Posted on 2014-May-06
Romance Authors Lead the Way
Most authors are under extreme pressure to publish their book quickly to meet the insatiable appetites of their fans, so the back matter may be overlooked. This is a mistake, since the back matter is the best place in your book to sell your brand and additional books to your readers. As a workaround to having to remake back matter for every single book you publish, it is advisable to have a master document in your favorite word processor to use for all your books. You can use the same material to copy and paste into the backs of all your eBooks (with the possible exception of excerpts).
Since most readers read eBooks to escape reality, it is suggested that back matter be fun rather than read like a resume. You should focus less on your credentials (like the MFA degree you have) and more on the contests, social media links, and most importantly info about other books.
Promotional Back Matter Structure
You should feel free to change up the order based on your preference, but a suggested structure for promotional back matter would be as follows:
- Website/Social Media (with Call to Action)
- Buy Links (more on vendor-specific buy links)
- About the Author
Successful romance author and client Carly Phillips was kind enough to let us use a few screen shots from her latest hit, Dare to Desire, to highlight some best practices.
Call to Action
After the book finishes, it is imperative that you put a call to action right in the face of the reader. This must be in the simplest terms possible and it must be as easy for them to complete as possible. Putting a link that is not hyperlinked and just says visit your website is too much work for the reader (they would have to type it into the browser) and does not provide enough incentive for the reader to complete the action. Carly Phillips entices readers with a monthly contest to visit her website. Please see below:
Additionally, instead of just providing links to her social media, Carly directly encourages the readers to click on these links. Also notice the fun Carly Phillips logo used to enhance branding:
There is very little cost to add additional excerpts from your other books to your eBooks. If you write in series, consider adding the next book in the saga (plus a buy link if it’s published). Even if all you have is something unedited, the first chapter in the next book of the series will encourage long-term reader loyalty. If you would like to support your fellow authors, consider adding an excerpt from another author’s books. An excerpt exchange with another author (especially a bestselling author) is a tremendous opportunity to bolster your sales. Many indie authors are very open to this type of cross-promotion. Kallypso Masters’ books all have a different author’s excerpt at the end, as an example.
About the Author
The last part of the eBook is often the About the Author page. Carly Phillips uses a professional photo plus a fun description of herself. Pro headshots can get pricey (several hundred dollars), so you may want to consider using a logo or no image at all if you’re on a budget. Additionally, you may wish to remain anonymous, so perhaps a small image that conveys your brand would be most suitable. Notice that Carly makes a few jokes. She is not applying for a job so the About the Author blurb is not dull and sterile. Rather, she creates a fun atmosphere to connect with her fans.
You should not overlook the opportunity to have promotional back matter to entice your readers to become more interested in your author brand.
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