Before the design work on your book can be completed, we want to incorporate any endorsements you have secured for your book. The earlier we have these, the better, since there are design decisions that have to be made regarding the use of your endorsements.
For example, do we include one (or a fragment of one) on the front cover? On the back cover, do we use more endorsements or an author bio? How many pages of endorsements do we include inside the book?
Endorsements can be a compelling part of what convinces a reader who doesn’t know you to try your book.
The ideal endorsement endorses you in a professional capacity and lauds the merits of the book as a natural reflection of your expertise. You can then use an endorsement like that both for your professional services (on your website), as well as for promoting your book.
Elements of a Book Endorsement
Therefore, a well-written book endorsement consists of a few different elements.
- It typically consists of 1-3 sentences of clear and concise information that commends you and recommends your book to prospective readers. You’re not looking for a novel here. Just a few sentences that can easily be repurposed in marketing materials as well. If the endorser has more to say, ask them to use the lengthier version of their endorsement as a review on Amazon. But for the book itself, you just want 1-3 sentences.
- It includes a specific call-to-action. For example, in this review left on Amazon for John Suscovich’s Stress-Free Chicken Tractor Plans, the endorser instructs the reader to “read it twice and build it.” The call-to-action is clear, specific and actionable.
I can’t say enough good things about this chicken tractor design, John really did his homework. It’s well worth the price, read it twice and build it.
- It uses creative language that catches the attention of the reader. Sometimes that language echoes a key point of the book or its title. Other times, it’s just eye-catching because it’s unexpected. For example, for The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books, we prominently featured an endorsement from global business celebrity, Jeffery Hayzlett, on the front cover because it was exactly what we wanted a prospective reader to hear.
I have two bestsellers under my belt and I wish I had read this book before I had written them. This would have saved me a lot of TIME and MONEY. A big help to a new author!
Who to Ask for Endorsements
Usually, you want to ask for endorsements from individuals who are an authority of some kind, whether it’s because of name recognition or a title that’s visible. Oftentimes, they are in the same industry the book is related to, but not always.
There are rare occasions when you may use an endorsement from someone who isn’t well known, simply because the endorsement itself is powerful. For instance, when a client has gotten amazing results based on what you teach in your book, sharing that as an endorsement can be an effective marketing tool. Prospective readers will be able to relate to the desire for better results and want to repeat the success of your client.
So, as you consider who to ask to endorse your book, think about a good cross-section of people. They may be influencers in your industry, peers or colleagues who have a similar target market, or even clients. Ideally, you want to ask those people who are your raving fans, because their energy and enthusiasm will shine through in what they write for you.
As for how to ask for an endorsement, we go into detail in Sample Support Requests.
How Many Endorsements Are Enough?
There isn’t a magic number of endorsements to have. It’s more about the quality than the quantity. One well-worded, powerful and impactful endorsement can do more for your marketing than a dozen weak, lukewarm testimonials.
So as you decide who to ask and which endorsements to use, think about it from the viewpoint of a prospective reader.
- Is the endorsement understandable and relatable?
- Is the endorser someone I recognize or might want to emulate?
- Is the language engaging and motivating?
- Is the call-to-action clear?
If you can answer “yes” to each of these questions for the endorsement you’re evaluating, then it’s a good candidate to be used with the book.
We usually wait until we have all the endorsements back in order to rank them according to how impactful they are. The phrase or name that stands out the most to us typically goes on the cover somewhere, assuming the design allows for it.
The rest of the endorsements can fill a few pages in the front matter of the book.
If there are more endorsements than we want to use in the book itself or we receive some “really good ones” after we’ve already moved into production with the book, then we reserve the others to be used on marketing materials or on the author’s website. They can also be used in the book listing descriptions themselves.
As a rule of thumb, we typically try to have 2-4 pages of endorsements inside the book with 2-4 endorsements per page depending on their length, and 1 or 2 endorsements on the cover itself, which may be fragments pulled from the best endorsements used inside the book.
However, we don’t force it. We’d rather have fewer endorsements than to use poor ones.
And if we get a large number of raving reviews, we don’t limit ourselves either. John Suscovich’s launch team had so much to say that we included 6 pages of the best testimonials he received simply because people loved what he’d created and they were achieving great success as a result of following his plans. Raving fans are an author’s greatest joy.
Where to Use Endorsements
There are so many ways to use endorsements, and we’ve mentioned a few of them within the context of this article. But here is a consolidated list with a few other ideas thrown in.
- Front cover
- Back cover
- Inside the book
- Book listing descriptions
- Social media
- Launch team materials
- Speaker banner
- Press releases
And be sure to ask your endorsers to add their testimonial as a review on your book listing as well.