Tag s | Endorsements

The Why and How of Selecting Endorsers

Some authors find the endorsers section tricky when they write book proposals. If this describes you, or if you would like a refresher, I hope this post will be helpful.

The Why:

I can’t say I’ve ever sold a book based on an endorsement alone. Content is king. But the endorsers (or you can call it Potential Endorsers) section is important. To wit, here’s a quote from Mallory Ortburg’s May 3 article in The Toast, regarding a major deal for The Nest: “We would have paid her the same money if she weighed 500 pounds and was really hard to look at.”

“I actually knew very little about [Sweeney] when I bought The Nest,” says her editor at Ecco, Megan Lynch. “I didn’t know that, for example, she knew Amy Poehler well enough to approach her for a blurb. That was a happy bonus.” Poehler’s blurb is on the front cover of the book.

You don’t have to know a television or movie star to write your endorsement section. Your own contacts should work well. Don’t be intimidated.

The How:

How to choose? I tell writers to list their author friends writing in the same category or similar books. By “friends” I mean authors you can feel good about contacting should they be selected as endorsers. You are on good terms and have their contact information yourself.

How do I know I won’t be turned down? You don’t. Successful authors are busy and have their own deadlines to meet. Reading your ARC (Advance-Reading-Copy) might not work when the publisher actually needs the endorsement.

Isn’t that embarrassing? No. Because publishers work with popular authors, they are aware all of them have pressing deadlines.

Do I tell the authors I’m including them? No need. The publisher will help you choose endorsers after the book is contracted.

What if I don’t know anyone? Most authors, even newbies, have one or two contacts in the industry. If you don’t, solicit the help of your agent in writing this section.

Your turn:

Are you ready with a potential list of endorsers for your book?

What tips can you offer writers when they are choosing endorsers?

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Authors: Seeking Approval

Depending on my current situation or environment, I might see something entirely different than another time when I read a passage of Scripture. The Bible is a like a diamond, with light of different colors shining through various facets depending on how you turn it and look through. I am …

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Endorsements: How Important Are They?

How important are endorsements? (Those “blurbs” on the back of a book that exclaim “A real masterpiece!”) Let me answer with a question. When you are browsing a book title do you look at the endorsements or notice who wrote the foreword or introduction? I suspect you do without realizing …

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Influencers and Etiquette

Recently one of my author friends needed a couple of people to act as influencers. She asked me to give her the names of people who aren’t writers, which I think is a fine idea because readers in other professions will reach new audiences. I asked several people. None of them knew what an influencer is until I explained it. So when you are tasked to find influencers, feel free to direct them to this post.

Is an influencer the same as an endorser?

Not in the formal sense. An endorser is a recognized name, usually a popular author writing in the same topic or genre or a known authority in the field such as a doctor or pastor. That person writes praise for the book that will appear on the front or back cover or inside the book.

An influencer is a person who agrees to read a book with the hope that he or she will spread positive news about it. This person is viewed as a fan or friendly reader and doesn’t need to be a particular expert other than having read the book. Any reader can be an influencer, but librarians, book club members, and people with special interest in the era or topic are great choices.

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Will You Vouch for Me?

As part of my continuing series on proposals, today I’ll talk about endorsements. This element can cause anxiety, so I hope this post will ease your mind.

When to Ask for Endorsement

Some writers tell me, “I’ll get back to you on that list as soon as I talk to the authors.” Or even, “I’ll let you know as soon as the authors read my manuscript and get back to me.” In reality, neither time is right to ask an established author to endorse your book. The time to ask is when you already have a contract and the publisher is almost ready to send advance copies to potential endorsers. Then the publisher can offer a deadline for the endorsement and the endorser can verify whether or not he has time to read and endorse the book.

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Lawsuit over Hyperlink?

In Canada a man is suing another person for linking to allegedly damaging web content on a web site (the suit is currently before the Canadian Supreme Court).  A big “thank you” to Mac Slolcum for writing about this issue last week. In his article Mac asks the pertinent question, “Is a link on your web site equivalent to an endorsement of that content?” Think about it for a second. If you click the “Like” button on Facebook aren’t you telling your “friends” that you endorse that product, idea, video, or web site? What about when you re-tweet someone’s comments and then link to their site (like I hope you do with my blog posts!

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