The purpose and importance of book endorsements
When you start the process of looking for people to endorse your book, you first need to understand the difference between an endorsement and a book review. A book endorsement is a statement from someone other than the author that recommends the book to readers. Ideally, it is a statement of praise that affirms, supports, and backs your book, even if it doesn’t agree with your message or claims. The purpose of an endorsement is to persuade readers to buy and/or read the book. Endorsements, also called “testimonials,” are the most valuable feature of the back cover copy of your book, because the mere presence of endorsements is instantly perceived as evidence of reader satisfaction, even if the endorsements are never read.
Book endorsements are often confused with book reviews. A book review is different from an endorsement in that a review is an analysis of a book that usually purports to be objective and can include comments about a book’s content, style, or merits that are both positive and negative.
Make your intentions clear
When you set out to get endorsements, let it be known you are not looking for “reviews.” You want positive statements. You also want the selected readers to know you are looking for an endorsement so they understand how their words will be used. If you ask for a review, the reader may assume that his or her words will be used only privately for the purpose of improving the book. When you ask for an endorsement, you should be clear that the reader’s words will be used in the published book and/or in promotions for the book.
If you ask for an endorsement and a person reviews your book instead, you may be able to excerpt just the positive portion for use as a book endorsement.
Getting endorsements is a process that yields the best results if it is managed carefully. Even if you ask someone to “review” your book, make it clear that you are looking for an endorsement, not a review and not a critique. Even if you welcome critical comments and would like to get advice for improving your book, make it clear that your aim is to get a positive endorsement that can be used when promoting the book.
Endorsements are mutually beneficial
People often want to give endorsements. If the endorsers are leaders, experts, or authors they benefit by having their names appear in public, even if only as a credit next to an endorsement for someone else’s work. Whenever their names appear, it is a form of publicity for them and a recognition that they are respected and that their opinions matter. Usually, their credentials and accomplishments, are listed next to their names under the endorsements.
Be sure to ask the endorser to specify how they want to be credited.
To learn about how to manage the endorsement message, read my post How to Get Quality Book Endorsements (Part 2).