4 Tips To Writing Better Calls-To-Action: A Guide For Self-Publishers

Nancy B. Alston


Any sell sheet without an effective call to action (CTAs) is missing a huge opportunity. These simple yet targeted phrases or links are directly responsible for encouraging your audience to take the next step toward becoming a buyer of your book. Without a call to action, your sheet will amount to little more than an unprofitable writing exercise. Here are some tips that I have developed from my self-publishing experiences that will help improve the response rate to your sell sheet:

Tip #1: Place it strategically

Put your call to action in the appropriate place on your sheet. On a book’s sell sheet, the CTA will typically be included with the publisher’s information, and with the physical details of the book. It might be included in a list of items, or in a separate text box, or simply lined-up on the bottom of the page.

Tip #2: Keep it short, simple, and actionable

It doesn’t need to be long or complicated. Keep it as simple as possible. Your readers don’t have time to be wasting trying to figure out what to do to get more information about your book. On the printed version of your sheet, make sure that the links are short and easy to follow, not long and complicated. On the PDF version of your sheet, make sure that all of the links are live and clickable.

Tip #3: Don’t just send them to your webpage

On my sell sheets, I simply tell them that my books are available from “B&T” and “Ingram”. Every book buyer at every library, university book store and library, and every bookstore retailer knows exactly what this means, and within minutes can order my books. I also list “Amazon” so that the general public can get more information and buy my books. I also offer an email address for more information, as well as my publisher’s website address. All very simple and effective.

Tip #4: Don’t oversell

Do not appear too aggressive about asking for the sale. You do not want to scare them away. They already know you want them to buy your book. Instead, your sell sheet should be trying to convince the book buyer that you have a great product that they can benefit from. You can accomplish this by making your sell sheet professional looking and polished, have a great book description, including specific details about your book, having a connection to major book distributors, and an easy and simple way to get more information and buy your book.


An effective call to action is the linchpin of a successful sell sheet. Getting the reader interested enough in your book, and then going on to find more information about your book, is the key role of the sell sheet. The call to action will enable you to direct them to the best place for them for more information. Whether that is your blog, or your book’s landing page, or the book’s sales page on Amazon, it is completely up to you. The sell sheet’s call to action will play a pivotal role in making this happen. If it is done right it can generate greater book sales. Just remember to keep it short, simple, and actionable.

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