The other week, the small group Bible Study I belong to was studying the parable of the Wise and Foolish Men found in Matthew 7. In the parable, the wise man built his house on a rock foundation and it withstood the storm. The foolish man built his house on the sand and so his house fell when the storm came.
One of the questions that the study guide asked was “Why do you think Jesus told this parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount?”
The Sermon on the Mount is full of great teaching by Jesus. In it Jesus gives his audience many pointers like don’t be anxious about your life, don’t hide your light under a bushel, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Then he ends his sermon with the parable of the wise and foolish men’s houses.
Jesus starts the parable with “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like…” It struck me that Jesus ended his sermon with a call to action. He told his listeners the benefit of doing the things he has told them to do—and the consequences if they didn’t do these things.
As an author or publisher promoting and marketing a book, you can take a lesson from Jesus. Good book promotion includes telling your audience what your book will do for them. It tells them what need it will meet in their lives. You can follow Jesus’ example by following this up with a call to action.
Your call to action can be like Jesus’:
Purchase this book to get (insert your book’s promise here).
You can even take it one step further and like Jesus tell people the negative consequences of NOT buying the book:
Purchase this book to get (insert your book’s promise here), or continue to (insert the negative aspect of not doing what your book says).
For example, a book on how to become debt free might include the call to action with the consequence of not following it of:
Purchase this book to receive freedom from the slavery of debt, or don’t and continue to allow debt to squeeze the joy out of your life.
Either way, once you are done with your sales pitch, be sure to include a call to action for your audience. They need to know what you want them to do with the information you have given them. Reminding them of the consequences of both acting and not acting helps to push your listener into action.
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