By Leslie D. Davis

‘Tis the season... to start marketing your book to holiday shoppers!

We know a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why your book cover is the most important aspect of any paid marketing you do. And learning to master pay-per-click metrics is a game in itself. But today we’re focusing on some basic tips for writing ad copy that will win over those clicks!

Everyone’s Book Is Amazing

Using your limited text space to tell shoppers that your book is wonderful is not helpful. Everyone behind every paid ad thinks their product is wonderful. This is neither new nor interesting. People don’t want to know whether or not you think your own book is amazing.

Whether on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere, what can you do with the limited text space you have for a digital ad? Use that space to solve someone’s problem.

Write an Ad That Solves a Problem

What holiday shoppers do want to know is how your book ad answers their many “What should I buy for…?” questions. How many times during the months of November and December do you find yourself saying, “I have no idea what to get for so-and-so?!” Holiday shopping can be a blast, but it’s also work to consider each person’s interests, hobbies, and personality and find the perfect gift.

So when you’re writing ad copy, your job is to do the hard work for online shoppers so that when they see your ad, they give a sigh of relief… and click on your ad.

Examples of Holiday Ad Copy for Books

Your Book: A cookbook for college kids with tiny kitchens and no skills
Your Amazon shopper’s search keywords: “gifts for college students”
Your Ad Copy: The Christmas gift that will keep your college kid from eating pizza every day!

Your Book: An adult thriller à la The Girl on the Train
Your social media audience target: Men in their late 20s-50s likely to have wives or girlfriends who like to read
Your Ad Copy: The gift for the bookish woman in your life who loved The Girl on the Train!

You Book: A kids picture book about learning to share
Your social media audience target: Women in their 20s-30s interested in parenting or childhood education
Your Ad Copy: Your child’s favorite book under the tree this year… And they won’t even realize it’s teaching them how to share!

It’s Your Turn!

Think about who your audience is… Then don’t target them specifically. Instead, target the people in their lives likely to be searching for gifts for them. Who are they? What are they likely to type into the search bar on Amazon? How can you solve their problem and make their holiday shopping quick and easy? Go forth, and draft that winning ad copy.


Leslie D. Davis is a book marketing consultant, editor, and writer specializing in metadata and Amazon marketing to drive online book sales. In her monthly column on the IWC blog, she aims to help Indiana authors to market and publicize books better and to better understand the industry in general. Find her at

Don't miss Leslie's upcoming class: Book Publishing 101 on Saturday, December 7th. Follow the link for more information. 

Written by Indiana Writers Center — November 03, 2019

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