Authors Need Both Book Endorsements and Reviews

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VelocityWriting.com video transcription

In this video, I’m going to explain the difference between book endorsements and book reviews and why authors need both.

A Review Defined

First, we know a book review. That’s when someone reads your book and shares their opinion about why they think it’s good or bad.

Good reviews are social proof that your book has something to offer to potential book buyers.

This is a big topic and I offer a full-length course about how to get reviews, and I think you can benefit from it. There’s a course link in the description… with a discount for you.

An Endorsement Defined

But what are endorsements and why do you need them?

Let me tell you a quick story.

Back at the turn of the last century, there was a famous Wall Street financier who was known as Diamond Jim Brady. A young entrepreneur wanted Brady to invest in his new business.

Brady said, “no”—but he liked the young man.

Brady told him, “I won’t invest any money, but I’ll walk across the floor of the stock exchange with my arm around you.”

Brady correctly understood that his display of confidence in the young man—his endorsement— was far more valuable.

If others thought the young man was a friend of Brady, they’d be more than willing to invest with him.

Endorsements in the Book World

An endorsement is defined as, “A formal statement testifying to someone’s character, qualifications or achievements.”

It’s a positive comment about you as the author, or perhaps about your general writing skills, or perhaps your command of the topic you’re writing about.

So, if J.K. Rowling or Stephen King said that you were a great writer, would that help sell your book?

Of course it would.

They might not actually read your book, but that’s beside the point. If they know enough about you or your work to give you an endorsement, then that’s what you’re looking for.

 

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How to Get Endorsements

You get these testimonials early by sending out a draft of your book to people you target. You mark your manuscript very clearly that it’s an unedited draft.

1. Snail mail seems to work far better than email.

The person getting it will probably not read your manuscript. Remind them that you’re NOT asking for a review. Tell them upfront that you’re asking for a testimonial.

2. Who do you send testimonial requests to? The most influential people who can help you. You usually don’t even need to know them personally—they may be the friend of a friend of a friend. Someone you met briefly at a conference. Someone you admire. Or maybe a recognized expert in your field.

You’d be surprised how many well-known people are willing to write testimonials. I’ve asked for them on behalf of my clients and got them from astronauts, politicians, university presidents, doctors, Pulitzer Prize winners, movie stars and others—and they barely knew my client.

The draft of the book is just bait. You’re not looking for a review. You want a testimonial.

3. If you send out 10 testimonial requests, you may get one or two back. Be sure to request them early since you cannot expect people to return them in just a few days. Sometimes it takes weeks to hear from people—if you hear at all.

Exploit the Endorsements You Receive

Potential readers love to see testimonials from people they recognize. You use them on your Amazon and Goodreads author pages, and of course in the book itself.

Use them in all your promotional materials.


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