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    You need to find endorsements

    No bookshop believes what first-time authors say about their own book, or, often, what the publisher or the sales rep says.

    Most stores in the USA will not consider stocking a copy of the book if there is no decent endorsement.

    If you rely on good reviews after the book has come out, it can be too late to get the shops to stock it.

    Endorsements are powerful, especially if they are from people that potential readers of your book, or the bookshop buyer in that specialty, are likely to recognize.

    Chain-store buyers consider an endorsement from a bestselling author as good as gold and while a consumer may not know all of the authors' names, the right endorsement for a book can make the difference between high sales and low sales.

    Rather than thinking of endorsements as a chore, think of it as the start of your engagement with the community, as far as the book goes. There are some key like-minded people who ought to know about your book. Sometimes the process of getting endorsements leads to further co-operation, to talks and seminars, workshops and conferences. It can bring the attention of others in that circle to your book, beyond the endorser. You can get good feedback. It can be worth pursuing them for these reasons after publication as well.

    Where do I add my endorsements?

    Add your endorsements to the ENDORSEMENTS section of your Book Details page (so they feed through to the website) and also add them to your manuscript at the beginning.

    When's the deadline for endorsements?

    Ideally, we want your endorsements in your manuscript when production begins, when you upload the final manuscript, at the Manuscript Upload and Approval Workflow section.

    If you still need more time your last chance to make changes will be at the Final Copyedit Workflow section, when you go through the changes the Copy Editor has made before re-uploading your manuscript.

    Whenever you get the Endorsement, add it to the ENDORSEMENTS section of your Book Details page – if it is after the Final Copyedit Workflow section has been approved, drop us a note to tell us on the Forum as well.

    How do I find endorsements?

    • Ask personal contacts. Anyone who might be a good fit for an endorsement.
    • Ask personal contacts to ask their personal contacts. Some people you know might be able to connect you.
    • Don't be afraid to cold-call well-known people, or people who endorse similar books in your field. They may not reply – but some might, particularly if the book is closely related to their concerns and you tailor the letter/email accordingly.
    • Tailor your approach. Skip the flattery, talk their language, write about things they care about.
    • Offer a free hard copy of your book. Our authors report that people are more likely to respond positively if they are offered a hard copy.

    Yes. Of course, we'd rather you use endorsements for the book that is being published, but if it makes sense to use endorsements for your previous books, then you can. Using previous endorsements is not a good way of getting out of looking for new ones.

    • Add the endorsements for previous books to the ENDORSEMENTS section, and make it clear that these are from a different book.
    • Add a note on the Author Stylesheet explaining what you have done, and your requirements.

    How many endorsements do I need?

    Focus on getting up to three or four, good-quality endorsements. You may have to approach double, or more people to secure that amount. Try for one or two in the UK if you live in the USA and vice versa. We want quality over quantity. Lots of endorsements from people who no one has ever heard of can put off the reader and look desperate.

    Please add them to Endorsements on your Book Details page. If you have more than three or four, please add them all. If they are overlong, remember to edit them down to make them immediate and punchy.

    If you really can't get any endorsements it doesn't mean we're going to cancel the contract but it does suggest we're going to find it hard to sell. If you have good endorsements from magazines, newspapers etc. for previous books that you have published elsewhere it is worth putting those up too.

    The endorsements you add feed through to our website

    Make sure anything you add here is punchy and well-edited.

    The text you add here feeds through to the John Hunt Publishing website, and we use it to write your Advance Information (AI) sheet, which we use to promote your book to the trade.

    • Put the “best” or “key” endorsements at the top. You can arrange the order of your endorsements by numbering the "Sort Order" box which you will see at the bottom when in "Edit" mode; order them 1, 2, 3 etc. These will be the “top” endorsements on our website and the first the potential buyer reads.
    • Add your endorsement as one paragraph. If it is a big one edit it down, and don't format it into multiple paragraphs. Endorsements always display on the website in plain text and one paragraph. Don't enclose your endorsements within quotation marks.
    • Write the name of the person who gave the endorsement in the From box, no more than 150 characters long. Also write where the reviewer is from, (i.e. which magazine they write for, which organization they belong to, which books they have written).
    • Leave the Source box empty. All the information from the From box feeds automatically into the promotional material we send out to the trade. If you put important information into the Source box, then it won't reach the people who need to see it.

    Can you get some endorsements for me?

    No. We don't seek endorsements for books ourselves, or give suggestions because we end up overloading the people we know. This one is down to you. We also, as a general rule, do not send free hard copies to people who have kindly provided endorsements. It works much better if you send one yourself, from your free copies or a digital copy, with a personal note.

    How to write an email asking for an endorsement

    Mention you have a publisher and are set for publication. They are more likely to respond.

    Attach your manuscript to the email, unless they ask specifically for a hard copy.

    Give them a lead time. As a general guide ask for it within a month, though be flexible and ask the endorser how long would work for them.

    Don't pay someone to endorse your book. This is dishonest.

    When will my endorsements appear on the website?

    Once your publication date is set, when your text and cover files are ready.

    They will only appear on the website if you have added them to the ENDORSEMENTS section of your Book Details page.

    What happens if I get an endorsement after the final files for my book are finished?

    Add them to the ENDORSEMENTS section of your Book Details page. They will still appear on the website.

    Let us know if they are highly significant (famous names of international renown, etc.) and we can update our sales reps and the worldwide trade databases.

    Will you send free copies of my book to endorsers?

    No, sorry.

    Send them one of your free copies, with a personal note. It works much better.

    Also ask your endorser to post their comments post-publication as a review on Amazon and any other online retailers.


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