Getting a celebrity, notable VIP, or leader in your field to give your book a short testimonial or endorsement (sometimes called a “blurb") is a great way to boost sales and garner extra publicity. Remember that this is a trade-off. You get a testimonial for your book, and the endorser gets additional exposure and/or credibility. Below is the five-step process I teach authors and writers:
1) Choose potential endorsers based on your book’s subject.
If your book is about animals, for example, target celebrities and/or notable VIPs who have a vested personal interest in animals. If it’s about a disease, target people who have suffered personally from it or who contribute to the disease’s cause. If it’s about kayaking, target people who like to kayak.
2) Ask potential endorsers to write your book’s introduction or foreword.
This technique can work really well as long as you remember the following: flattery is key. Don’t ask for an endorsement at this stage. Instead, flatter the person by saying that because of his or her expertise on your book’s subject, you’d like to ask him or her to write the introduction or foreword. You may want to point out that this is a great opportunity for the endorser to get some additional exposure. When the book is published, you can mention “Introduction by (Expert’s Name)" or “Foreword by (Expert’s Name)" on the cover.
3) Gather a list of names and contact information.
The reference area of your local public library is a good start, but you can find more accurate information online. Search Google for “celebrity contacts" or “celebrity addresses" for a list of resources. If the celebrity has an official Web site, you can usually find his or her contact information there as well. Don’t forget personal and professional connections. Take some time to sit down and brainstorm all the people you know who could put in a good word for you or at least pass along your book and request.
4) Make it as easy as possible to get a response.
Your request should include the draft of your book, a self-addressed, pre-paid FedEx or Priority Mail envelope, an easy-to-fill out testimonial form, and a personalized letter from you. If you’re nervous about sending a draft of the book, you can also include a Confidentiality Letter. You may even want to mention that the better the testimonial, the more likely it will appear in your book (and possibly on the cover), resulting in additional exposure for the endorser.
5) Point out the benefits of giving an endorsement.
Potential endorsers usually won’t mind (and will probably appreciate) the extra free publicity, additional exposure, and added credibility their blurb will provide when it’s featured in (and maybe on the cover of) your book. Let the endorser know you’ll mention his or her name, company name, and city under the testimonial as an added benefit of giving you an endorsement.
BONUS STEP: Follow Up!
If you still haven’t heard anything, send a follow-up letter or email to the celebrities you asked for an endorsement from after a few weeks have gone. Know that getting a good endorsement or testimonial can take time. Celebrities and VIPs are busy, and their mail is often screened by an assistant or representative which can delay your request getting to them.
Always remember the “Three Ps" for getting celebrity testimonial and endorsements for your books: Be Polite, Be Persistent, and Be Patient!
Jordan McAuley is the President and CEO of Contact Any Celebrity, a research firm located in Los Angeles whose online database provides the accurate contact information for over 54,000 celebrities and public figures. For more information on how to get celebrity testimonials and endorsements for your books, visit http://www.MakeYourBookFamous.com