Your 4-step Plan To Secure Impressive Book Endorsements

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A book’s endorsements are like word-of-mouth advertising, says Larry James. And if, even in this technological and social media-driven world, word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing, then getting endorsements from the right people is well worth your time.

Are you writing a thriller? What if James Patterson agreed to endorse your book?

If your next book is about a new diet and exercise routine, wouldn’t an endorsement from Jillian Michaels turn some heads?

That’s what I’m talking about.

Endorsements are about getting reader attention, giving your book instant clout in your audience’s mind.

Think it’s impossible to get celebrities and experts to back your book? Not true, but you’ll have to work for it. Here’s a four-step process to show you how.

1. Make a list

Turn off your internal critic for a minute. Ready? Okay, now without hesitating or second-guessing yourself, answer this question:

 If I could have anyone endorse my book, who would it be?

Start writing. Don’t omit any names, no matter how outlandish or impossible they may seem. Keep going, keep going, keep writing. This may be intimidating, you may feel yourself being stretched outside your comfort zone. But remember, this is just another step in the process of making your book the best it can be and getting it into the hands of the people who need to read it.

Many of the people on your list were once where you are now. Let that sink in for a minute. That celebrity, that politician, that millionaire, she too had to take daunting steps to raise herself to new heights in her career, he once had to reach out to someone with more notoriety to help promote his work. Not everyone remembers their roots, but many do and are glad for a chance to help give others a boost.

Okay, take a minute and look at your list. I imagine you’ve listed people who are experts or high-profile figures in the field or genre you’re writing for. That’s perfect. But it’s just a start. Let’s move on to step two to widen your net.

2. Think outside the box

Getting some big names in your genre to endorse you is great for visibility, but widening the playing field can be a helpful strategy for catching reader attention too. Let’s say you’ve written an adult sci-fi novel with heavy military and technology elements. Now think of your target audience. Outside of other sci-fi authors, who else’s name and reputation might influence or impress your reader? A big name in popular science, the gaming world, or even politics?

So, get your target readers in mind. Brainstorm about their other fields of interest. Write down the names of visible and authoritative figures from those circles. Don’t forget to turn that internal critic off, and then go back to your list and keep writing names.

This is the time to make your networks go to work for you. Reach out to anyone you already know in these fields and seek to make connections. Ask for advice about other people to include, those you may not have thought of. You might be surprised at the ways connections come to you, but you have to be creative and intentional about seeking them out.

3. Write your letter

You’ve finished your list, now it’s time to introduce yourself and request an endorsement. If you haven’t learned this secret of the industry, let me share it with you:

Personalizing your correspondence is one of the most key ways of standing out.

Whether we’re talking about an agent’s mountainous slush pile or a celebrity’s busy schedule, making a personal connection will go a long way to being heard above the noise. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t settle for a publisher’s or agency’s contact info. If you’re going to get your request into a prominent figure’s hands, you need personal contact information. Exploit social media channels, private message this person if possible, or try using their website’s request form. If some people on your list are really high profile, you most likely will have to go through an agent or other representative, but the same principles apply; be sure you’re talking to the right person, you don’t want to waste your time.
  • Make a connection. Find something you have in common with your contact and use it to personalize your letter. Even if this means sharing what you love about their work, it’s a starting point.
  • Do the work for them. If you do the work up front, you’ll be making it easier for them to say yes. This might mean including a synopsis and sample chapters of your book; writing a few blurbs for them to choose from, edit, or rewrite to suit them; be sure to list a deadline.
  • Be brief, personal, and professional.

Now you have the basic elements you need to put together an endorsement request. Go write your letter!

4. Be brave

How are you doing? Feeling overwhelmed? Being a writer is in so many ways about pushing the envelope, stepping outside your comfort zone, putting yourself in vulnerable positions. Just when you think you’ve hit your stride, you’re pushed and stretched once again. Not only have you put words from your heart and your mind on display for public consumption, now you’re asking successful people to back your words and ideas, maybe even your values. But just as you’ve scaled walls before, once you beat this one, you’ll look back at it from the other side and see it wasn’t really so tall; you will have grown from the experience.

So, be brave, be confident. This is just another step in your writing career. And imagine how you’ll feel when someone you admire puts their stamp of approval on the cover of your book.

Let that feeling drive you.

Before you know it, you’ll have impressive endorsements for your book that will catch your reader’s eye and persuade them that your book is worth their time.

Have you managed to get an endorsement that you are particularly proud of? If not, who would you like to endorse your book? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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20 thoughts on “Your 4-step Plan To Secure Impressive Book Endorsements”

  1. Paige this is a great topic for writers. Although I write intimately about Eleanor of Aquitaine in the fifth of my six novel series, before that I wrote a non-fiction technical book called the Wireless Internet. Through email I had a dialog with the inventor of the cell phone Martin Cooper, and later personally met the FCC chairman Thomas Wheeler. Marty wrote a great forward and Tom endorsed the book. You simply have to ask. Show your bubbling enthusiasm for what you care to show society. It helps if what you say dovetails with their agendas. They find their words promote their position as well as yours. Your idea of thinking outside of the box is perfect. Eleanor would approve of the troubadours of our time. Does anyone know Gordon Sumner?

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for sharing your story! I bet that was a very rewarding experience. I love hearing positive testimonies like this; you’re so right, all we can do is ask. You just never know what kind of response you’ll get.

      I know very little about Eleanor of Aquitaine, but I am fascinated by historical figures, so now I’m eager to go and check out your books. Best of luck with your writing!

  2. I made many mistakes in publishing my book about playing bridge sociably, but one of the few things I did absolutely RIGHT was send the last couple chapters, pre-publication, to a list of people I actually quoted in the book. I had TWO “establishments” I wanted approval from–serious bridge and culinary history. I got such a surprise that the people I feared most–bridge establishment–couldn’t have been more generous in their comments! Culinary history establishment–quite the other way–nada. And I figured out, if the people you’re seeking comments from are connected to a university hierarchy in any way, they won’t respond to approaches on behalf of non-scholarly establishment books. One notable exception to that was someone who had done the only dissertation I found on bridge–he was totally supportive. Those just “in the field” (including prominent writers themselves) and knowledgeable about it, WILL. It’s worth the effort for sure, I had half a dozen wonderful pre-pub reviews from prominent people before the book was published.

    1. Hi Maggy,

      That’s smart–reaching out specifically to sources quoted in your book. I’m so glad you got a good and unexpected response from the bridge establishment, how exciting! Thanks for sharing your advice and experience, every success story reinforces the reality that impressive endorsements are within every writer’s grasp.

      P.S. I love your website!

  3. Hello,

    Im in the midst of self publishing my first collection of poetry. I appreciate this article and wanted to know if you can offer some advice as to which well known poetic authors I should reach out to for endorsements? Thank you.

    1. Hi Gabriel,

      Congratulations on your book! I recommend pursuing authors who will likely be well known to your target audience and who you feel are a good representation of your book. Their style and subject matter don’t have to match yours, but you want authors who stand out as being authoritative in the genre so that readers see their endorsement and feel an immediate connection to your book. You want readers to get the sense that someone they hold in high regard is recommending your book as one they’d enjoy. I hope that helps. Best of luck to you!


  4. I’m close to completion of a guide for meat eaters on how to accommodate their vegetarian guests or a family member who has suddenly become vegetarian. Because of the scope of the book, new vegetarians might find it useful, too. I am only including three endorsements on the back cover and am wondering if readers would find more credibility from endorsements coming mostly from chefs and other experts who are recognized as being plant-based or meat-based. My first endorser is a male chef who cooks both, but is probably more known for his meat dishes.

    I’d love to hear your insight.

    1. Hi Claudia,

      Congratulations on finishing your book! Great question. Because of the wide range of your audience, it might be good to have both plant-based and meat-based sources represented. So, if you’re only putting three endorsements on the back cover, what about two meat-based and one plant-based?

      Wishing you all the best!

  5. Thank you so much for your prompt response. I was thinking the same thing, so I’m glad to know that I was on the right track.

  6. In retirement and having never written a thing asking for an endorsement seems so “why bother”. Having a “calling” to write probably one of the strongest reachout books so needed today I’m compelled to do whatever it takes to succeed. There are 2 people that would do the greatest justice for my book(1 in a series of 4), one I’ve met briefly. Jack Canfield or Oprah Winfrey. Go ahead say it “These are probably the 2 hardest in the world to get. A quote from Jack Canfield “If you want something from someone all you have to do is ASK”. I’LL GET IT!

    1. Hi Raymond,

      I won’t discourage you from aiming high. I will encourage you, though, to seek endorsements from many experts and well-known people in your field. You don’t want to rely on only two or three people to agree to endorse you. Your best bet is to draft a list of people whose names could lend your book credibility and send as many requests for endorsement as you’re comfortable with. This is bound to set you up for success. I wish you all the best with your book and with your search for endorsements!


  7. Wonderful and encouraging advice, thank you! I’m about to publish my trivia and game book that ties 70s and 80s music with a love of books—“I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie.” I’ve definitely put together a dream wishlist of celebrity musicians to endorse the book—mostly those whose songs appear inside. People in the radio industry and local musicians are having a blast looking over the pre-pub copies and have been providing great quotes so far. Still, I refuse to give up on the rock stars. 🙂

  8. I’ve got 5 books on Amazon and just finished a science fiction novel titled, The Recorder. I’ve never promoted any of my books and feel if I started now, I might sell more than the few I’ve been selling. Interestingly, most have been sold in Japan. I’m 73 and have no idea where to start. What or where would you suggest I begin? You can check out my published books on my website at

  9. Dear Paige, this info is so good. Thnks much. I am in the throes of starting my publication with just no clue how to get endorsements. One query which still plays onn my mind… Does one send a few chapters or portions of one’s work as a hard copy or soft copy, to the celebrity concerned with a covering letter, before you start publication ? Obviously doubt if they will have time to read fully… Your advise as to what needs to b done for this would be highly appreciated.

  10. Paige,
    Thank you for this article “Your 4-step Plan To Secure Impressive Book Endorsements.” I’ve been doing my research on how to ask for book endorsements, and there are a lot of them out there. It’s a scary process, but I’m trying to be brave and get outside of my box and out of my own way. Oh, did I just say that.
    I’ve made a rather long list of well-known people that I plan on writing to ask for a book endorsement for my published pet loss book – DELILAH and Others Like Her. It’s coming up with what to say, how to say it in the simplest and most kind words. Honestly, I feel somewhat intimidated. I know they all had to start somewhere like the rest of us have, from the bottom up, not knowing much of anything. But, I think I will do well with this non-fiction book. On the other hand…
    The one I might feel more intimidated about is my fiction romance novel. You must be a romantic at heart Paige Duke. I also love beautiful love stories. That’s why I wrote this one. My romance novel starts in a faraway land before coming home to the Midwest – A Miracle or Two for Christmas. This book shows the ups and downs of love and loss, and how far love will go until it comes home. My male protagonist says at one point when he’s talking to the love of his life in her hospital room, “They must have loved each other very much, just like you and me. To find that one that you want to spend your life with, sometimes people go through their entire lives not finding that kind of love at all. I wish everyone could have that. It is the most extraordinary gift, loving someone like that and being loved back. You think of all the ways you can make them happy because they are first and foremost in your every thought.”
    So, now it’s finding the many romance novelists and asking that question. Ooooh, scary. I don’t suppose you have any example letters that we could all see? I enjoyed your short bio. I also love chocolate.

  11. Excellent article, Paige! I’m a Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer close to publishing my first novel and researching the best indie launch/marketing strategies. My first thought of course went to other SFF writers I know and love, but your advice about finding famous people in related fields was very intriguing. I will have to give this some thought. My book is an epic fantasy with heavy sci-fi influence (think Brandon Sanderson or The Wheel of Time), but now I’m trying to think if somehow I could reach out to influential folks in other fields. Once I get it polished and ready to go, I’ll probably send it out to some YouTube reviewers and the like. One thing I’m scared of is that the novel, part one of a trilogy, is meant as a bridge between the sci-fi and fantasy genres and written for YA — in fact, somewhat literally — but does not follow current YA trends and all that, so outside confirmation from some big names would probably lend a lot of credibility and hopefully drag in the audience that will enjoy it. This has definitely got me thinking — and hoping!

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