Does marketing your book feel like trying to sell cookies for a fundraiser?

Your friends, family, and clientele have bought your cookies (of course).

But they can only buy so many boxes (delicious as those cookies are).

So hold off on your kitchen renovation, the trip to Bali, and the canary yellow Fiat.

You need to spread the word. You need more buyers for your book.

What can you do?

Smart authors like Ross Simmonds, Mark Schaefer, and Steve Scott use SlideShare to promote their books. For example Ross Simmonds’ SlidesShare presentation titled “The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Marketing” promotes his book Stand Out: A Content Marketing Guide. That presentation has over 181,000 views and 860 likes. (Wow!) And Ross has other popular SlideShare presentations promoting his book.

SlideShare is home to the largest collection of presentations in the world. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, imagine the traffic-generating potential.

And you can upload presentations for free.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

How to craft your content

Creating a presentation that gets attention on SlideShare is a lot like creating a blockbuster movie. You need a great script.

When a movie is based on a book, scriptwriters have ready-made content to work with. The hard part is figuring out which points to highlight in the film to captivate the movie viewers.

Your job in crafting a presentation based on your book is similar. (In the content marketing world, we call this repurposing.)

Let’s begin with 8 tips to outline your presentation…

1. Choose one big idea from your book

Your idea should teach, inspire, and have takeaways (no, not cookies). Some ideas:

  • Highlight key points in one chapter
  • Provide an overview of the book’s core message
  • Cover an important concept
  • Share a process for completing a task

A winning idea should provide valuable and actionable content. Choose an idea that has your reader saying, “I’ve gotta have this book”.

2. Create an enticing headline

A strong headline grabs attention, promises a benefit, and arouses curiosity. Take inspiration from popular SlideShare presentations and borrow a headline format. Some examples:

List format (x Questions, x Tips, x Ways, …)

  • 7 Tips to Beautiful PowerPoint (a whopping 600K+ views and 2.7K likes!)
  • 6 Ways to Create Great Content in 15 Minutes a Day (32K+ views)

How-to format

  • How to Create Slides That Rock (550K+ views and 1.3K likes)
  • How to Stand Out Online (52K+ view)

Ultimate Guide format

  • The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing (180K+ views and 860 likes)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing (135K+ views)

3. Build your outline

Think of your presentation like the storyline for a blockbuster movie. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning needs to grab attention. Why should a reader devote time to viewing your presentation? The middle sets up the problem, solution, and possible recommendation. The middle needs to sell the benefit and sustain interest. The end provides a recap and Call to Action. (Without a Call to Action, your ending is a tragedy.)

4. Make your story engaging

Consider choosing a theme, metaphor, or character. Some examples:


“5 Big Tips to Become a Presentation JEDI” uses Jedi characters and related photos.


“How to Promote Your Business Like a Heavyweight” uses a boxing metaphor.


“What’s Your Story” uses the character Joe.

5. Remind your audience of its key points

Provide a slide with a recap like the slide below from “6 Ways to Create Content in 15 Minutes a Day“.

6. Add a call to action (CTA)

To encourage a reader to buy your book, create a call to action that links to your book’s landing page. To captivate before making your sales pitch, place your CTA slide at the end of your deck. Here’s an example CTA from “6 Ways to Create Content in 15 Minutes a Day”.

7. Write a script

Before you design your slides, write your story’s script. Make the reader the main character. Focus the words on your reader. And have him nodding as he goes through the presentation. Pose a question. Make a statement. Arouse his curiosity. Take your reader on a journey. Use simple language your reader understands.

8. Create a storyboard

A storyboard is a plan for your presentation that combines the text in your outline with the visuals you want to use for each slide.

How to design a killer slide deck

Okay. You’ve got your one big idea. You’ve crafted a story, created an outline, and maybe even developed a storyboard. Well done.

What’s next?

Design your slide deck in PowerPoint (Keynote, or tool of choice).

Let’s move on with these seven design tips:

9. Create a bold title slide that grabs attention

People do judge a presentation by its title slide. Make sure yours wows.

image credit: How to Be Awesome on SlideShare (slide 12) by Jesse Desjardins

10. Use a consistent color scheme

Consider these factors:

  • Emotion What feeling do you want your viewer to have? For help, read How to Use Colors in Presentations.
  • Readability Good color schemes have contrasting palettes, dark text on a light background or vice versa.
  • Complimentary colors – Use colors with purpose. Try to pick a popular palette or generate a color palette by uploading an image you like to

11. Use strong visuals to tell your story

Good quality (high resolution) photos that are unusual and fun make a presentation engaging. Use a collection of images to provide consistency. Note: If you’re using someone else’s photos or images, make sure you give credit to the owner.

12. Keep your text simple

Avoid content overload (aka “Death by PowerPoint”). Use one main point or message per slide. Limit the number of words on a slide.

13. Choose fonts wisely

As a rule of thumb, never use more than two to three fonts. Find cool fonts for free on sites like FontSquirrel, DaFont, and GoogleFonts. Mixing fonts can be tricky. Instead you might try using a Font family. (Comic Sans will cause presentation pros to cringe and give your viewers the wrong message).

14. Use CRAP design principles

Give your presentation a cohesive and professional look with a consistent use of these four design principles (aka CRAP):

  • Contrast – Use different text and image styles and sizes to create interest.
  • Repetition – Repeat colors, fonts, and design elements consistently to orient the reader and give your presentation a cohesive.
  • Alignment – Line up text, add consistent padding, and make sure elements are symmetrical to achieve a professional look.
  • Proximity – Group related elements together for visual appeal and consistently.

For more about CRAP design principles, see Robin Williams’ book The Non-Designer’s Design Book.

15. Study the presentation pros

Take apart your favorite presentation and figure out how it’s done. These people know a thing or two about designing killer SlideShare presentations:

“You can reverse engineer almost any good design.” ~ Jesse Desjardins

How to add interactivity to your slides

You’ve designed your presentation and it looks awesome. Don’t miss the opportunity get people to take action. Here are two quick tips.

16. Add a click to tweet

You want readers to share your content and spread the word, don’t you? Optimize your SlideShare for Twitter so readers can tweet slide content with the click of a button. Review the SlideShare below to learn how Salesforce uses this technique to increase traffic and engagement.

17. Make it easy for your reader to find and buy your ebook

Create a clickable link on your CTA slide to take him straight to your sales page.

Even a great movie (or cookie) needs marketing

You worked hard to write and publish your ebook.

Now, it’s time to market your socks off to make sure it sells.

Create a presentation deck built on a core idea from your book. Extend your market through the powerful reach of SlideShare. And optimize your SlideShare for Twitter to gain even more traffic and build engagement.

Have fun creating your presentation. And celebrate your success with a cookie.

And when your sales skyrocket, eat your cookie while driving your new canary yellow Fiat.