Endorsements … Should You or Shouldn’t You and How Do You Get Them?
One of the most common questions authors ask is: should I get endorsements for my book? The answer is yes. The real question is: where should I put them?
Ahhh, that opens up another window. Maybe on the cover. Maybe on the back cover. Maybe on a flap or dust jacket if your book has that type of cover. Maybe in the opening pages of your book. Maybe …
Lots of maybes. You need to ask what you want the endorsement to do. Is they desired to sell books? Say you are a rock star? Add credibility? Fill space? What?
Your book cover is about marketing. The only endorsements that should go on a cover / back cover are ones that will absolutely connect with your reader. It’s not your friend, your mother, your cronies in your club. Unless they are rock stars and publicly known.
My personal preference is “less is more.” If you have a stellar endorsement that is well known within your field or genre –most likely I would put it on the back cover and in a callout type of format so it will pop. If it is from a key review source, such as Publishers Weekly, Foreword, Kirkus, or Library Journal, I would do a “sprinkle” and have the cover designer drop the line(s) so that they do a pop. If any are long endorsements, pull a few of the key sentences out as an excerpt and put the entire endorsement within the opening pages of the book along with others that aren’t used on the cover real estate–these are placed in the first few pages of the book, before the Title page.
It’s time to take a trip to your favorite brick and mortar store—OK, I confess, I love a bookstore—the colors, the shapes, the sizes, it’s a great way to spend a few hours to see “what’s out there.”
- Look at the most current books. How are they using cover and interior endorsements? What types of names are citing books (business, celebs, other authors)? How long are they? Where are they placed? These are usually generated from advanced reader copies or galleys. In nonfiction, you will a variety of names and types. In fiction, it’s usually from other authors and typically within the same genre.
- Finding endorsers. If you had your choice, who would you want? What’s your Wish List? Do you know them? Then ask. If you don’t, do you know someone who does? What are social media groups—are they within any that you are a member of? This is a time of who do you know who … it’s networking time. If you are looking for celebs, works leaders, etc., The Celebrity Black Book has all the contacts. Your library might
have it or pick up a used edition on Amazon. There’s always Google, but it will most likely not be the source here.
- Create a cover letter that grabs them and is compelling. Such as: “If you love to cook … within these pages are the best 200 recipes using Paprika from Hungary.” “If you love mysteries, imagine Sherlock Holmes having High Tea with the Queen while James Bond is seducing his latest female colleague while Jessica Fletcher is tripping over bodies in Cabot Cove and he gets a call for help.”
- Share something on the inside—as in key insights that were revealed as you created your masterpiece. From the “…if I knew 20 years ago what I know now …” or “…I’ll be requiring this for every client I work with (class I teach, patient I see, and workshop I give …). Was there anything that was shocking or left you shaking your head in disbelief or sheer wonder? Share it.
- When seeking blurbage, ask what format the reader would like—printed manuscript sent to you, PDF via email, a few chapters … what and how? Reveal your drop dead deadline for having them back. You could even include some ideal samples” of blurbs. Many will take those and tweak them. Make it easy.
- Is a particular bent or focus you want? Let them know what you are looking for.
- Ask for the way you want his or her name included after the endorsement. If they are published, which book they would like to include under their name.
- When you have published book in hand, send a copy to your endorser. Always with a glowing, happy dance thank you note.
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd, the Author and Publishing expert and the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Author U, a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating Your Book and Author Platforms that has won multiple “best” in the writing/publishing categories in book award competitions. Her next book is Snappy, Sassy, Salty … Wise Words for Authors and Publishers has just been released. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet network at: http://togi.us/authoru
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.
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