Friday, September 30, 2016

How Authors Get Testimonials That Impress

Everyone loves praise.  Authors and publishers especially need it for a book. Not just for bragging rights, endorsements help persuade individuals, stores, libraries, and organizations to buy books.  So what’s the best way of securing testimonials?

The most important thing about a testimony is who says something -- not what they say.  Additionally, you want a quantity of testimonials if you can’t secure a bunch of A-listers.  You want to impress others in a way that will lead them to dig into their wallet -- or digital funds -- and buy, buy, buy!

The ideal time to get testimonials is way before your book is out.  You can:

·         Place them on advance review copies to the media.
·         Post them on your website.
·         Include them when presenting yourself for speaking gigs, bulk sales, or introductions to those you network with.
·         Share them through your social media platform.

Where do you get testimonials?  You may already have some.  If someone emailed you or wrote a letter that contained a relevant sentence of praise, use it.  For instance, if you spoke before a group or organization last year and its president, executive director, or managing partner thanks you in a note for doing such a great job, quote him or her.

If you received positive media for prior books use it.  If a large magazine said of an earlier book that “the writing is forceful,” go ahead and quote it.

You should compile a list of who you know – for networking and marketing purposes -- and look to see who would be good to get a testimonial from.  It doesn’t matter how you know them -- relative, friend, former school chum, college, etc.- just ask.  Maybe you just met them or you attend the same synagogue or you both volunteer at the same place. Just ask.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Nothing.  What’s the upside?  Plenty.

Contact a number of people and simply say you value their standing in the community/industry and would love for them to support you by simply agreeing to do a testimonial.  The ask can be brief.  You can thank them for their consideration and vow to help them down the road if you are in such a position.  You can even suggest you’ll be glad to write the blurb just so they don’t have to feel obligated to figure out what to say.  Give them a few options.

Testimonials can range in length, from a word to a paragraph.  Vary their length.  Generally, short is better.  Rotate the adjectives and superlatives that are heaped upon you.  Reference things that make the testimonial. Sound powerful, heartfelt, and reflective of your truth.

Give them a deadline -- express some urgency and importance to them responding within a few weeks.  Busy people need deadlines and to feel wanted.

Think of who to get a testimonial from.  Any big name works even if he or she is completely out of your industry.  For instance, if you know a CEO of a major company, a celebrity, a professional athlete or a politician – but your book is on something like pet care or how to cook for diabetics – you should still slap on a known name to your testimonials.  You can still contact, in the case of pets, veterinarians, best-selling authors, and others related to the pet industry and animal world.

If you don’t know a lot of people -- or the right ones -- track down the ones you want.  Ask others who they know and see if they’ll introduce you.

There are plenty of paid endorsements out there too.  It’s something to consider.  Maybe you pay a big shot to write a foreword or introduction to your book.  Then you can quote from it.

Testimonials you should not seek out are ones that:

·         Are from people who are not known and don’t have relevant credentials.
·         Are merely consumers/clients/patients -- but with no recognition.
·         Are filled with negative impressions publicly.

Always review your list of testimonials.  Keep looking to trade up for bigger names.  If someone has gone down in stature since you received their testimonial, consider removing it.  I mean, would you want a testimonial from Bill Cosby?

Getting great reviews and media coverage can also serve as a testimonial.  In fact, if you were interviewed on radio or T.V. and you recorded these appearances, listen to find a pull quote.  Maybe a radio host says you are a great writer or a T.V. show host notes that your book is unique.  Quote ‘em and reference the media outlet.  It’s fair game.

You can have a lot of success going after testimonials.  They are worth having, but can take time to secure.  Keep at it until you feel you have the best possible ones from the best people.  If you feel you can get more -- and better ones -- go for it!

Maybe someone will write a testimonial to reflect your approach to getting testimonials!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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