To authors everywhere, book reviews are like gold. One good review can be worth ten, twenty, or even one hundred book sales. So it’s no surprise authors always want reviews. But when should you ask for a testimonial, an endorsement, or a review? How do you get people to write it? And what’s the difference between them?
Testimonials are typically a result a reader had after reading your book. While they can also be endorsements, they focus more on what the reader achieved by using your advice, implementing your strategies, and taking action on your step-by-steps. Testimonials are most often seen on non-fiction books to edify the author as an expert in their niche and let potential buyers know the stuff within the pages really works.
Like testimonials, endorsements can be written by readers who took action on the advice inside the book. Or they can simply be an endorsement of the book and the author, for the book being a good read, the author knowing their stuff, etc. Endorsements are less focused on the results a reader achieved by taking action on steps inside the book and more of a recommendation to potential buyers that they might like the book. Endorsements are the most common type of praise you’ll see on a book’s front or back cover.
Reviews are typically longer endorsements that may also contain some results. Reviews often quote portions of the book and give a sneak peek from a third-party perspective as to what a potential reader can expect should they choose to buy the book. While testimonials are results-focused and endorsements may be short snippets of praise, reviews range from a few sentences in length all the way up to hundreds of words in a blog post. Reviews are in-depth analyses of the book’s content, its entertainment or educational value, and are the most coveted of authors everywhere.
The steps to getting testimonials, endorsements and reviews are the same. In short, it takes a lot of time, energy and be prepared to feel like you’re “bugging” people.
Step 1: The Ask
You won’t get anything if you don’t ask! Select several people (anywhere from five to fifty) and ask if they would be willing to endorse your book.
Step 2: The Send
At bare minimum, send the Introduction, a synopsis, and a couple of chapters to your chosen reviewers. Some people may ask to read the entire manuscript, so be prepared to send that as well. However many reviewers don’t have time to read the entire thing, and if all they’re doing is writing a short endorsement, they don’t need to read the entire book.
Step 3: The Follow-Up
This is the “bug the crap out of them” step. If you don’t follow up, “life” will happen and your reviewers will never send you that important review. Follow up with them. Pick a couple key people to put on the cover of your book and remind them that they can only be featured there and get more recognition for their name if they submit their review.
Step 4: The Amazon Listing
After your book is published and your shiny new reviews are featured on the cover and the first few “Praise for” pages, follow up with those reviewers again and ask them to copy and paste their review over to the listing on Amazon to get the ball rolling on your public reviews and book’s ratings.
How to Get More Reviews… Faster!
Oftentimes busy people will agree to review your book, and they may ask you for sample endorsements. This is where you’ll usually freeze up. I mean, how are you supposed to come up with sample endorsements? That’s why I created the Ninja Book Review Template Bundle for you.
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These templates will make it easier for you to get busy, high-level people to submit a review for your book! Click here to grab your copy of these templates now.
Have you had success getting testimonials, endorsements and reviews for your book? Share your experience and tips in the comments below!
Grazina AOctober 16, 2014
Spot on, Kristen 🙂
Vague book reviews are worthless to me, they sound like “buy this dress, it’s beautiful” when you can’t see the picture – beautiful? But it’s black, and I don’t wear black. Or mini. Or frilly.
But if you say, “Buy this soft, silky dress, embellished with beads, you can choose black, salmon, midnight blue or cream, its has a classing style with modern touch…” and whatever else, I may be tempted.
It’s true that writing a testimonial that works seems a bit difficult if you don’t know how – it’s about expressing your approval – hopefully 🙂 – without sounding like a worshiper, or someone who was asked to write a few nice words as a favour.
I found that my copywriting skills help, if you show benefits, and appeal to both emotions and logic, the review will most likely work.
Giving your readers templates is a fantastic idea, and it works very well for my clients – coaches, consultants, small business owners – who need reviews and endorsement from their clients and customers. It makes it easier for everyone: you get more or less what you need, they don’t have to sweat and spend time to think how to write it, and as the whole thing is customisable – they can use their own creativity if they want to.
Suggesting using the template can be tricky, you can’t say, “I know that you don’t have a clue how to write a testimonial so I’ve done it for you” – and people DO say that, I’ve seen it! – not very kind. And plain silly if one deals with people who’ve been writing endorsements for years and knows perfectly well how to do it 😉
“We, business owners, are busy so having that in mind, I tried to make it easier for you. You can use this template, if that helps, or just write to you heart’s content…” or something similar usually works for me. I always say what I’d say to the person face to face.
Sharing your article on my Facebook page, Kristen 🙂
And back to redesigning my websiste, I’m in the middle of changing the themes, lots of work to make it gorgeous – don’t you just love WordPress?
Grazina A recently posted…Marketing on a Shoestring: How Business Coaching Can Help