One of the top reasons readers purchase a particular book is the book’s endorsements and reviews. Yet many books don’t include a single endorsement on their cover or have a single review on the major online retailers’ sites.
Endorsements and reviews provide confirmation of the book’s quality and remove uncertainty from the transaction. Online reviews also serve as a point of comparison with other similar products and help the reader quickly make their selection from all the available options.
If you want your book to stand out, you must obtain endorsements and reviews. Of the two, reviews are easier to obtain due to the BookSneeze program we offer in partnership with Thomas Nelson. By posting 50 copies of your e-book on BookSneeze, it is available to thousands of bloggers who read and review books.
Your chances of developing word-of-mouth viral marketing increase with each review. Of course there is no guarantee that every review will be positive so the most important element is a good book that is well-edited and professionally designed.
On the other hand, obtaining endorsements can be difficult and time consuming — especially if you don’t use a proven process — but the increased credibility is well worth the effort. Following are four steps to streamline the process.
- Create a list of potential endorsers by brainstorming as many people as you can think of as quickly as possible. List both well-known individuals in the field of your book and other people you know personally who are influential in their circles of influence. Don’t worry whether or not you can get the person to endorse your book — just list everybody that comes to mind until you have at least 50 prospects identified.
- Obtain three endorsements from people you know well. These are your seed endorsements that you will leverage to obtain other endorsements. People who don’t know you well will be much more likely to consider endorsing your book if they see that others have already done so (see the “First Follower” video from Derek Silvers for an entertaining explanation of this phenomenon). They also are more likely if they know one of the endorsers so ask your first three endorsers for 10 people they know who might consider endorsing your book and add those people to your list.
- Ask for an endorsement from each person on your list. Send a brief letter with a sample of your manuscript, a short description, an example of the two- to three-sentence endorsement you are hoping for and a deadline in two weeks. In your letter, offer to send the entire manuscript. Follow up in one week with a phone call if possible.
- After you gather all your endorsements, provide them to your publisher to include in the book and on your marketing materials. When your book releases, send a signed copy to each endorser to thank them.
This is information that I wish I had found earlier in the course of producing and publishing my prayer journal (by that name). This is valuable regarding the locating and obtaining endorsers for the promotion of one’s work. For me this is a lesson learned for the production of my next work now in progress.