If you’re like me, you probably think it’s impossible to get endorsements from busy authors, especially from a NY Times bestselling author. Well I have news for you: it might be easier than you think.
I’d like to share a few ideas that worked for me.
- Identify the authors
- Send a well-crafted query
The best way to be successful is to start a relationship with an author a year or two before your book comes out.
- Volunteer at a library or a writers’ networking group where they invite authors to speak. Introduce yourself to the author, buy their book, chat with them, and give them a little something to remember you by. I would say, “Please remember the Gutsy woman who moved her kids to Belize.” They would usually remember Gutsy and Belize.
- Review their books on Amazon. To stand out from the crowd, make your own video review. Here’s the Amazon video review I did for Susan Pohlman’s book: Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy brought our family home.
Here’s another one I did for Lan Sluder, Living Abroad in Belize. I was fortunate to get wonderful endorsements from both of them.
- If you really like an author, suggest an interview, or write about them and do something different, like a video of what you find fascinating about them, and how it relates to your own theme. In my case, I love the writing style of author, Nigel Marsh–no we’re not related. His theme is the work/life balance, and after watching him speak on a TED video, I sent him a link to my video post.
One year later, he sent me a LinkedIn message about his next book to be released in August: Fit, Fifty and Un-Fired, and I said I’d love to promote it for him as I’m a huge fan of his first book: Fat, Forty and Fired.
When you send your query, remind them where you met them, or if you wrote a blog post about them. If you don’t know them, look for their contact information online and go for it.
- Keep it short.
- Be friendly, explain that you realize they’re super busy, and how you hope they can help.
- Show them you’re familiar with their book, (I sent links to my video reviews of their book) and connect to a common cause.
- Explain how you have similar audiences, and/or a similar message. I wrote about how my family did something “unconventional,” just like yours did.
- Ask them if they would like to receive a few suggested endorsements, which your editor has prepared for you. (I had 15 ready to go, just in case.)
- Inform them of when you would appreciate an endorsement by, if they have time.
- Follow up with a gentle reminder, a week before your deadline, to those who agreed to review your book.
- Don’t take it personally if an author does not agree to endorse your book. They are probably very busy, or on their own book tour. Always remember to be polite. They are doing you a huge favor.
- Make sure to thank them for the endorsement and offer to send them a copy of your book when it’s available with a thank you note inside.
I sent out twenty queries to authors and journalists, and I would say 80% asked me to send them my ARC (Advance Reading Copy-not for sale) or the pdf.
So far, I have received five endorsements, and I’m waiting for more.
Below is an example of one letter I sent out:
Hi (Name of Author),
I contacted you a year or so ago, and as a writer, I’m a huge fan of (Your Book)
I posted a video review on Amazon if you’d like to see it.
As you may remember, my family did something “unconventional” like you did with your husband, son and daughter. We uprooted our family with three sons, and moved from a five-bedroom house in Orange County, to a hut on stilts in Belize. Not only do we have California and moving our families in common, but the same audience and the fact that we both wanted to “heal” our family.
I realize you’re super busy, especially organizing your writers’ retreat this October–it sounds and looks like an amazing place–but it would mean so much to me if I could get a mini endorsement from you on my upcoming travel memoir: Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island. The ARC’s will be ready on June 20th and I would like to expedite a copy to you, unless you would prefer to receive a pdf version, which I can send now.
I can provide some endorsements if this would make things easier for you.
I am so happy to have received two fabulous endorsements from authors I admire.
“Sonia Marsh and her family give new meaning to the term “flipping out!” Sombreros off to them for showing us the roads less traveled can often be the most rewarding — even when our trips don’t go as planned.”
— Franz Wisner, New York Times bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother and How the World Makes Love.
If you’re dreaming of escaping to a tropical island, or to any foreign land, don’t miss Sonia Marsh’s candid and vivid recounting of the ups and downs of life abroad. Part adventure tale, part romance, part family saga and part travel guide, Freeways to Flip-Flops is a memoir that reads like a novel.
–Lan Sluder (Easy Belize, Fodor’s Belize, Living Abroad in Belize)
Sorry this is so long, but I want to thank Jason Matthews for interviewing me, as well as many indie authors on his Monday night show: Indie Authors on Hangoutnetworks.com.
Connect with Jason on Facebook here, he is a fabulous host and I hope you contact him about his show, and also his book, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for Free.
Video of Indie Authors: