I always encourage publishers and author who are producing books to get endorsements. Endorsements are important in selling books. In fact, a whole chapter in my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace is devoted to the importance of endorsements.
Endorsements are not reviews. Rather, they are statements that an author or publisher seeks on behalf of a book prior to publication. These statements generally endorse —state the book has value—and are from people the readers of the book can respect. This can be another author writing in the same genre or to the same audience, a pastor, a celebrity, or an expert in the field you are writing about.
Endorsements are used on the book’s cover (and in all the book’s marketing material) to let people know that important people are saying this book is worth the money and time a reader would invest.
An endorsement is not: “A great read. I couldn’t put the book down. ~reader from Kentucky.” This type of statement is a testimonial, generally given in a review. Testimonials can be used in your marketing materials, but they are not endorsements.
It is not beyond any author’s reach to garner endorsements. All it takes is a little work: finding the right people and asking them to endorse your upcoming book.
Author Michael L. White is a good example of an author who went after endorsements. Michael recently published a book on how to be your own publisher titled A Publishing Panacea. The book teaches aspiring authors how to publish a book.
Michael took the time to ask the right people for endorsements. For his book, he received endorsements from independent publishing industry experts: John Kremer, Brian Jud, and yours truly, Sarah Bolme. What a boon for Michael and his book. When promoting his book, he can now assert that the book has been endorsed by leaders in the self-publishing industry.
You, too, can get endorsements for your next book. Choose the right people and take the effort to ask. The worst response you will get is “No thanks.” You will also get some yeses, and these will help you reel in more sales when your book is published.
Caveat: I want to leave my blog readers with one caveat. I receive multiple requests for endorsements on books. However, due to my position as Director of Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) and time constraints, I only consider providing endorsements for those books directly related to publishing or marketing a book.