Endorsements, Part 1: Getting Comments to Spur Sales

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September 2013
by Linda Carlson

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(SEE ALSO: Part 2)

It may be not what your book says that sells it, but who says what about your book, to paraphrase that maxim about who you know being more important than what you know. And, not surprisingly, who you know helps you find authorities and celebrities to recommend or endorse a title. But IBPA members report that getting a brief positive review from the likes of Jack Canfield or Ellen DeGeneres is possible even if you don’t travel in their circles.

How important endorsements and testimonials are in selling books is hard to quantify. In general, publishers say they believe that favorable recommendations and comments are helpful in getting books reviewed, accepted by wholesalers and distributors, hand sold by booksellers, and actually purchased by readers. That’s why they almost always incorporate positive comments from prepublication reviews and/or about an author’s previous titles in book cover design, and often use them in front or back matter too.

This is the first of two articles about what’s involved in getting the endorsements, recommendations, and testimonials often called blurbs—how you target people to ask, how and when you contact potential endorsers, how you get the book’s key points emphasized in comments, and how you can use positive comments in promotion. This month I’m covering the who, when, and how of contacting people about endorsements. Next month’s article will discuss how to get praise on different aspects of a title, how to use the positive feedback, how to get and use reader reviews, and the possible impact on sales. For help with legalities see “The Legal Side of Endorsements and Testimonials,” in this issue….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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