Friday, March 31, 2023

Authors Just Need One Sentence To Sell Books


If authors could summarize the essence of their brand, and do so with a one-line mantra, what would it say for you? 

Sure, some authors struggle to give an elevator speech, that 150-word, 30-second summary of what their book is about and identifying their strongest credentials, so asking them to nail it in a sentence is mega-challenging. But it’s needed. So, get to it!  

A tagline is a concise statement that clearly explains what you offer and how you differentiate from competitors. It’s a powerful tool that can draw customers to you and turn people into instant fans. At the very least it makes them curious and invites them in.   

An ideal one-liner addresses a problem, provides a result, and indicates a solution or that hope exists. It might sound funny or bold or inspiring. You need a hook, one that’s expressed with a personality. If it’s good, it’s memorable.  

So, the challenge here is to be effective, use clever language but be clear, and to provide a value proposition. Oh geeze, it seems like three meals and dessert need to be neatly packed into a handful of words, but don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed. You got this.   

Before you start drafting potential one liners just make a list of various things. Start with these lists:  

-What do my readers want or need?

-What’s my book about?

-Who am I? 

Then, start thinking of really good words that say a lot. Find descriptive words that have many attached meanings to them. Will you use a pun, double entendre, or words that evoke feelings or conjure up images? Will you look to go big, smart, traditional, humorous, patriotic, or something else? 

Boil down the essence of what you offer. You may have written 50,000, 85,000, or 100,000 + words in your book. Now you are being asked to find five, eight, maybe 12 words that, when strung together and perhaps stated next to an image, are to perfectly sell your book.  

Some tips for stringing your one-liner together include:

  • Keep it simple and obvious
  • Don’t rely on people assuming what you intended
  • Offer a benefit the reader can relate to
  • Avoid over-promising but tap into the reader’s dreams 
  • Focus on creating an image more so than stating a fact
  • Be prepared to turn some people off if it guarantees others will love it  

So, once you bang your head against the wall and discover your mantra, what do you do with it?


  • Put it on your website
  • Stick it on your email signature
  • Plop it into your social media profiles
  • Place it at the bottom of you blog posts
  • Add it to your business card
  • Mention it on all ads, fliers, and marketing materials 
  • Place it on your book cover 
  • Splash it on signage 
  • Incorporate it into your elevator speech
  • Embrace it in how you approach all of your marketing.

One lifetime. Fit it on a one-page resume.

One book. Say it in a 30-second elevator speech.

One sentence. Wear your mantra proudly. 

Politicians have slogans, companies have taglines, and authors need a mantra. Find your sentence and use it often. It will be the backbone of your efforts.

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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