Using Book Endorsements Strategically

Kylah Frazier Posted by Kylah Frazier, Project Manager, Weaving Influence.

Kylah was an amazing Sales & Marketing assistant for Berrett-Koehler before she moved on to other adventures.


Using Book Endorsements Strategically

• Unless you get a big name, the function of endorsements is to spread the word to key people.
• The best endorsements are 2-3 sentences long.
• Work your connections!

Cover Endorsements

On the back cover is where you put endorsements from heavy hitters, and if you get a truly exceptional endorser (i.e. a former presidents, a celebrities, a Fortune 500 CEO—all examples of actual BK endorsers), they go on the front. These are names that mean something to the average person and will make them stop in a bookstore and pick up your book.

Interior Endorsements

The real purpose of interior endorsements is to mobilize your network, give you an excuse to make key people aware of the book and (hopefully) get them talking about it and raise the book's profile before publication. The most effective endorsements are from people who have name recognition among your target audience, either because of who they are, what they do, or who they work for. Remember, more does not necessarily mean better.

Getting Endorsements

The first step to gathering endorsements is brainstorming whom you know and whom to ask, and to work your connections. Think about your business contacts, your friends, and your family—you could find a link to great endorsers you never knew you had access to if you do some digging. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make a request, asking people for their opinion is flattering. They may not always have time to help you out, but they will appreciate the gesture.

What Does an Ideal Endorsement Look Like?

Ideally, each endorsement should be no longer than 2 or 3 sentences long. There's absolutely no pressure to fill up every bit of available space. It also doesn't hurt to remind your endorsers to be brief and to avoid summarizing. If you'd like to give them a prompt, some good questions to answer are:

1. What is somebody going to get out of reading your book?
2. How will it help make the world a better place?
3. How will it expand or change a reader's understanding of some critical issue?
4. Why is it so needed at this time?
5. Why are you uniquely qualified to write on this topic?

Let your endorsers know what they write will probably be edited down to fit into the layout, and please also remember to check with them on exactly how they want to be credited.

That's about all you need to know!