By Sandra Beckwith
Imagine you’ve searched on Amazon for a nonfiction book on how to raise backyard chickens.
Of the many search results generated by the infamous Amazon algorithms, two possibilities catch your eye.
You click through on each. The descriptions are similar, they have a roughly equal number of positive reader reviews, and each table of contents covers what you hope to learn.
What influences your book purchase?
So how do you decide which of the two to purchase?
If you’re like most of us, an endorsement – known in publishing as a “blurb” – is often the tipping point. A book with a testimonial on the cover comes with an important influencer’s seal of approval.
That’s why smart authors start thinking about endorsements early, well before their books are published. They know that it can take time to find the right “blurbers,” nurture the relationship, and secure a glowing testimonial they can use on:
- the cover
- inside the book
- on the sales page
- and in many other ways
How do you start the process?
It begins with research into who will carry the most weight with your ideal readers. Create a dream “hit” list, knowing that it’s a numbers game. You might need to ask 10 or even 20 people in order to get a single blurb.
But all you need is one.
To establish relationships with the people on your list, try any or all of the following three tactics. Your goal is to slowly become known to influencers so that when you make the blurb request, you won’t be a total “unknown.”
1. Network online
Social media platforms were created for networking. Use them for that when working to connect with influencers.
Begin by using the right networks.
- If you want endorsements from high-profile lifestyle gurus, look for them on Pinterest.
- Are the people who will blurb your book in the business world? Check out LinkedIn.
- Looking to engage with millennial endorsers? Try Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.
You want to become known to them over time, so follow them. Retweet or share their content. Comment on their status updates and blog posts.
2. Network in person
Is your dream endorser making a presentation nearby? Attend it. If possible, introduce yourself before or after. Follow-up later with an email that compliments the speaker and their presentation, mentioning something specific that resonated with you.
In addition, attend networking events where you might meet someone who will be an ideal endorser. Register for:
- key conferences
- trade shows
where you will meet the right people while you learn even more about your topic and audience.
3. Request introductions
Put six degrees of separation to work for you. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody. Ask for an in-person or virtual introduction.
Mine your social media connections to see who knows whom. While LinkedIn makes it easy to see who your network members are connected to on that platform, you can find this information with a little more effort on other social networks, too.
Don’t even think of leveraging the introduction to request a favor immediately, though. Be generous with your time and information before ever expecting anything in return.
What are you waiting for?
The biggest mistake most authors make when it comes to pursuing endorsements is not doing it all.
Don’t let fear of rejection hold you back. The worst that can happen is that potential blurbers say they can’t do it. You can handle that! You have nothing to lose, right?
Go for it – and start your planning now!
What’s holding you back from going after your dream endorsement? What’s your biggest obstacle?