit provocative, but so is the title and the rest of the book, so they all fit together. If my title and subject had been less in-your-face, the cover would have had to reflect that tone, but with a title like Thugs, Drugs and the War on Bugs, we needed a cover like this. It also makes a great poster that really draws the eye in. It catches your attention and raises curiosity in potential readers."

Book Interior Design

I also had my book internal designer, Shannon Bodie, create a great logo for me. My publishing company is called “New Renaissance Books.” Shannon created a professional looking logo that resembles a book morphing into an aloe plant or a lotus, which, depending on what you see, fit the themes of either natural healing or awakening, both of which I resonate with. It perfectly reflects the blending of reading a New Renaissance book and the Natural Healthcare Revolution—all in one logo. 

For an easy, one-page checklist of what to do, when to do it, and how to work with a book cover team, download our free Book Cover Timeline.

Get more "Book Cover Coaching ..."

Subscribe to this blog and get more tips about what goes into developing a great book cover. For our help developing your book cover, book website, personal or business brand, and more, email us about an initial consultation at or give us a call at 1-888-634-4120.

2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Creating Ebook Covers - How to Choose and Use Testimonials

Profile #3
What's Great About this Ebook Cover?

By Susan Kendrick

My partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, and I are judges for the Ebook Cover Award category in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards program. To give these authors and experts more visibility for their ebooks, and to use these covers to share the strategies we teach and use in our own work creating book covers, we're featuring many cover entries right here on our Book Cover Coaching blog.

State of Mind
Sven Michael Davison

Visit Sven Michael Davison's website. The Kindle edition 
and print version are also available on Amazon.

There are two primary components of the State of Mind ebook we want to emphasize. One is obviously Sven's powerful front cover. The second is his use of back cover testimonials.

Ebook Title

We love Sven's title, in part because. It is a great use of a book title strategy we use and recommend often. Sven does a great job with it: 

Use a Twist on a Familiar Phrase*
This strategy works so well because it combines something already familiar to people--a well-known phrase--with a fresh twist that makes it unique, memorable, and best of all, something that people now associate with you and your ebook.
* Excerpted from our "10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" - see below.

In this case, the familiar phrase is "state of mind," which in this novel can refer both the psychological state of an individual and what happens when you risk coming under control of the state or the powers that be. Both meanings work for this techno-thriller. This book title strategy adds a level of complexity that immediately sets the pace for the novel itself.

Ebook Cover Design

Sven nails it with his front cover design. This one image hits you in the gut ... or somewhere. It is arresting and even slightly off-putting. With a cover like this you may risk driving a few people away, but you will surely draw in your target audience. In Sven's case he makes a major shout-out to people looking for the best in bold techno-thriller fiction. And, that takes us to an important point about the back cover. 

Ebook "Back Cover" Sales Copy

gain, even if your ebook does not have a physical back cover, you still develop that marketing message for use on your website and anywhere else you market and sell your ebook.

Testimonials are an important part of that message and your credibility. 

Having the right people endorse your ebook adds valuable credibility to it. Aim high: What a testimonial says is less important that who says it. Potential buyers look at the endorser's name, title, company, affiliation, etc. 
* Excerpted from our "10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" - see below.

Think a few steps ahead

What do you want your book or ebook to do for you? Whose attention do you want to get and who do you want to influence, besides your potential reader? Your testimonials influence potential readers, yes, but they also influence potential partners who will also judge you by who else has already aligned themselves with you and your work. This is true in any field.

In Sven's case, his high-tech thriller seems to have all the makings of a movie. Sven already has extensive experience in the movie industry and consults for entertainment technology companies. You can see that the sources for two of his quotes are well-known in the movie and digital movie business. His trailer, or "P-Chip infomercial," is also much more than a typical book or ebook trailer. It crosses over into more of a movie short. 

By getting his particular endorsers involved with his book, he continues to gain credibility with people who look to these experts for their take on this kind of story or content--in books, movies, digital movies on the web, and other media.
Think very strategically about what testimonials you want for your book and from whom. Too often we see authors and experts start this process too late to get the endorsements they want, or they simply are unaware of how much a well-chosen endorsement can do for them and their books.
  * * *

Get Your Free Copy
"10 Steps to Ebook Covers That Sell" includes three sets of 10-step checklists creating book title and subtitles, back cover sales copy, and book cover design. It also serves as the judging criteria for the Ebook Cover Award. Request a complimentary copy by emailing us at

* * *

Subscribe to this blog and learn more about what goes into developing a great book cover. See examples, including those we develop for our clients, and get tips you can use throughout all your book marketing. For help developing your book cover, book website, personal or business brand, and more, contact us at

© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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