Expert and celebrity book endorsements are one of the most effective ways to grab the attention of new readers and convince them your book is worth buying and reading. Many self-publishing and independent authors do not bother using endorsements to market their book, despite their potential. This may be because high-profile book endorsements seem out of reach. But it’s important to understand that book endorsements do not need to come from big-time Hollywood celebrities. They simply need to come from an influencer who already has a platform, and whose name and opinion might be meaningful to your particular audience. Writers, journalists, community and religious leaders, executives, and politicians could all provide quotes that might attract readers to your book.
The more you can narrow down your audience and identify your book’s niche, the more you’ll be able to identify expert book endorsements that might be within your reach.
Why Book Endorsements?
For authors who are publishing their first book, endorsements by experts can provide a huge boost to credibility. Whether this relates to the factual content of a non-fiction book, or the quality of a fiction book, endorsements can go far to minimize the disadvantages unknown authors face when publishing a new book. The endorser will essentially be sharing some of their credibility with you. Book endorsements can serve the same purpose as a personal recommendation from a friend in getting customers to take a chance with their limited money and time.
Endorsements allow you to effectively put your book in front of the audience of an established and respected figure, ultimately giving you a chance to gain part of their audience as your own.
How to Get Book Endorsements?
Start thinking about endorsements early on, even as you are writing your book, and certainly while it is still in manuscript form. This will give you a chance to network, and will also ensure you have the chance to use endorsements on your book cover and in any pre-release promotional efforts.
Giving yourself that opportunity for substantial networking is key. Join trade organizations and online communities within your genre. Go to events. You never know when you might meet someone who is one email away from a top author in your genre.
Make a list of ideal potential endorsers, without limiting yourself to what you think is realistic. At this point in the process, try not think of the limitations, and just think of who you would want to endorse your book in a dream scenario. However, remember you might get more out of an endorsement from a trusted expert in your specific field or genre than from an ultra-famous celebrity. Next, think of people who might not immediately be obvious names, but whose opinion might be important to the readers you want to reach. This can include established independent authors in your genre who already have a platform, but also experts in related fields. Within your networks and communities, ask around for names you might not already know. You might even find an unexpected connection to someone already on your list.
When gathering contact information, keep in mind that you should not go through an agency or publisher for this request. Personal contact information is best, and if that’s not possible, use social media messaging or even their website’s request form. The more direct, the better. This is part of why networking ahead of time is essential.
Requesting an Endorsement
The next step is to actually write your request for an endorsement. You’ll want to keep things as brief as possible, and to stay professional while making sure to personalize your request. Start with an introduction, followed by your request for a quote. Describe your book, being sure to include details such as genre, a story summary, and a release date. Now is your chance to explain why your endorser should take an interest in your book. Perhaps you are already a fan of their work, and you consider them to be a key influence on your own. Maybe your work relates to the same niche topic as theirs. Perhaps you have something else in common, like an important life experience. This is the time to connect.
Let them know how the quote will be used (on your book jacket, website, etc). You will want to offer them plenty of time to provide the quote, but you will also want to provide a solid deadline. Be sure to make it as easy as possible for them – provide a synopsis, sample chapters, and even a selection of blurbs that they can edit or rewrite. Include anything that would make it easier and quicker for a busy person to provide an endorsement. This includes making sure your correspondence is no longer than necessary.
As you write your letter, be polite and be sure to thank your potential endorser. At the same time, don’t forget that providing an endorsement can also benefit the endorser, by broadening their own platform and potentially bringing their name to a new audience. It’s important to remember that while they are indeed helping you, you also have something to offer. It’s this lack of confidence that prevents many self-publishing authors from seeking out book endorsements – a key marketing strategy than can put your book way ahead of the rest.