Quotes for your book—how and why to get them

Posted By on April 19, 2013

Everyone has seen the quotes on the front and back of book covers (and often in the inside of books as well), talking about how great the book is. Known as quotes, burbs, endorsements, or testimonials, these little gems can provide big-time marketing value.

Schedule your book so you have some time between your completed edited manuscript and the beginning of the typesetting phase. Why? Because with imagination and research you can probably locate several noted people who may give your book an endorsement. These might be generally recognized experts on the book’s subject, or people you notice either writing or being written about and quoted in the course of your research. Or they might be celebrities in any field who have a known interest in your subject.

Once you have their names, find out how to contact these people through search engines, listings in various Who’s Whos, or social media.

Another option is to send your request directly to the Author’s Guild. If the author is a member, the Guild will be able to hook you up with current contact information. And don’t overlook asking friends or associates to refer you to someone with whom they have a connection. Contacts are very useful in promoting your book, both now and in all future stages. Ask your friends to write or call the people they are referring you to so your approach won’t hit them cold.

Here is how you proceed: Send the endorsement candidate a riveting cover letter introducing your project (and mentioning the friend who referred you, if this is the case), your bio, a brief but powerful overview of the book, and some possible sample quotes. Explain why you feel this person would find the material interesting, and ask if he will look it over and share his comments. These are busy folks. If you hope to get their cooperation, be quick and direct. And it never hurts to stroke their egos.

Whenever you want someone to do something for you, make it as easy for them as possible. Craft several customized rough drafts upon which they can extrapolate. “What a great book” endorsements aren’t as powerful as specifically slanted ones that each praise a different aspect of the book. Each should be one to three sentences in length.

With the person’s written permission, these favorable quotes become “advance comments.” They can be splashed across your promotional materials like paints across canvas. If the people are superstars in the field, their comments on your cover or dust jacket can send sales skyrocketing.

But these blurbs don’t come easy. Expect delays. Hesitancy. Nos. Now is the time to drag out your pleasant persistence. Stay in touch. Over and over and over again.


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