WIIFM stands for “What’s In It for Me?”

WIIFM is what motivates a person to buy something.

I may purchase Dr. Pepper Ten over regular Dr. Pepper because the Ten one tells me that it only delivers 10 calories per serving, allowing me to cut down on my calorie intake. I may purchase Colgate Luminous toothpaste even though it costs me more than other toothpastes because it promises to not only whiten my teeth, but also strengthen my enamel.

As humans, we are motivated to buy something for what we can get out of the thing we are buying.

WIIFM is the most important question every publisher and author must answer for their potential readers. What does your book contain that the reader will benefit from? In other words: What will the reader get out of reading your book?

When creating your sales pitch and all your marketing materials for your next book, answer this question for your potential readers. All your sales text— back cover copy, marketing materials, book descriptions, etc.—should answer the WIIFM question.

Tell your potential readers what they will get from your book. Tell them how your book will improve their life or meet a need they have. It’s that simple.

What’s in it for you? Answer: More book sales!

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Do Your Messages Stick?

The goal in marketing books is to get people to buy them. One of the best ways to make your marketing effective is to have a message that sticks in peoples’ heads so that they remember your book.

What makes some messages stick better than others? What elements make up a message that sticks?

In their book, Made to Stick, authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath outline six elements they believe make an idea stick. These elements are:

  • Simplicity
  • Unexpectedness
  • Concreteness
  • Credibility
  • Emotions
  • Stories

For publishers and authors marketing books, your job is to take the core principle of your book and communicate it in a memorable way.

In other words, keep your message simple and different from what others are saying. Communicate this message in a concrete way that is easy to understand and tugs at your readers’ emotions.

Which marketing message do you think is stickier?

Thirteen prayers to help you pray.”


Need help praying? These 13 prayers will start you on a new journey to connect you with your Maker.”

The second one clearly tugs at your emotions and speaks to the reader in a simple, concrete way that meets a need.

Next time you are crafting sales text for your book, keep these six principles to creating a message that sticks in mind and get results.