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Sunday, November 25, 2018


Sometimes You Have to Push a Little

Sometimes writers need to do some pushing like this baby elephant is pushed.

Several times in these entries, I've written about the power of asking for what you want. I recognize there are relationships where we hesitate to ask. From my experience, if you are professional and straightforward, then you can push past your hesitation and go ahead and ask.

Several weeks ago I noticed one of my authors posted on Facebook about having a meal with a high profile television personality. I knew this author has a forthcoming book to be released next year. I reached out to this author and encouraged him to ask this television personality for an endorsement or foreword for his book. In his initial response, he was reluctant because he had been childhood friends with this person and known her for years. My author was hesitant to ask for this endorsement. I encouraged this author to move forward and ask because of the prominence of this person in the marketplace. He took my advice and I recently heard he had secured this endorsement.

Now with the endorsement in hand, the next question is where it will be placed in the forthcoming book. My encouragement again to the author is to ask for it to be prominent on the front cover. I've had authors gather these endorsements then the publisher puts the words in small type on the back cover with little promotion gain for the author. Once again I pushed this author to ask the publisher to get this endorsement on the front cover. If the author is straightforward and professional with his asking, there is nothing wrong with giving a little self-protecting push in this process.

Some books have endorsements and some do not. Here's what you need to know: your literary agent or your publisher or your publicist doesn't solicit and generate these endorsement. It can happen from those people but it is rare. The bulk of the endorsements come from the author and the author asking people for these endorsements. My encouragement is for you to take action to secure these endorsements because endorsements sell books.

I encourage you to study this article from Jacqueline Marcell about her self-published book. Why? This author had remarkable endorsements from numerous well-known celebrities, business people, athletes and others. How did she get them? Marcell asked—and sometimes she asked over and over to break through and get them. It's a combination of professionalism and perseverance that makes the difference in my view. Yet as the author you have to take action in this area.

Recently I was in Nashville with my Morgan James authors. As an acquisitions editor, I helped these first-time authors get a foreword from a bestselling and recognized author in their field of expertise. During our interaction to get the foreword, this author offered to have these new authors on her forthcoming podcast. The authors reminded me about this generous offer and had not heard any more about it nor had it been scheduled. My immediate encouragement was to give them this author's email and encourage them to follow=up on that offer and book that podcast.

We live in a busy world and the details can get lost in the process without  follow-up. The offer to appear on a podcast may have been done at the spur of the moment and without sending a follow-up reminder, the opportunity may disappear and not happen. As a writer and author, you have to seize all of these opportunities and follow-up. These actions are a key part of this business.

What are you gently pushing on to make it happen? Let me know in the comments below.

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3 Comment:

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Linda Moore Kurth Left a note...

Very timely, Terry. I recently found a small connection with a well-known author duo who's work relates to my memoir. I plan to familiarize myself with their work, and at some time, approach them about an endorsement. So that leads me to a couple of questions. Do I wait until I've secured a book contract before I approach them? I'm going to do my best to find someone to introduce me to them, as they are in my area, but if that doesn't work out, what would be the best way to approach them?

Thanks!

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Linda, there is no right or wrong way to get endorsements. As an acquisitions editor I've secured a contract from an endorsement in a proposal so they are valuable. Often endorsements come after you have a book in production (i.e. have a publishing contract). You can approach people in person or online but make it easy for them to say yes even offering or sending a "draft:" endorsement of what you want them to say. It is easier to adjust something already written than to create it in the first place. Terry

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Linda Moore Kurth Left a note...

Thank you, Terry.

 

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