Growing you book sales isn’t easy. In fact, you’re probably doing it incorrectly already.
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This is a guest post by Cloris Kylie, marketing MBA, who shows you how to create a strong marketing foundation and connect with influencers to grow a magnificent business. The bestselling author of “Beyond Influencer Marketing” and the host of “Beyond Influencer Marketing Podcast,” she has been featured on network television, top-ranked podcasts, and YouTube shows and websites with millions of followers. Get her guide to connect with influencers at https://www.cloriskylie.com/influencer.
How to get book endorsements
Endorsements are a very powerful form of social proof and trust-builder for potential readers of your book.
Endorsements alone might not make your book a bestseller, but they’ll give you an advantage over other books that don’t have them.
You could place endorsements or “blurbs” on the back cover of your book, the praise sheet, or even the front cover, as you can see from my endorsement example below.
But, how do you get top influencers to support your book? Here are five simple steps to get endorsements for your book.
#1 – Find the right influencers
The most powerful endorsements are those given by people who are well-known in your field.
To select the right influencers, find out who your ideal readers admire. Post the question on targeted social media groups or ask them directly.
Also, ask yourself what top influencers you follow and respect. Add their names to the list.
Focus on quality over quantity, but if you don’t have enough names, search for bestselling books similar to yours and check out who endorsed them.
It’s important that the influencers have a style and values similar to yours. That way, your ideal reader will be likely to be attracted to them and be familiar with their work.
How do you figure out the style and values of potential endorsers? Start by visiting the “About Me” page on their website and pay attention to their branding and message.
Then, visit their social media pages and focus on the style of their posts and the content they share. You’ll get a good idea of whether the person’s values and style might be a good match for you or not.
#3 – Deliver value first
Because it’s much easier to get a yes from someone who has already received value from you, it’s important that you start planning your request for endorsements in advance.
For blurbs by top influencers, you might need to start the outreach process several months ahead of the publication of your book.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, there’s always a way for you to bring value to the influencers and start a relationship with them.
Something as simple as sending them a handwritten note about how much their message means to you, posting a video review of their book on Amazon, or recommending them on LinkedIn will help you stand out.
Here are other examples of powerful ways to stand out:
- becoming an active member on the influencers’ social media groups
- attending one of their conferences
- joining one of their paid programs
You should do this because you truly enjoy their message and not just because you’re seeking endorsements. Your true intentions will come through in your communications and behaviors.
Avoid going straight to the ask without having taken the time to deliver value first.
#4 – Prepare to ask
Before you reach out to potential endorsers, do everything you can to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
Prepare well in advance so you can find the best opportunities to ask for the endorsement, and give yourself enough time to get through gatekeepers.
For example, if the influencer will be speaking at an event in your town, you could grab a ticket and introduce yourself.
However, local events aren’t your only choice. One of my friends was interested in building a relationship with an influencer who would be speaking three thousand miles away. But that didn’t stop her.
By following the influencer on Instagram, she learned that this person loved brownies and would be attending the event with her husband.
My friend ordered a dozen brownies to be delivered to the event with a customized note that read, “Best wishes during your presentation. Hope you and your husband enjoy these treats!”
That was the start of their friendship.
As part of your preparation, write a sample endorsement for each influencer. Blurs usually hover around 50 words (never more than 100). If you know their work well, you will be able to create blurbs that closely match their writing voice.
#5 – Ask for the endorsement
It might feel nerve-wracking to ask, but never wrong. If you’re hesitant, it might be too soon in the relationship, especially when it comes to top influencers.
If you ask too soon, they will either ignore you or reject your proposal.
Rushing might mean that you’ll have to start the process all over again and find someone else to endorse your book.
Never send a mass request to a group of influencers. You’ll waste your time, and hurt your chances of ever building a relationship with them. Customization is key.
Send the influencers a copy of your book along with a well-crafted message asking for the endorsement.
Ideally, you’ll send them a physical copy. It doesn’t have to be the final version, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be a printed PDF.
That said, you must ensure that whatever you send to the influencer is professionally packaged.
If sending a physical version of your book is not possible, you can send them the PDF or ebook, but you’ll have to ask in a way that stands out. You could achieve this by customizing your message in a unique way, creating a video specifically designed for them, or preceding your email with a handwritten note.
Think outside the box! A video card or a note written on a balloon would be clever ways to stand out, too.
Be succinct. Remember that time is a high-price commodity for influencers (for everyone!) so you don’t want to make it a chore to understand what you’re asking.
Start by expressing why you feel they’re the right person to endorse the book and why you respect them so much. Be sure to mention that you’re eager to make your readers aware of their work.
Next, specify the length of the blurb you’re seeking as well as by when you need it done.
Don’t make your deadline too far in the future so that it’s put in the back burner, but don’t make it so soon that the influencer will immediately say no. I personally chose 3-4 weeks to collect the blurbs.
Be prepared to negotiate an extended due date, and allow for extra time in your planning.
When you share the blurb that you wrote, explain that you’re just trying to make things easy for them.
Express how much you appreciate their time and attention, and close with the promise to follow up in a week or two.
Following Up for Book Endorsements
If you don’t hear back from the influencers, it’s easy to assume they’re not interested in writing the endorsement and be tempted to give up. However, it’s important to realize that they might have not received your message yet.
Emails go to spam folders. Gatekeepers delete emails and toss out mail. You never know!
When you follow up, try a different way to reach the person. If you used email first, follow up with a handwritten note or a message on social media.
If you find out the name of the influencers’ gatekeepers, reach out to them directly. Build a relationship with them as well, and you will have a great chance of success.
My rule of thumb is to follow up three times. If you don’t hear from them, it might be time to move on.
As you can see, with a well-written manuscript, proper planning, and a great dose of authenticity, it’s possible for you to get endorsements from top influencers in your field.
The most important step is to take action.
It’s easy to be sidelined by fear of rejection, but if you think about it, the worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say no. If you’re confident in the quality of your book, you have nothing to fear.
Take the first step today to gain powerful social proof and make your book a success!
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