Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 things you can do today to get amazing book blurbs tomorrow

What’s worse than not making the effort to get glowing blurbs for your book before it’s published?

Not planning ahead to make sure that you get them from the most impressive and influential people possible.

While you can completely “cold call” the rock stars of your genre or industry and get cover blurbs that will make your mother proud, you’ll have a greater success rate – and work half as hard at it – if you take a few steps in advance.

Why? Because you’re more likely to get a positive response from someone who knows your name than from someone who has never heard of you.

When it’s time to ask people to write blurbs – those endorsements and testimonials you place on your book’s cover and inside front pages or on your retail sales page – you will be talking to people who “know” you instead of people who think, “Who is this person?”

Maybe you’ve been in this situation yourself before: Two people ask you for a favor. One is someone you’ve heard of and the other is a stranger. If you’re like most, you’re probably quicker to respond favorably to the person you know of than the person you don’t. That’s just human nature.

Take action now

Fortunately, you can take specific actions now so that you’re no stranger to the people you want to endorse your book in a few months. And the good news is that it’s not hard or painful.

Here are three things you can do today that will pay off when you’re ready to make that important request later.

1. Socialize online.

Connect on social media, but make sure that you’re using the right social media networks. 

Going after high-profile foodies or chefs? Look on Pinterest. Are the people who will blurb your book in the business world? Check out LinkedIn. Looking to connect with Millennials? Try Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.

Follow them. Retweet or share what they share. Comment on their status updates and blog posts. Use your best judgment about how much of this is enough and how much is “too much.” You don’t want the person to feel like they’re being stalked, but you do want them to learn your name. 

2. Socialize in person.

Is your dream blurber making a presentation near where you live? Attend and introduce yourself before or after. 

Compliment the speaker and presentation in a follow-up e-mail, mentioning something specific that resonated with you.

When author Minda Zetlin attended a conference featuring Tom Peters as a speaker, she was smart enough to introduce herself on site and ask if he’d write a blurb for her book. To her delight, he agreed to do it. 

“It wouldn’t have occurred to me to ask him if I hadn’t seen him speak,” she said.

Attend networking events where you might meet someone who will be an ideal endorser. Register for key conferences, seminars, and trade shows where you will meet the right people while you learn even more about your topic and audience.

3. Ask for introductions.

Do you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody? Ask for an in-person or virtual introduction. (This is a particularly good approach when you want blurbs from celebrities and other famous people.)

Don’t even think of leveraging the introduction to request a favor immediately, though. Help that person get a sense of who you are and what you do, first. Be generous with your time and information before ever expecting anything in return. You might send that person links to articles you think he might be interested in, or compliment her when you see she’s been quoted by the press. Notice what others do to keep you engaged with them – in a good way – and emulate that.

Add structure now that will pay off later

Do more than connect with these people you think will help you sell more books when they provide an endorsement.

Catalog or document your contacts, too, in an Excel file or a Word grid. Record their name, contact information, why they will be good “blurbers,” and how and when you’re staying in touch with them. You’ll then be able to use that documentation to your advantage later, when you ask them to write an endorsement for your book that will influence the people you know will benefit from your knowledge or story.

What’s holding you back from going after your dream endorsement?

About the author
Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to publicize, promote, and market their books through her training programs and free “Build Book Buzz” newsletter. Sandra’s new multi-media program, “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Authorities, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book,” takes the guesswork, uncertainty, and mystery out of this important process and shows you how to get the blurbs of your dreams. Use coupon code BLURB before June 27 to save 33% off the already low purchase price.

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