Gutsy Book Buzz: How to get endorsements + more

 

Honeymoon with my Brother by Franz Wisner

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
  • Follow-up.

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.

Warm Regards,

Sonia

I am so happy to have received two fabulous endorsements from authors I admire.

Franz Wisner

 

“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.

 

Lan Sluder

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:

Comments (24)

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  1. Sonia, how fantastic that is to get reviews from best-selling authors! What great tips. I’m flattered you included our video in one blog post 🙂
    Jason Matthews recently posted..Indie Author Sonia Marsh Gutsy Living Gutsy WriterMy Profile

  2. Sonia Marsh says:

    Jason,

    I am getting so much practice speaking thanks to you and your panels of Indie authors and the interviews that you started. This is a great way to invite indie authors to participate and show what they’ve done, as well as learn from others.

  3. Kelli says:

    Way to go, Sonia!!
    And thanks for the ideas!!!!
    Kelli recently posted..How to Make your Mom FORGET about a Fear of Heights!My Profile

  4. Sonia Marsh says:

    Hi Kelli,

    I want to find out more about your book. What genre?
    Thanks for your support from a Texan in Denmark.

  5. Thanks for this, Sonia. This is so helpful. I’m going to use your advice as my book gets nearer to its new launch. xo

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      I know you’re speaking at writers’ conventions, so you’ve got an audience waiting for your book Madeline.

  6. Lady Fi says:

    How fabulous for you Sonia!
    Lady Fi recently posted..Swan sunsetMy Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Thanks Ladyfi. Hope you’re enjoying the UK, although I heasrd the weather isn’t too good.

  7. Penelope J says:

    You are providing me with so much good advice! I’d thought about contacting authors to endorse me, but figured that it was too soon. My book comes out in November so I’ll have to hustle.

    Thanks, Sonia, for sharing your publishing experiences and knowledge with us.
    Penelope J recently posted..Never Give Up on Your DreamMy Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Do you have ARC’s to send out? That is of course one of the key elements to getting an endorsement.

  8. You’re a pro at this book promotion, Sonia, my hat off to you. Getting these endorsements is fantastic! I read both the books you mentioned and enjoyed them.
    Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane recently posted..Expat Writer: Are You Ready to Bleed?My Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Miss Footloose, I know we like the same genre, and any help you can give me with the expat community is appreciated.

      Thanks, and let me know what I can do for you. Any book coming out soon? Your stories are so entertaining and full of expat facts.

  9. Way to go, Sonia! First of all, I’m a fan of your book. And second, thanks for being so open and generous about sharing everything you are learning as you go along. Happy that you got some endorsements! Congrats!
    Marcie Taylor recently posted..Pay It Forward: Aaron Collins’ Last WishMy Profile

  10. barbara says:

    Sonia you are HOT!! What you’ve accomplished in the past year or so is so inspiring for those of us still trying to figure it all out. And your generosity in sharing every step you learn is priceless!
    Thank you. I can’t wait to say I know a best selling author!
    xob
    barbara recently posted..Are You A Collector?My Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Barbara,

      That is a huge compliment, and I do appreciate it, however, I still feel like I have to learn more and what I’ve found scary, (yes I said an “Un-Gutsy” word) is figuring out which way to go as far as printing with LSI and then CS. Fortunately, Linda Austin, has been so helpful to all of us about this. She’s on the GIP (Gutsy Indie Publisher Group) if you want more information on this Barbara. You can ask me when you’re ready, and I’ll send you over to her information.

  11. Sonia, You are really paving the way for us! Thanks for sharing all these valuable marketing tips
    and congratulations on your fabulous endorsements. I have to say you start with a stunning memoir and that probably is the most important factor in promoting a book.
    Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Seven Research Tools I Am Using to Write My Memoir & Why They are ImportantMy Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      You are right. You have to have a book people want to read. As you know it takes several years to reach that point. At least it did for me. I know you’ll reach that point when you have finished your memoir as well.
      Thanks, Sonia

  12. […] Well, we’re all human, including bestselling authors, so why not try. What’s the worst that can happen? No answer. Is that so bad? It’s time to be “gutsy” and to ask for those endorsements. There’s only one secret. Be kind and respectful, and if you decide to follow the steps I recommend, you might just get the attention from your favorite bestselling authors. Read more here  […]

  13. Laura Dennis says:

    Sonia,

    Thanks for these important tips. There is so much to take care of when self-publishing and dealing with all of the marketing oneself. However, I am going to put endorsements at the top of my list. It’s something I’ve neglected, but need to put that to rest!

    Laura
    Laura Dennis recently posted..Guest Post Thursday: The Lost DaughtersMy Profile

  14. Sonia Marsh says:

    Laura,

    I agree, we have so many things to remember, and quite frankly, I need to put a list together so I can help other indie publishers. Good luck, I’m sure you know who you are going to contact.

  15. Bex says:

    Hi Sonia,

    What a great set of tips! As you know, I currently live in Athens, Greece and run my blog to show the idiosyncracies of life here – the cultural differences, etc – all with a view to my book eventually being released.
    Any ideas for promotion? We don’t have things like libraries, etc here so I cannot volunteer regarding book promotion – it’s a little limited.
    I will certainly start to look to download more books about people who’ve changed their life by moving to another country (like you!) and look to interview them.

    Looking forward to our interview!

    Bex
    Bex recently posted..Surviving the Greek Tax OfficeMy Profile

  16. Bex,

    I think the online contacts you establish with authors is the best. Do some video reviews of your favorite authors and let them know about it. There aren’t many video book reviews on Amazon. Help the authors promote their books via your blog, and interviewing them. Let them know you’re promoting to the “expat” audience, which may open new doors for them.
    Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living recently posted..Check out my new officeMy Profile