In the world of marketing your books, there are active marketing steps (meeting new readers, running promotions, doing giveaways). There are also some passive marketing steps you can take, that once you have done them, you don’t have to keep doing it, but they work to help promote your books. In this guest post, author and book marketer Sarah Bolme shares a great tip on a passive marketing step you can take to really boost your book’s image.
Have you ever seen a book cover where the name of the celebrity providing an endorsement for the book was larger than the author’s name? This little trick is used to catch a book buyer’s eye because publishers know that celebrity names sell books.
As an author, make pursuing endorsements for your book a priority.
Why is seeking endorsements for a book so important? Endorsements lend credibility to a book and state a book has quality. A good endorsement can make the difference between a few sales and a multitude of sales.
Endorsements lend credibility to a book.
With so many books to choose from, most book buyers depend on name recognition when making purchase decisions. A new or unknown author has no reputation and thus little credibility with consumers. The best way to gain credibility in the consumer’s eye is to have your book endorsed by someone who already has credibility. When consumers trust the person endorsing your book, they trust that you are a credible author.
My main expertise is in marketing Christian books. Having endorsements is especially important if you are trying to promote a Christian-based book for Christian consumers. Christians want to know that a book being offered to them as “Christian” or “wholesome” truly meets this definition. For science-fiction readers, they want to know that a popular science-fiction author endorses the book. The same goes for any other genre or nonfiction topic.
An endorsement by a known figure in your genre or industry seals sales. However, if you do not know any of these authors personally, you can just ask. Many authors are prolific readers, so if your book seems appealing to them, they may just be interested in reading your book, and if they like it, they can endorse it. This goes a long way to boosting your book’s profile when you are ready to launch it.
Endorsements state a book has quality.
Consumers have limited spending dollars on which to spend their hard-earned money as well as limited time in which to read. Each of these book buyers needs to be assured that the book they are considering purchasing is a quality book worth their money and time. Endorsements send this message.
It is best to secure endorsements for your book while it is still in manuscript form. That way, you can use the endorsers’ names on your book cover and in all your pre-release book review requests and marketing materials.
When requesting an endorsement, send a complete copy of your manuscript for the endorser to review. It is acceptable to provide endorsers with a list of names of other persons from whom you are requesting endorsements. Most celebrity endorsers will be pleased to be included in good company and those who are not celebrities will be excited to have their names printed with famous people.
Endorsements are truly an essential ingredient in a good book marketing campaign, so do not neglect this important step.
Sarah Bolme is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, now in its third edition. As the Director of Christian Small Publishers Association she helps small publishers market their books in the Christian marketplace. You can read her blog at http://marketingchristianbooks.wordpress.com.