Having a book blurb—aka a book jacket or an endorsement—from a famous (or even semi-famous) author is a marketing strategy that can have a positive impact on your book sales. But, whether you’re a new writer or a veteran, asking someone for a cover quote may seem intimidating. Don’t worry! Keep in mind that writers who are now famous were not always famous, and at some point they, too, had to ask someone for a promotional quote. Yes, even the biggest big-time authors know what it’s like to be just starting out.
But before you start sending emails to all your favorite writers asking them to endorse your book, it’s important to know the proper etiquette to use when making your request.
How To Request A Quote For Your Book From An Author
Plan ahead. The best time to start looking for the perfect person to write a blurb for your book is, in fact, shortly after you start thinking about writing the book. That means networking. Join trade organizations in your genre. Take classes with writers in your genre. Even if you don’t end up actually rubbing elbows with any best-selling authors—you never know who your friends may know. When you’re ready to send out your requests, the personal connections you’ve forged will help you get better results than if you had sent out a cold call.
Make a wishlist of endorsers. Organize a list of the perfect authors who could offer an endorsement for your book. The best potential endorsers:
- Are writing in your same genre (so that if your book does well, they get free press)
- Have a good-sized fan base and/or great credentials in their field
- Are writers you truly admire and could endorse in return
Ask your literary agent or publisher if they are going to reach out to other authors. Your agent and editor both have lots of connections. If you know any professionals in the publishing industry, ask them for recommendations as to whom you might approach. Hopefully, they’ll take the hint and offer to approach other authors for you.
Make friends on social media. If you can’t establish any personal connections, turn to social media. But don’t pop up on an author’s Facebook page and immediately start asking for favors. Instead, simply be the likable, interested/interesting author that you are. Once you’ve established a genuine rapport with the author, you’ll feel more comfortable asking for a quote.
Ask nicely in a well-composed, personal email. Don’t send your request by Facebook or Twitter—email is best, when possible. Here are the important points to include in your letter when asking for a book quote:
- Introduce yourself in a personal way, then state that you’re asking for a book jacket quote.
- Briefly offer the details about your book: genre, story, publisher, release date.
- Explain why you think the author in question is a kindred spirit who might like your book. Possible reasons could be: you also like his/her writing; one of the author’s titles compares well with yours; or you both love and write about the same topics.
- Give the author a deadline for the potential endorsement, but offer as big a timeline as possible.
- Let the author know where the blurb will be used. Will it be on your book cover, your author website, or both?
- Don’t forget to say thank you!
Book Endorsement Etiquette
Generally speaking, you should never have to pay for a book endorsement. Also, if you ask for a book blurb and an author gives you one, be sure to use it. Check with your publisher in advance to confirm that the publisher is willing to put a quote by your potential endorser on the book or website. The worst thing you can do after you get an endorsement is not use it. If you don’t like the whole quote, you’re welcome to pick and choose the phrases you like most (this is a common publishing industry procedure).
When the time comes, be sure to return the favor by promoting the author’s books on your own social media pages. You might even want to send a thank-you gift. And remember, someday in the future, a new writer may ask you for a book blurb. Pay the favor forward and graciously agree to write a book blurb.
QUESTION: Do book quotes, blurbs, and endorsements by famous authors help you decide which books to read?
what if I don’t have an agent or a publisher?
Good question, Rich. You could in theory still ask for an endorsement without an agent or publisher—for example, if you are self-publishing your book.
If you’re hoping to publish traditionally, we recommend that you think about who you want to ask and build some ideas toward making it happen, whether that means connecting on social media or attending conferences/workshops/events where that famous author might be.
So does the endorser read the book? Just curious.
Great question, lil bit! It’s up to the endorser whether he/she wants to read all or part of the book, or just give a quote about that writer in general.
I wrote critiques for them and asked if they could kindly say this.
Saves them time/effort.
Great question Rich, regarding approaching authors without first having a publisher.
I have a large circle of author friends and once asked them the same question over a beer. The unanimous response, in a nut-shell, was that they would only endorse a work after the requesting author had a publishing deal. Their rationale was the following:
A) To read an unpublished work, in a similar genre, and with similar themes, may influence their future work, especially if the concept was dynamite. Consequently if their work appeared before the requesting Authors they risked a potential plagiarism case.
B) In general, unpublished works, without the benefit of undergoing “quality control editing” tended to be (In their opinion)inferior and not only would they not like their names associated with it, they all disliked refusing their support on the grounds of “Sorry, it’s just not good enough.”
My advice would be: First get an Agent, secure a publisher, and only then, when you have a projected release date, approach authors you’ve made friends with. This will guarantee success.
As you say “email is the best where possible” if email is not an option (i.e their website specifically doesn’t give you one) would it be better to send a letter to their publisher where the website says will definitely be received but perhaps in several months and fan mail can’t be replied to or Facebook/Twitter where it mentions nothing will be replied to.
Louise, an author website’s contact form is also an option.
I solved the problem by writing endorsements for my own books. Of course, then I annoy myself when I don’t use a part that I thought was clever when I wrote it but later just seems weird.
This is great information. I train life coaches and many of them are authors or plan to write a book. Being an author myself, I can see where your post demystifies the process of getting an endorsement. Thank you!
I’m a self publish Author/Poet been looking for endorsements and advertisement deals. How do I find someone to help me or direct me in the right direction
You may find more information about how to get endorsements and advertising deals on our Self-Publishing toolkit: https://writersrelief.com/self-publishing/
I am interested in having someone affiliated with the Baltimore Sun Newspaper write an endorsement for my new book to be published in May 2022. My book is not a novel. It is my life story and it does include a vast amount of time in which I lived in Maryland. I can email my Manuscript to the appropriate person upon my receipt of response from the Sun staffer. I think my life story is great and other endorsers are saying so as well. Thank you.
I simply accepted that I cannot force people to buy my stuff, and continued publishing to practice and learn from it. Marketing sucks, and anybody who ever did any real job knows that easy money is exceptionally rare, while continuous work is exceptionally frequent. 😉
Thanks for sharing this informative blog post with us. Keep it up Thanks Again!!!
I was looking for same and finally found on your blog, thanks!! Keep it up admin.
Very good information. I’ve finished my review requests and was happy to get back great reviews on my first book. Now, I’m diving into unknown waters to get celebrity endorsements. I am wondering if the websites like contactanycelebrity are legit. I’ve read bad reviews they are scammers. So, do you have any advice on how to get the emails of celebrities (i.e. actors, actresses, the well-known in sports. I have a general list of about ten started. Thank-you kindly for any advice you can give.
We do not have any information regarding contactanycelebrity or the email addresses of celebrities.