Did you know that before you publish your book you can load it to Goodreads? Goodreads is a site where readers find books by reading reviews and adding friends. It’s a great place to let readers know that your book is going to be launched. If readers like the premise they will add it to their “shelf” and their friends will like it and add it too, which gives your book more visibility.
Goodreads allows you to host giveaways and write the description of the book so readers can learn what the book is about.
I add endorsements to my book’s description, too. I also add it to my Amazon author page, and include them in the front of the book and often on the back cover.
What is an endorsement?
An endorsement is a quote from a reader who has read your book. It’s a statement that gives your book credibility. Sometimes it’s from a professional working in the field of study that’s centered in your book. Sometimes it’s an author who writes in your similar genre. Sometimes it’s from a New York Times bestselling author.
How to find endorsements from professionals:
1. You ask. It helps to know someone before you ask. Otherwise you might be perceived as a spammer. If you search for professionals in the field and find one, but don’t personally know them, ask your FB friends or LinkedIn friends if they know the person. Could they recommend you? Post something like, “I’m looking for a scientist who does research on lyme disease to read my novel. Does anyone have a suggestion on whom I can contact?” Network through your friends.
Example of an Endorsement Request Letter
To Whom it May Concern (Use their name. Make sure you spell it correctly. Be formal by using a salutation like Mr. or Ms, unless they’re a friend of family member.)
Give them a few details of your book.
Example: I’ve written an inspirational biography (list the genre) of a young athlete who was rendered a quadriplegic by a drunk driver. Parts of this story appeared on ESPN and in Rosie. Famous coaches like John Wooden are mentioned in the book because they were influential in the healing of the victim.
Ask: Would you be interested in reading and endorsing this book if you feel it’s worthy? If you choose to send an endorsement I’ll include your name, your quote, and your title or latest book release in the front page of the book. (You can also add their endorsement on the back cover if you have room.)
I could send you an ebook copy in a PDF or MOBI format–whichever you prefer. (Give them a deadline.) I’d like to have endorsements by July 1 since we have a September launch date. (Be sure to let them know when your book will be available.)
If you send me your address I’ll send you a signed copy of the book when it’s launched, too.
I sent several of these out through email, but others I asked at FB.
When should you obtain endorsements?
As soon as your book is in the process of editing start having conversations with professionals who might be interested in reading the book. Once you have an e-copy that has been edited start sending it to endorsers.
What if they say no?
Some will. Thank them anyway. Tell them you understand. Maybe they’re working toward a deadline. Maybe they have a sick mother. One author told me that his public relations manager wouldn’t let him endorse any books. That’s okay. I still plan on sending him a signed copy of the book because I value him. Even if he doesn’t publicly endorse the book, he might recommend it to his friends.
Do they have to read the entire book?
Many people choose not to read the entire book because they’re pressed for time. For instance, Renee Bondi, award-winning singer and songwriter, endorsed Kelly’s book, FRACTURED NOT BROKEN, but only had time to read the first three and last three chapters. However, she knew Kelly’s story because she and Kelly had spoken together at a conference. They’d told each other their stories. Here’s what she said about Kelly’s book:
“Oh, how I relate to these pages! This book has been a true encouragement to me. Thank you Kelly for sharing your story – the loss and the unexpected joy – so that each reader can be uplifted knowing there is a full, rich life available to those who lean in to our Lord Jesus. Mike and I look forward to joining you and Shawn on the heavenly dance floor one day!”
What difference does an endorsement make?
If you had a heart problem and a cardiologist told you that you needed to have a valve replaced you’d listen to him, wouldn’t you? The same is true for book recommendations. Well, not exactly because you’re not going to have surgery. But my point is that you’re more apt to read a book if it’s recommended by respected person in the field, someone who has credibility in the genre you’re writing in, or someone who’s well-known for their expertise.
It can be a Win-Win for endorsers too
Dr. Dennis E. Hensley is an author, mentor, and professor at Taylor University. He’s the director of the English department and head of the writing program. I had the honor of attending his classes. When I decided to publish Kelly’s book, I asked him for his endorsement. As busy as he was he sent me this quote below. Notice how he included the tag line about his recent release. Connecting his book to mine will give him additional marketing. If people like my book maybe they’ll read his too.
“Life has its tragic moments of defeat, setbacks, and fracturing for everyone. No one can escape events of emotional, sometimes physical pain. Kelly’s story proves, however, that individual momentum, personal progress, and genuine achievement can still be attained. Her courage and optimism are uplifting. Open these pages and experience the joy of ultimate victory.” Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, author of Jesus in All Four Seasons.
Pat Bradley, friend and author, read Kelly’s book too. She’s launching her romantic suspense novel, GONE WITHOUT A TRACE, on June 30. Her endorsement is also in the front pages of Kelly’s book. Notice how diverse the endorsements are. None have the the same platform.
The final one is from a Bishop who lives near Kelly’s hometown.
“This is a real life story of heroic virtue—especially of courage, humility, and generosity—a triumph of faith, hope and love. This story involves the very essence of the human spirit, family, and community. To know Kelly and her journey of miracles is to know that with God all things are possible.” —Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson Bishop of Evansville
Don’t these endorsements make Kelly’s story more credible? Do you think readers will be more enticed to read the story because of the professionals who endorsed it?
Who will you ask to endorse your book? Even if you haven’t completed it yet, think ahead and approach professionals with credible platforms–especially when you meet them at writer’s conferences.