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Required Reading

Who says you can't judge a book by its cover? Book jackets can make or break sales--so why not use them to inspire your advertising efforts?

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Make no mistake: Book titles are advertising headlines, and the jackets they emblazon are one-page ads for the books. What's more, they're some of the best ads you'll ever see. They have to be. If the title doesn't pique the book browser's curiosity, the book doesn't get noticed, picked up, flipped over (to read the summary on back), flipped through or bought.

That's how critical great jacket copy is, including the supporting subtitle-and a lot of investment in time and money hangs on those few words being read. So if you need inspiration to jump-start your own brainstorming efforts, simply head for your nearest bookstore, and stroll the aisles with notepad in hand. Chances are, you will find titles- usually nonfiction-that will either morph into headlines for your own advertising or trigger ideas you wouldn't have otherwise considered.

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