4 Tips To Writing Better Calls-To-Action: A Guide For Self-Publishers

By Joseph C Kunz, Jr 

April 2015


Any sell sheet without an effective call-to-action (CTAs) is missing a huge opportunity. These simple yet TARGETEDphrases or links are directly responsible for encouraging your audience to take the next step toward becoming a buyer of your book. Without a call-to-action, your sheet will amount to little more than an unprofitable writing exercise. Here are some tips that I have developed from my self-publishing experiences that will help improve the response rate to your sell sheet:

Tip #1: Place it strategically

Put your call-to-action in the appropriate place on your sheet. On a book's sell sheet, the CTA will typically be included with the publisher's information, and with the physical details of the book. It might be included in a list of items, or in a separate text box, or simply lined-up on the bottom of the page.

Tip #2: Keep it short, simple, and actionable

It doesn't need to be long or complicated. Keep it as simple as possible. Your readers don't have time to be wasting trying to figure our what to do to get more information about your book. On the printed version of your sheet, make sure that the links are short and easy to follow, not long and complicated. On the pdf version of your sheet, make sure that all of the links are live and clickable.

Tip #3: Don't just send them to your webpage

On my sell sheets, I simply tell them that my books are available from "B&T" and "Ingram". Every book buyer at every library, UNIVERSITY book store and library, and every bookstore retailer knows exactly what this means, and within minutes can order my books. I also list "Amazon" so that the general public can get more information and buy my books. I also offer an email address for more information, as well as my publisher's website address. All very simple and effective.

Tip #4: Don't oversell

Do not appear too aggressive about asking for the sale. You do not want to scare them away. They already know you want them to buy your book. Instead, your sell sheet should be trying to convince the book buyer that you have a great product that they can benefit from. You can accomplish this by making your sell sheet professional looking and polished, having a great book description, including specific details about your book, having a connection to major book distributors, and an easy and simple way to get more information and buy your book.


An effective call to action is the linchpin of a successful sell sheet. If it is done right it can generate greater book sales. Just remember to keep it short, simple, and actionable.

2015 BOOKS

Top Book Stores Around the U.S.

Asian Book Store
 (617) 822-9996
1392 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02122

Africa World Press Inc. & The Red Sea Press Inc.
41 West Ingham Avenue Suite B
Trenton, New Jersey08607
(609) 695-3200

Kaboom Books
3116 Houston Avenue
Houston Tx. 77009
Phone: 713.869.7600

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka #205
Los Angeles, CA

The Americanist (ABAA)
113 Creeks Edge
Chapel Hill , NC 27516

Mahogany Books
37 Western Hill Mall
Fairfield, AL 35064

Latin American Book Store
204 N Geneva St
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-2418

Frank's Hebrew Bookstore
14425 Cedar Road (Near Green)
South Euclid, Ohio 44121
Phone: 216-291-9847
E-Mail: franks@apk.net

"Dear Father" Book and Movement Encourages People to Write Letters to Their Dads


 J. Ivy Book, Dear Father


April 2015

A Grammy Award-winning performance poet and author, J. Ivy is best known for his hip-hop verses, motivational speaking and contributions in the music industry. His support throughout the community is renown, with the cultivation of his Write to Live Academy and his new book Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain, published earlier this year.

Now, J. Ivy is driven to embark upon his biggest venture yet: the Dear Father Movement, which encourages people to create letters of their own to their fathers.

"By tapping into our creative expression, I believe we can find peace and forgiveness," said J. Ivy. "Going on this journey helped me to face my issues, and the outcome has been a constant blessing."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of every three — live in a home without the physical presence of a father. For J. Ivy, poetry and writing are more than artistic expression; they are forms of emotional healing and personal empowerment. In his book, he outlines his feelings of abandonment and his journey to healing and forgiveness due to growing up without a father. The result is his poem "Dear Father", J. Ivy’s personal letter written to his dad.

He now invites and encourages others to do the same. Using their own compelling talents of creativity, people from all over the world are supported to create messages to their fathers. Whether it is to channel whatever pain they have experienced, or to pay tribute and give thanks for the positive way their lives have been touched, all expressions are significant and powerful.

J. Ivy received a Peabody Award for his performance on "Def Poetry," as well as a Grammy Award for his contribution with Jay-Z on Kanye West's "The College Dropout" album. J. Ivy also has collaborated with John Legend, RZA, The Last Poets, The Roots, Common, Mos Def and more. His latest works involved a commissioned poem and performance for Michael Jordan’s 30th anniversary for the Jordan brand and a feature on Estelle's song, "Time Share" in her new album release, "True Romance."

As spoken by Deepak Chopra, who is a prominent spiritual leader and best-selling author, "J delivers a powerful message of hope, transforming his pain into power." The focus of this movement is to discover ways to uplift and inspire, while also creating space for understanding, acceptance and healing.

Entry guidelines to the Dear Father Movement are flexible, and can be in various art forms.

Individuals can write their own poem, or articulate in letter format. They can choose to produce a video, create a song, or express their messages through artwork or photography. Participants can even communicate their letter in short, 140-character tweets.

"The emphasis is on creating, and we wanted to keep it open to all styles," says J. Ivy. "My vision is to connect through storytelling and art on a universal level to bridge disparities and unite people."

To learn more about the Dear Father Movement, and to actively participate, please visit www.j-ivy.com.

You can also like him at www.facebook.com/jivy, tweet him @J_Ivy, and follow him on Instagram @j_ivy

“Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain is available at Barnes and Noble, Barbara's Books and at Amazon.com

Next Up for Prime Now: One-Hour Delivery in Atlanta

April 2015--

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that Prime Now has expanded to Atlanta. The ultra-fast service, offered exclusively as a benefit to Prime members, provides one-hour delivery on tens of thousands of daily essentials through a mobile app.

“Customers love the convenience of one-hour delivery and we are excited to bring Prime Now to Atlanta,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. “This new benefit for Prime members in Atlanta is fueled by our growing operations and we are excited to CONTINUE expanding Prime Now to additional cities this year.”

Prime Now is launching in select Atlanta ZIP CODES today and will expand quickly to additional zip codes within the city soon. All Prime members can DOWNLOAD the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, and will be notified when the service is available in their local area. In Atlanta, Prime Now is available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Two-hour delivery is free and one-hour delivery is available for $7.99.

Tens of millions of members around the world already enjoy Prime. In the US, membership includes unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes through Prime Instant Video, over a million songs and hundreds of playlists through Prime Music, free unlimited photo storage through Amazon’s Cloud Drive with Prime Photos, early access to select Lightning Deals and access to over 800,000 books to borrow through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Prime Now is currently available in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami. The service will continue rolling out to additional cities in 2015. Learn more about Amazon Prime Now and download the mobile app at www.amazon.com/primenow.

About Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is an annual membership PROGRAM FOR $99 a year that offers customers unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items across all categories, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video, over a million songs and hundreds of playlists with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals and access to more than 800,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Not a member? Start a FREE TRIAL of Amazon Prime at www.amazon.com/prime.

Use Local Media to Market Your Book

By Harriet Hodgson 

April 2015

Sure, it would be nice to have an article about your book in a major newspaper. Unless you're a famous author the chances of this happening are slim. Book marketing takes energy, creativeness, and persistence, so starting locally makes sense. I'm marketing my latest BOOK NOW and it is an ongoing effort.

Before I contacted the media I wrote a marketing plan, assembled press kits, and ordered books and bookmarks to give away. Perfecting my "elevator pitch," two sentences that summarize my book, was also on my To Do list. When I say these sentences I make it a point to give the title twice, and never refer to it as "the book."

These tips will help you to market your book.

Local Newspapers

In the COMPUTER age, many local newspapers are struggling to survive. To keep old customers and garner new ones, these newspapers are featuring human interest stories. Your book may be a human interest story or "local author makes good" story. Make sure you have an author photo and book cover than can be transmitted electronically before you contact a newspaper.

I'm a health and wellness writer and member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. The city newspaper has published many stories about me. My marketing challenge was to provide new information, a "hook," or story lead. I delivered a press kit to the newspaper's health reporter. He called, interviewed me on the phone, and the result was a front page article in the "Wellness" section.

Local Magazines

Contacting a local magazine for women was next on my list. I mailed a press kit to the publisher/editor. Two months later a freelance writer contacted me, interviewed me on the phone, and the result was a full-page article about me and my book. The article even had special graphics. Since I'm technically challenged my granddaughter SCANNED the article and adjusted the size for the Internet. I posted this image on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

If your city or town has several local magazines, provide each one with a press kit, and some different information. Don't send the identical information to each publication. Address information to the publisher, editor, BOOK REVIEWER, or health reporter by name. Be sure to thank the person who wrote the article.

Regional Magazines

Regional magazines seem to be growing. I live in Rochester, Minnesota, home of Mayo Clinic. While I was waiting for an appointment, I spotted a magazine I had never seen before. According to the CREDITS page, it is aimed at the Southeastern part of the state. I jotted down the publisher's name, contact information, and emailed her. Weeks later I received a call from the publisher and she suggested a two-pronged approach to book marketing.

I would write a 900-word article and provide photos. She would write lead-in article about me. We brainstormed on topics for my article and settled on raising grandchildren. (My husband and I cared for our twin grandkids for seven years.) The article is slated for publication in the May issue. Like me, you may work out a specialized approach to book marketing with the publisher of a regional magazine.


Don't underestimate the marketing potential of local organizations. Word of mouth recommendations may generate sales. Recently I spoke to the members of a disease-specific support group. The contact person asked for a 30-minute talk and I finished exactly on time. Forty people came to the talk and I sold books to 11 of them, or one quarter of the audience.

Pre-autograph books if you speak to an organization. You may also wish to affix stickers to the cover that say "autographed copy." All of these sources--organizations, regional magazines, local magazines, and local newspapers--are marketing opportunities for you. Media folks are busy people, so be prepared and be succinct.

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 33 books. Her latest releases are "Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss" and "Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids." Information about her forthcoming books, "The Family Caregiver's Guide" and "Affirmations for Family Caregivers" is available from Amazon. Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.

APRIL 2015



-- QBR Wheatley Awards, Friday, July 17, 2015 --

-- The Harlem Book Fair, Saturday, July 18, 2015 --


April 2015

The Harlem Book Fair (www.harlembookfair.com) has selected "Reading the World" (#readingtheworld) as the theme for its 17th year celebration of Black writing and authors. Attended by over 20,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span’s BookTV, the Harlem Book Fair stands as the nation’s flagship African American literary event.

The Harlem Book Fair (HBF), the nations' largest and most-respected African American book festival, is supported by Columbia University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the New York Public Library, Barnes & Noble, the national bookseller; and First Book, the social enterprise that distributes new books and educational resources to educators and program leaders serving children in need.

The presentation of the QBR Wheatley Book Awards will open the Harlem Book Fair on the evening of July 17th."This annual award, named for the first published African-American female writer, is given for literary work that ‘transcends culture, boundary, and perception". The program blends awards presentations into an entertaining evening of music, letters, and stellar performances.

Wheatley Legacy proposed nominees include Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni and Edward P. Jones. Prizes in eight writing categories will be awarded " Debut Fiction and Non-fiction, Best Fiction and Best Non-Fiction, Best Poetry, and Best Children's and Young Adult Book. The Wheatley Book Award presentations will take place on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. The Wheatley Awards are open to industry professionals, independent authors and publishers, media, readers and the general public. To reserve seating for the QBR Wheatley Book Awards, visit the Harlem Book Fair website or EventBrite.com.

The Harlem Book Fair, an all-day indoor and outdoor festival, will take place on Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The outdoor festival takes place on West 135th Street from Lenox Avenue (6th Avenue) to Frederick Douglass, Jr. Boulevard (8th Avenue) in Harlem, New York.

The HBF will host five indoor venues, the Schomburg Center's Hughes Auditorium, where our Author Talks are broadcast on C-Span's BookTV; the Countee Cullen library, which hosts author discussions, and author and publishing-related workshops and seminars; the luminous gallery space of Harlem Hospital, which hosts Authors Readings and discussions; our single author readings, presented at the Barnes & Noble Reading Stations; and the outdoor HBF Author MainStage, which features Spoken Word poets, dance, music and other performances.

The Harlem Book Fair invites publishers, independent authors, book vendors, and artists to exhibit, promote and sell their work to its receptive audience. Applications are available online at www.harlembookfair.com. The Harlem Book Fair is a family event that is free and open to all.


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