As a first-time author, I had no way of foreseeing each step along the way. If you’re a soon-to-be-published author, I hope some of my experiences will help you know what to expect when the time comes.
One question of particular interest for me was,
What will the endorsement process be like?
Endorsements show up on the back or front cover of your book, as a blurb from a well-known author or celebrity. Here’s what I can tell you now that I’ve moved into this part of having a book published:
- You should start making a list of who you would like to endorse your book way ahead of time. Begin collecting email addresses and mailing addresses. Your publisher will most likely want both. They’ll probably prefer sending out a digital copy of your book, but a few of my endorsers specifically requested a hard copy, and the publisher made accommodations for them.
- Don’t ask for names of people you admire. That’s not enough. You have to find well-known names that lots of people know and admire.
- Make sure the names you are hoping to get as endorsers share something in common with your book. e.g. You probably would not ask a self-help guru to endorse your fiction book.
- Consider local and international names. Don’t be afraid to reach big! I was surprised by the people who said yes to my request.
- Don’t be surprised if this is the scariest part of your book-publishing journey. There is something very humbling about asking famous people to read your book.
- Realize every publisher does things differently. My publisher wanted me to contact the potential endorsers first. Once I had the go ahead from the potential endorser, the book went out from the publisher, along with a letter. The letter contained instructions as well as a deadline.
- The most important piece of advice I learned was from Michael Hyatt in his book, Platform. Ask your “sure things” first. These are the one or two people with whom you’ve built a relationship, the ones you feel will most likely offer an endorsement. Once you have a yes from them, you can insert their names in the email to your next potential endorsers. No one wants to be the first to say yes to endorsing, but they’ll probably get excited once they recognize other potential endorsers’ names.
- Don’t ask for the endorsement. Ask if they’ll read your book and consider an endorsement.
- Don’t get discouraged by the no’s. Trust God knows who should and shouldn’t endorse your book.
- Pray for your potential endorsers. Pray they’ll have time in their schedules and that God would bless them for their generosity.
*Below I’ve posted an example of the letter I sent to my potential endorsers:
Hi So and So,
(Explain how you know them or their name)