17 June 2015

How to Ask for Book Endorsements

Photo by A. Piper Burgi

I recently received my Advance Reading Copies for Living with Canine Epilepsy, and promptly began to send them out. A good amount of the ARCs became part of my endeavour to secure book endorsements. Endorsements, also referred to as blurbs, are the one to three sentence quotes you often see on book covers. For an author, especially one that's not a household name, such endorsements are essential for drawing readers in. Just like many other elements of book publishing and promotion, the task of securing endorsements often falls to the author. Unlike many other publishing tasks, getting endorsements isn't all that complicated...or at least so I hope. 

Here are a few things I took into consideration:

Don’t be afraid to go for the big names! I actually asked a variety of people who are well regarded in my upcoming book's genre for blurbs. I did not restrict myself to just authors, but I also queried entrepreneurs, speakers, personalities, and other big names. Keep your fingers crossed that they say yes!

Leverage existing networks! There aren't that many degrees of separation between you and the big household names. Speak to people already in your network. Ask them who they know and get their recommendations. They might come up with names you might not have considered.

Make it easy for them! When you send your endorsement letter (see example below), go ahead and include a few sample endorsements that they can choose from. You can ask someone, like your editor or publicist, to help you draft a few.

Keep them short and sweet! Endorsements are generally only one to three sentences long. In order to be effective, they should be quite specific. A blurb that reads “It’s an excellent book.” just won't do!

Above all...be professional! If you are requesting an endorsement from someone you know personally, then an initial e-mail request is acceptable. But for those individuals you have never met, a formal snail mail letter is a more professional way to go. I sent an ARC with all of my mailed requests. For the e-mailed solicitation, I thought it adequate to offer a copy upon request. These I will follow up on shortly.

In addition to endorsements, you can also ask someone to write the Foreword for your book. The process of securing it is very similar to the one for endorsements, but instead of a blurb, the endorser writes a sort of letter of recommendation to the potential readers. It can be as short as a paragraph or two or as long as a few pages.  

I posted a sample query letter below, which I used as the basis to construct mine. One thing to keep in mind is the purpose of this letter. It is not to sell the prospect on your book, but to sell them on their own value as a potential endorser. Don’t start off by telling your prospective endorser how great your book is, but begin by saying why you admire their opinion and why you believe it’s an important piece of work. I also shared my reason for writing about this particular topic, and who my potential readers will be. This way they can readily see that I am marketing to the same audience they serve. 

Dear (insert title and name of endorser),
I have been a huge fan of your (show, book, profession, etc.) for a long time, and it has become part of my weekly routine to watch your show (insert a reference to their work). I admire your ideas and dedication to this field. So, when I began to write my upcoming book (insert title of your book here), I knew you were going to be at the top of my list of potential endorsers. 

(Insert a paragraph here, who your potential audience will be and why it's a good idea to read your book)

To help with your decision, I have enclosed an Advance Reading Copy and some sample endorsements for your review. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration, and I look forward to your response!

(Insert your signature block here)

Well, I hope I have given you some ideas where and how to start to ask for your own endorsements. Please add your own experiences or ideas in the comment section!

Related Posts:

What is an Advance Reading Copy?
Creating Your Book Cover

Piper is the author of military lifestyle books and RV travel journals. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+

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