Her eyes lit up and her story just spilled out of her.
At first, I just thought it would be a little fun thing to do: let’s try out our new tool, our Book Sales Page Course, on an innocent bystander. I had no idea what a box of surprises I was prying open.
I’m in Spain at the moment, visiting a German friend I went to school with. He married a Spanish woman and because she doesn’t speak English, we actually speak German together as my Spanish is worse that her English. I mention this because, even through language barriers, our Book Sales Page idea can bring out the creativity in someone.
We’re breaking language barriers here!
She didn’t even tell me, her husband told me, “Lola is writing a children’s book too.” It came up as I was talking about the children’s books that I have written. I didn’t think too much of it as, when you’re a writer, you hear from everyone and their second cousin that they’re writing a book. So I thought I would amuse her and show her some of the tools we’ve been developing for building a Book Sales Page to sell more books.
I showed her behind the scenes in the course curriculum. The dozen-or-so modules about Book Cover, Headline, Testimonials and then Calls to Action, Mailing List and Sample Chapter. This, mind you, in my rusty German to a Spanish woman whose German is only a little less rusty. At some point, I decided to just jump right in and show rather than tell.
If you’re a student of the Book Sales Page Course, you’ll know we’re huge fans of the online design tool Canva. I opened it up and scrolled through some book cover designs and Lola opened up a folder on her computer with some of her drawings (she’s a fantastic and accomplished artist). I dropped in a horse drawing, moved the title to the top left of the book cover design, added her title and we were done. We could have stopped there and she already would have been impressed, but little did she know–or did I–we were just getting started.
One of the goals of the Book Sales Page is to think about your book from the perspective of the prospective buyer: the reader. In other words, don’t just tell me what your book is about, tell me how it’s going to make your feel, what it’s going to do for you, how you’re going to talk about it with your friends.
We had the cover. Check! Now we just needed a headline. I asked Lola to try to give me a one-sentence zinger of a sales line for the book.
Yeah, I should know better than to ask an artist to do such a thing.
Ten minutes later, she was still going with “Und tun … ” (And then … ) and digging deeper and deeper into her story. Don’t forget, this is a Spanish woman telling an American, in German, about her book of a magical horse, a monk, four years in time, a little girl, the friendship between a boy and the horse, and how a knight would be reunited with his true love.
My honest first thought after I finally slowed her down enough to breathe was, “When will it be available in English?”
We dialed it back a bit and, with the help of Google translate from English to Spanish, we got a headline: La leyenda mágica de un caballo. (The magical legend of a horse.) But I wanted more. I wanted more reason to read the book. What is going to do to the little girl who reads it? Or the little boy? We moved onto the Testimonials module.
It took a while to get it across, especially using German words I have never used (testimonial, gut reaction, etc.), but I convinced her that it was OK to create fictional testimonials from fictional people to pull out what she would most like to hear from prospective readers. Also, different kinds of readers: what would an adult say about the book? A little girl? A little boy?
Sueño tener tal amistad de un caballo mágico. — Niño de 10 años (“Only in my dreams would I have a friendship with a magical horse.” — 10-year old boy
Now we were getting somewhere.
Through using the Book Sales Page as a goal, we were pulling out from the author how she wanted her readers to feel. This is incredibly powerful for a marketing team (and/or for your BSP, of course!).
Speaking of magic, as we worked on her cover and her testimonials and I was putting it all into her own beautifully designed page online, her eyes grew and her heart expanded as the dream of her own magical story coming to life was coming true before her eyes. She said at one point, “You’re making this really happen. My dream is becoming a reality.”
Yeah, so we got that going for us.
Just another day at the office realizing dreams and giving birth to books that might never have seen the light of day.