Ten Thoughts About the Book Endorsement Process

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Consider local and international names. Don’t be afraid to reach big! I was surprised by the people who said yes to my request.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Don’t ask for the endorsement. Ask if they’ll read your book and consider an endorsement.
  9. Don’t get discouraged by the no’s. Trust God knows who should and shouldn’t endorse your book.
  10. 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)

The reason for this email is that I finally got my book written and it’s about to be published with Abingdon Press.
I’m tippy toeing in here, knowing how busy you are. I am wondering if you would consider reading and potentially endorsing my book?
Here are three people who have already said yes to reading and hopefully endorsing my work:
(List the people along with a short bio or web link) 
My book is about self care and includes all the ideas that helped me when I struggled emotionally while moving toward a degree in a counseling psychology program. I have chapters on the importance of solitude, boundaries, play, psychological counseling, authenticity, etc. My book is based on research but written to the lay person. Even though I researched and reworked it for seven years, it’s a quick easy read. Here is a link: http://www.lucillezimmerman.com/book/
Obviously, if you say yes to reading, you are not committing to an endorsement. I would only want that if you found something redemptive in the book.
Thank you for taking a moment to consider. If you do say yes, I just need your mailing address and the best email to send to my editor.
Warmly,
Lucille Zimmerman
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About Lucille Zimmerman

Lucille published a book about self-care with Abingdon Press. She and her husband are celebrating 27 years of marriage and are experiencing the "empty nest." She has a private counseling practice in Littleton, Colorado and teaches psychology courses at Colorado Christian University. On a typical day you will find her walking her dog Chipotle, reading, writing, and seeing clients. She loves good coffee, belly-laughter, fly-fishing, and Honey Nut Cheerios. www.LucilleZimmerman.com Twitter: LucilleZ

20 thoughts on “Ten Thoughts About the Book Endorsement Process

  1. All good thoughts, Lucille. And once you have those endorsements, it’s a good idea to put them on your website. I give a personalized copy of my book to my endorsers without asking them for anything in return. I want it to be a real thank you without strings, but often that does remind them to post a review or help promote.

  2. Thanks, Lucille for this insightful post. I’ve discovered some publishers of children’s picture books want the endorsement contact list as you submit your work. This process to longer for me than writing my book proposal!

  3. Thanks, Lucille. I was recently asked to be an endorser, and had so much fun doing it, but I had never thought about how I would go about finding my own!

    This post is going in my file…

    • Jan, me too. I googled “how to write a book endorsement” and found some excellent tips with specific steps.

  4. I’m filing this post away for the day when I need it–what a great thought! I would absolutely be one of those people who can’t imagine asking someone famous for an endorsement.

    • Kathleen, glad you found this helpful. I’d say most of the people I thought would say yes did, but a couple didn’t. And surprisingly the huge reaches said yes too.

  5. Very cool. I’m in the beginning stages of my books and I was really worried about some of the processes to having a published book. This takes some of the pressure off. I never thought about figuring out who I would like to endorse my book before I actually needed to. Plus going outside of your comfort zone for author endorsments gives you chance to discover new authors.

    • For the past year, I keep a running list of every name I could think of. I was so glad I did this because when the publisher was ready to go, they wanted it done immediately.

  6. Great post! I’m just about at this step as I complete the final line edits and proofreading. Your article reminded me that I actually do know a couple authors personally who I could ask. As a note to self-publishers, if you set up your own business as a publishing company, you can list that, and it looks a lot more professional.

  7. I didn’t get a chance to comment on this the other day, but I wanted to thank you for writing such a great post, Lucille. This here is concrete, helpful information to tuck away for the future. Thank you very much for sharing. (:

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Though I submitted a list of potential endorsers in the proposal that sold my book, I only offered sure-thing names. Now that I’m almost done with my manuscript, your post inspired me to start a new endorser list with the Big Names. Why not? I’ve decided the worst that might happen is a no, or lack of response. And I’ll be no worse off than I am right now. If it wasn’t for your post, Lucille. I wouldn’t have taken the courage to make the attempt. Who knows? Someone might say yes.

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