Penny C. Sansevieri, Guest Author
You are far more likely to successfully write and publish your book if you follow these tips before you write a single chapter.
One complimentary nod from a famous face can launch even the most obscure product. Most advertising agencies pay a high price to have a celebrity take a swig of their soft drink or wear a pair of their running shoes. The good news is, if you can get an endorsement for your book it probably won’t cost you a thing, except time, patience, persistence, and oh, did I mention patience? It’s a long road that you should start down as soon as you have a reasonably final manuscript, but however long it is, it can prove very profitable.
The first thing you have to remember when you’re trying to get a celebrity to endorse your book is that they’d be doing you a huge favor. Contact them in the way they wish to be contacted (mail, e-mail or fax); follow their guidelines (or their agents’ guidelines) to the letter.
The Wish List – Who your chosen celebrities are will likely depend on your book. First of all, you’re going to want to contact those celebs who have a vested interest in your topic – that will help to greatly increase your chances of getting a response. They needed be the hottest big names. You might target a radio personality, a local standout, or an author.
When you’re putting together your list of desired endorsements, make it long to begin with – 20 or so names. One by one, some of these celebs might fall off. “No interest” or “On location” are the two biggest reasons I encounter.
If your target is an actor, you’ll want to start by contacting The Screen Actor’s Guild to get current agent/publicist information. You can do this by calling: 323-549-6737 if the celeb you’re looking for is LA based. If not, head on over to www.sag.org for the current contact information for the Guild’s New York office.
A third option might be to log onto www.WhoRepresents.com (sign-in required) which is a site that will give you the contact information of pretty much any celebrity in the United States. If you’re trying to reach an author, your best bet will be to search for the author’s own Web site, determine who the publisher and/or agent is and call them. Or try sending your request to The Author’s Guild (email@example.com).
The Package – Once you’ve gotten contact information for everyone on your list, get your package ready to send before you start calling. Some people will want to see a synopsis, outline or press release. Whatever they ask for, make sure it’s ready to send off to them right away. The last thing you need is a delay in getting information out.
Once you’ve done that, your next step will be to call the contacts you have and pitch them your request. Be ready to “sell” your book and request for endorsement to anyone who answers the phone because there’s a good chance you’ll have to go through several gatekeepers before getting to the actual agent. A good idea would be to write down what you want to say. But don’t read from the paper, it will sound too scripted if you do.
Instead, list a few points you want to make sure and address while you’ve got them on the phone. If you get them interested, offer to send them an outline of the book, or the entire package if they’re willing to look at it. Some will tell you no right on the spot, but before you hang up make sure and qualify the “no.” Do they mean “not right now” or “never ever in this lifetime.” Good to know if you’re thinking of revisiting this person somewhere in the future.
If you are asked to forward a synopsis of the book first, give them a few days to look at this information and then contact them again. At that time, you’ll be either asked to send a packet or told there is no further interest. If you’re asked to send your packet, make sure it has a professional and appreciative cover letter on top. Remember, they don’t have to do this. The letter should note that you will forward a copy of the final book once it’s printed. The other contents of your endorsement package should be nearly the same as the contents of a review kit – press release, book information, synopsis, and a copy of your book-but you’ll also want to include a list of “sample endorsements.”
Dr. John Gray’s endorsement on the cover of Larry’s book: Bursts of truth, flashes of insight and words of wisdom for those on the path to wholesome and healthy love relationships. “How to Really Love the One You’re With!” is a thought-provoking, refreshing adventure in love and self-discovery. A must-read for all! ~ Dr. John Gray, Ph.D., Author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Your sample endorsements sheet should consist of three or four “glowing statements” the celeb can select from as well as a few blank lines in case they want to write an endorsement in their own words. You’ll also want to leave some space for them to sign and date this form (very important!). To make it as easy as possible for potential endorsers, I offer several options for returning this sheet to me. First, I include a SASE with the package, I also make sure my fax number is clearly marked on the endorsement sheet so they can sign it and fax it back. When I’m in a rush to get an endorsement, I’ll often include a prepaid FedEx envelope.
Once that package is sent, then it’s time to wait and wait and wait and sometimes re-send them a package if someone can’t seem to locate it when you follow up. Also, be prepared to take an endorsement over the phone if necessary. Sometimes you get lucky and are able to reach your celeb live. When they tell you they loved the book, your next question to them should be “May I quote you?” and if they agree, type up their quote and send it to them for approval.
Never, ever use anything without someone approving and signing it or you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. Regardless of the effort, or the length of time it takes to obtain this endorsement, remember that getting even one famous face to acknowledge your work is often enough to prompt an apprehensive buyer to give your book a second look, and that can make all the difference.
Examples from Larry James: When writing a book, one of the first things I do is send out requests for endorsements from high-profile authors. Here are a few examples.
Copyright © 2013 – Penny C. Sansevieri. – Reprinted with permission. Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com.
Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
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