Sunday, March 31, 2019

Endorsements Sell Books

As a long-time reader, I have purchased a number of books because of an endorsement on the front or back cove or just inside the book. These brief words from someone with name recognition help you sell books. Sometimes these endorsements are called blurbs.

From my years in publishing, the process of getting these endorsements is often a bit mysterious to writers.
Without the author taking action during the production process, endorsements don’t happen. Many books are published without endorsements but if your book doesn’t have endorsements, you are missing this sales tool.

You have to ask people to endorse your book. One of the keys in this process is to understand these high profile people are busy and do not assume they will read your book before they send their endorsement.

What To Ask and What To Send

--Write a clear short subject line in email: like Easy Blurb Request. These people get a lot of emails and you want to make it clear from the beginning how your request is different and easy for them to handle.

--Attach the cover and the edited manuscript (probably not in layout at this point). Don’t assume they will read the manuscript but you want them to be able to read it and see the  designed cover.

--Write a brief email with only a few sentences. Give them a deadline and offer to write a “draft endorsement” if they don’t have the time to write one themselves. As I’ve done this process, I’m always surprised at who will ask for a draft endorsement. You have no idea of their schedule and  whether they are home or traveling or in some intense deadline. You want to make it easy so they agree to do it.

--Ask how they want to be identified. Some of the possible options are bestselling author, editor at ___ or president of ____ or any other way. You will get a variety of answers but want to identify your endorsers as they want to be named. Many of us have different roles in different places.

--Use their website contact form or social media to reach them. Some of these high profile people are hard to reach but you want to ask more people than you will actually need. When I did this process recently, some long-time friends did not respond. Others sent emails and said no for various reasons. 

If you can, you want to gather several pages of these endorsements. Some will be broken into phrases and used on the inside but also on the front or back cover.

For a couple of examples of endorsements, I encourage you to look at the sample of my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow this link). Notice the variety and different types of endorsements in these pages. You can do the same with your book. Also look in detail at the story of Jacqueline Marcell who self-published her book about elder care and had many high profile endorsements. She details her process and some of her resources in this article (follow this link).

After the book is in Print

When you have books in hand (often before the official release date), send a signed print copy to the endorser with your note of appreciation. This person helped you and your gratitude is an important step in the process.

It does take effort to get these endorsements but they pay off in increased book sales. Also online sites will often put the endorsements in the editorial dection of the book—i.e. before any customer reviews for the book—which is another opportunity for you as the author to influence and encourage the book sale.

Some writers wonder about the integrity of this process. The endorser didn’t read the book cover to  cover before adding their name to this process. Even though I understand how this process works, I still buy books because of a particular endorsement on a book.

My encouragement is for you to put the effort into this process during the book production and it will pay off for you.

How do you gather endorsements for  your book? Have I missed anything? If so, let me know in the comments below.


Endorsements sell books. Learn the specifics of how to gather them here. (ClickToTweet)

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