THE BLOG
10/06/2015 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 06, 2016

5 Ways to Engage Your Readers

If you're an author who's just written what you feel is your best work, chances are you might be also wondering if your writing will sell which really means, how useful will the content be for your readers? Engaging readers isn't just about writing a great fiction or non-fiction book, but knowing how to use highly effective marketing methods. Today's e-reader is smart and wants the bottom line quickly. Whether your target readers enjoy reading online or print, you still need to know how to engage them beyond the content of your book. This article focuses on some of the "other" footwork you need to know to engage your readers effectively.

Your Book Cover Matters

The saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" is not true in the book publishing world. In fact, according to this reader survey, covers play a strong marketing role in the psychology of a reader. Think of the cover as the one thing that will engage a reader before skimming the first few pages. Look at the graphics and images, title, colors and fonts of your book cover and ask yourself if your target reader will be motivated to know more about your book. You'll want to invest in a great cover designer that tells and sells your story in seconds.

A Catchy Title

A catchy title draws interest right away but it's often hard to know in advance just what kind of title might "sell" your story. JMC Academy suggests brainstorming all the ideas by writing them down first before ruling out any possibilities. Like book covers, catchy titles give your readers a clear idea of what to expect, which can increase the chances of them becoming interested in your book. It's one of the first things they see, so it's really important to invest time getting your title (and subtitle, if relevant) right.

Blurbs

You didn't factor in blurbs as another way to engage your readers, did you? There's been quite a few articles about how blurbs magically engage the reader in the book. According to this NPR article, readers will typically buy a book based on who endorsed the book. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Your reader is really looking for a "stamp of approval" by an established author who says that your book is engaging. Now go read it!

Enticing Back Cover Copy

Enticing back cover copy gives the gist of the book in just a few sentences. Because of its brevity, it should engage the reader in the story. If the book is non-fiction, the copy should inform the reader how the book will solve his problem. This kind of copy is tricky to write, so it's best to hire an editor or find someone objective who can give constructive comments. You only have one chance to make a good impression. It's best not to jeopardize that chance.

Write a Killer Book

Whether your goal is to appeal to just your circle of friends or millions of readers with your book, content is king in the book publishing world. Spend time crafting and perfecting your book so your storytelling shines. Invest in a high quality editor who is well-versed in your genre and can help take your book to the next level.

So there you have it - five elements that can engage your reader including the back cover copy, front cover, blurbs, title, and of course, a killer book. No matter what changes happen in the publishing world, these five must-have elements will always engage readers.