So you have sent your ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) out to bloggers and professional reviewers. But you still have one more hurdle to jump - getting an endorsement. Not many self-published authors seem to think about this, but it is something all traditionally published authors have. So why shouldn't you? I had so many questions about endorsements - how to get them and from whom - that I was initially quite afraid to ask anyone. But then I realized something on my journey to publishing - it never hurts to ask.
But you may wonder, how exactly do I do that? How do I ask a well-known author or even a celebrity to write the foreword in my book or give me a one line endorsement? How do you that? The answer is real simple, you just ask them. There is nothing more to it than that.
For my Bible Study Learning from the Master: Living a Surrendered Life I sought out Rick Larson, the creator of The Star of Bethlehem DVD. I wanted his endorsement because part of my study talked about the star of Bethlehem. Because my study is appropriate for groups and if started in September it will coincide nicely with Christmas, I recommended in the study that watching the DVD would benefit everyone. So I contacted Mr. Larson, told him about my book and asked him if he could endorse it. It was as simple as that. I did not ask for a foreword because I knew he was a busy man. He was very generous and emailed me quite a few times with what he needed. I sent him a PDF file of my book and waited. When I did not hear back from him after two weeks I contacted him again. He apologized to me because he had been swamped, as he was working on another film (I knew he was a busy man) but he said he did get a chance to briefly read the study. He said, however, that in order to give it a meaningful endorsement he would have to read the whole thing and he just didn't have the time. But he didn't want to discourage me, so he asked me to send him a few lines about what I would hope he would say. He asked me not to go "too far" (I'd be tooting my own horn after all) and so I kept it simple and to the point. He wanted it to be something he could attribute to himself. In the end we ended up with, "Learning from the Master will guide those who read it into a deeper understanding of what it means to live a surrendered life." He responded with, "That's exactly what I needed. You may attribute it to me. Blessings! You go, gal!"
I was thrilled! I had my endorsement and in the end, Rick did something else very special for me. He contacted me again and made his DVD's available to sell with my book! You can get them for half price here. Not only did he bless me with his endorsement, but I was able to bless him by getting word out about his DVD.
Do you see what happened here? I asked him and he said yes. I ASKED HIM.
As I was about to write this post I came across an article written by Joe Gregory of publishingacademy.com. He made the very brave move of approaching one of the dragon's from The Dragon's Den to write a foreword in his book. He never spoke to the dragon but through his secretary. After sending in a requested ARC (a good sign) and waiting a few weeks for an answer, he contacted the dragon again. He was told that Mr. Bannatyne (the dragon) was very busy and would consider writing the foreword if he had the time. Not a good sign. So, he contacted Mr. Bannatyne again along with a draft of some ideas he could adapt. Within a few days the reply came back – yes! – along with a copy of the foreword for inclusion in the book.
Like me, Mr. Gregory had to send in some examples or ideas of what Mr. Bannatyne could use. So, I wondered if this was the norm and apparently it is. Most well-known people don't have time to sit and read your entire book, and prefer a "helping hand" when writing an endorsement or foreword. So, the following are some pointers on what to do when asking for an endorsement.
Endorsements give your book credibility. Don't be afraid to ask for them. You never know what can come about because you weren't afraid to ask.