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Book Marketing with Endorsements

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Endorsements are a powerful no-cost book marketing strategy. Have you ever seen a book cover where the name of the celebrity providing an endorsement for the book was larger than the author’s name? This little trick is used to catch a book buyer’s eye because publishers know that big names sell books. I have found that this effective book marketing strategy is underutilized by independently published authors. A recent informal survey I conducted of independently published books showed that only 20 percent (1 in 5) touted an endorsement. As an author, you should seek endorsements for your book.

Find out how to approach influencers about your book.

What is an Endorsement?

Endorsements are not reviews. Endorsements are written statements of approval and support for your book from an influencer. Reviews are done by readers and review publications. Influencers are people who have a platform and an audience. They can be authors, thought leaders, sports figures, politicians, members of the media, church leaders, organizational CEOs, and other famous people.

A good book endorsement can make the difference between a few book sales and a multitude of book sales. Seeking endorsements from influencers provides your book with three benefits:

1. Endorsements Lend Credibility to a Book

With so many books to choose from, most book buyers depend on name recognition when making purchase decisions. A new or unknown author has no reputation and thus little credibility with consumers. Book buyers wonder, “How do I know this will be a good story?” or “How do I know I can trust the information provided in this book?” A book endorsement answers these questions for the potential reader.

The best way to gain credibility in the consumer’s eye is to have your book endorsed by someone who already has credibility. When consumers trust the person endorsing your book, they trust that you are a credible author.

2. Endorsements State a Book Has Quality

Consumers have limited spending dollars on which to spend their hard-earned money as well as limited time in which to read. Each of these book buyers needs to be assured that the book they are considering purchasing is a quality book worth their money and time. Endorsements send this message.

Book buyers report that the number one way they choose a book to read is through book recommendations from someone they know and trust. When a book is recommended by a trusted source, the book buyer gets an assurance that the book will be worth their time and money. Endorsements provide such recommendations to readers.

3. Endorsements Enlarge Your Audience

A book endorsement by an influencer exposes your book to that influencer’s audience. Every influencer has people who follow them and listen to what they say. When an influencer endorses your book, that influencer has told his or her audience that your book is worth their time. People may not purchase or read your book, since they don’t know you. However, when the influencer’s followers hear that someone they trust has recommended your book, they are apt to purchase and read it. 

One of the questions I often get asked is, “Why would someone provide a free endorsement for my book?” My response is that endorsing your book also provides exposure for the influencer. This is especially true for authors who endorse a book for another author in their genre. Both the endorsing author and the endorsed author gain exposure for their books to each other’s readers, broadening each one’s audience.

It is best to secure endorsements for your book while it is still in manuscript form. That way, you can use the endorsers’ names on your book cover and in all your pre-release book review requests and marketing materials.

When requesting an endorsement, send a complete copy of your manuscript for the endorser to review. It is acceptable to provide endorsers with a list of names of other persons from whom you are requesting endorsements. Most celebrity endorsers, accredited academics, and beyond will be pleased to be included in good company and those who are not will be excited to have their names printed with famous people.

Endorsements are truly an essential ingredient in a good book marketing campaign, so do not neglect this important step with your book.

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Sarah Bolme

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishers Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors marketing books to the Christian marketplace. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The fourth edition will be released in February 2019.