One of this best marketing tools available to all authors is the testimonial. You have seen thousands of testimonials over the years. Book covers – front and back -- are adorned with them. So how should authors go about getting them, who should they approach, and why are they so important?
Let’s start with what should be obvious. Authors get testimonials because:
1. People expect to see them – if they are absent, an alarm goes off.
2. If you get the right ones, you’ll make a positive impression on consumers, the media, and those that you seek to impress.
3. They can be used in a number of ways, including on your website, in your social media, in your media press kit, and your speaker’s kit.
The very act of reaching out for testimonials is a marketing initiative in itself. By telling high-profile people about your book you not only give yourself a chance of securing a useful testimonial, but you also allow for yourself to be introduced to people who could possibly help you in other ways, such as buying books or introducing you to groups or people who may buy the book.
When pursuing testimonials, do the following:
· Seek them out beginning six months before publication date, so there’s time to get their testimonial onto the book cover and into pre-launch marketing materials.
· Try to get as many testimonials as possible, provided they are of a certain value – it’s about quantity and quality.
· Remember, it’s not what they say about your book but who they are – people buy off of brand recognition.
· Be persistent and vigilant – reach far and wide to experts, professors, leading executives, politicians, non-profits, best-selling authors, and anyone with a name or position of authority..
· Connect with people that you know to see if they can help introduce you to successful or famous people that they know.
· Ask those whom you already know to write a testimonial.
How do you get the right wording for your testimonial?
You write it.
Yes, you give them suggested blurbs to choose form – never give the same blurb to more than one person. They are short on time and appreciate it. Send them a summary of the book, a paragraph about yourself, and if requested a partial or complete advance review copy.
The testimonial should be a third-party’s validation for why the consumer, journalist, store, librarian or some other entity should buy, read, or embrace your book.
You may already have testimonials for yourself, your work, past books, or from speaking appearances. You can use them for your book even if the testimonial doesn’t directly reference this new book.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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