By Lara Helmling
If you’ve ever been in a meeting with a publisher, you’ve probably been asked this question: “Do you know anyone who will endorse your book?”
Most of my first-time authors say, “I don’t know anybody.”
Maybe you do or maybe you don’t know anybody, but you can still get valuable endorsements.
I’ve broken the process down into easy steps that you can follow one-by-one to get the results you want.
Oh, and by the way, if you’re still seeking a publisher, putting endorsements in your book proposal will knock their socks off.
Brainstorm at least 5-10 organizations, individuals, or even celebrities who are somehow related to your book.
Here are a few examples that my authors have used:
1) One of my authors has a middle grade reader that has a dyslexic version. She sought endorsements from the International and American Dyslexic Associations.
2) Another author wrote a superheroes book. He went to a Comic-Con Convention and got three endorsements from celebrities at the conference.
3) A third author wrote a young adult book that involved child abuse as part of the conflict. He contacted agencies that work to end child abuse and domestic abuse around the country for endorsements.
4) A fourth author wrote a book that featured a charity project completed by children in the book. He used a specific charity and then contacted the organization. He ended up partnering with them for the publication of the book.
Now that you have your list, write a query letter if you’re emailing or write a short script if you’re meeting in person. This should include the following elements:
1) A greeting that compliments the receiver on something that you admire.
2) A version of your elevator pitch.
3) Your request for an endorsement. “I would be so honored if you’d be willing to write a short endorsement for my book.
4) A question like, “how do I contact you?”
Once they’ve said yes, they’ll probably request more information.
Here’s what to send:
1) Send them a thank you letter for their willingness to consider offering you an endorsement.
2) Send them your synopsis.
3) Send them the first chapter of your book. They may later ask for the whole book or the manuscript, but don’t overwhelm them at first.
4) Write a version of the perfect endorsement that you would want them to give you, and send this in the body of the email. This is critical! It may seem strange or even presumptuous to ‘tell them what to say,’ but it’s not. Everybody is busy and you’re much much much! more likely to get a ‘yes’ from them if you give them an example of what you’d like them to say.
5) Invite them to edit it and send it back to you in an email.
6) Thank them again and keep your fingers crossed!
This is the basic system that I teach my authors and that they have used successfully to get the endorsements they want. Of course, there’s more to learn but I’m out of time to talk to you about the details.
If you’d like to get more ideas or run some ideas past me, I’d be happy to talk with you. Also, I’ve got a free little ebook on endorsements. It includes examples, templates for different situations, and more tips for getting those perfect endorsements.
May God bless you in all your writing and publishing endeavors!
Lara Helmling (Fierz) is an acquisitions editor with Morgan James Publishing, an author, and the founder of the Bestselling Author Studio. She is the president of the ACFW Chicago Chapter where she serves a fabulous community of authors. Lara and her husband Stephen are empty nesters who live in Northern Illinois with three ridiculously spoiled dogs and a one rotten kitty.
I love an easy-to-follow recipe for getting something done! The work itself may be difficult, but I can easily follow directions. Thank you!
Lara, thanks for a clear, sensible approach to requesting endorsements. I especially appreciate the same endorsement idea. Sounds like a great suggestion, since it’s much easier to take a couple sentences and reword them rather make up something out of nothing!
Wow! Sounds easy enough! Thanks to this modern age of technology it’s easy to get in touch with fellow Christian authors. Already got a list of 5 I’d contact when the time came for me to publish. =)