I stumbled across a conversation on LinkedIn today about a “call to action” page in a book. Now, I know a lot about calls to action on a website (sections of a site that direct you to take a specific action, like buy the book or sign up for the email list), but I haven’t heard of such things in print before.
Here’s what I learned: the last page of your book is the perfect place to put a call to action. In other words, now that someone has read your whole book (and hopefully enjoyed it), it’s the time to encourage them to do something else.
Here are five things you can encourage people to do in your book’s call to action page.
1. Visit your website. This is a no-brainer. Use the last page of your book to give people the URL of your author website and explain what they can find there. Examples of things you can say include: “Enjoy this book? Learn more about [subject matter] via my blog at yourname.com/blog” (great for nonfiction authors), or “Find bonus material from the book! Download a discussion guide, read book secrets, and more. Visit yourname.com” (a good idea for novelists).
2. Purchase your previous books. If someone likes this book, chances are they’d like any other book you’ve written as well. This call to action page at the end is a great chance to list your previous books, display covers, and include any relevant information on where the books can be purchased (your site, Amazon, etc…).
3. Contact you for speaking engagements. Do you do any speaking on the subject matter that you wrote about? Then consider mentioning that on your call to action page, along with a specific way readers can contact you if they’re interested.
4. Review the book. There’s nothing that sells books like good reviews. So take this opportunity to ask the readers who have enjoyed your book to share their thoughts. Direct them to go to Amazon, GoodReads, etc… and post their own review.
5. Recommend the book via social media. This is another great way to get the word out. Direct your readers on exactly what you’d like them to do — maybe that’s following you on Facebook, tweeting about your book, and/or “liking” your author website.
Now, these are just five ideas. You might have more (and feel free to share those). But regardless of which of these calls to action you choose to use, here are a few guidelines that may be helpful…
- Be specific. Make things as simple and easy for your readers as possible. Include URLs, and give specific direction. In other words, don’t just tell someone to visit your site. Tell them the URL of your site. And instead of just asking people to review your book, tell them exactly what they have to do to get a review posted on Amazon.
- Narrow a user’s options. While all five of these are good ideas for a call to action page, you definitely wouldn’t want to ask people to do all five. The very definition of a call to action is to clearly direct people to take an action. In other words, recommending five different actions would most likely be a confusing experience for users. Asking them to do one or two seems simpler to tackle.
- Make it about them. Make it clear to your users that by taking this call to action, there will be some benefit for them. Maybe that’s the free downloads you offer. Maybe it’s a donation that is made for copies of your book that are purchased. Try not to present these calls to action as a favor to you; instead, make it a way for your user to feel like they’re doing something, accomplishing something and/or getting something.
Did you print a call to action page in your book? Share what worked (and didn’t work) in the comments box below.