Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Cover Coaching: Getting and Using Testimonials

Getting Testimonials for your Book?
Use the Three P's

By Susan Kendrick

Your back cover copy will be a mix of copy that positions your book as the ideal resource for your target market ... and testimonials that back up that copy. Most often, what the testimonial says is less important than who says it. A recognizable name carries a lot of weight for people looking for a reason to trust you and spend money on what you have to offer. A good strategy is to use at least one of the “Three P’s” of testimonial selection—Person, Position, and Place.

Aim high!
* Person
—This is someone who is a widely recognized “household name” in either the consumer market or your own industry. In the consumer market, choose people who are well-known authors, celebrities, TV personalities, sports figures, or spokespeople. Within your given industry, choose a someone widely recognized as a pioneer, a leader, a known and trusted resource.

* Position—This is someone with a high-level title, like CEO, president, vice president, director, etc. He or she might not be a well-known name, but that title reflects authority, credibility, leadership, and expertise—someone who can lend that same credibility to you and your message.

* Place—This is when you choose someone who again, may not be well-known, but represents a widely recognized and respected company, organization, or association. Whenever possible, aim for someone with a high-level position or title as well.

Start soliciting endorsements as soon as possible because it can take time to make a connection and get a quote. Make it easier for the people you are approaching by writing and submitting sample quotes from which they can choose or at least use as a springboard for their own ideas.

How many and how much
Given the size of your back cover, plan on using about 300 words total. This gives you room to create a powerful "elevator speech" for your book, while leaving enough open space to give the back cover a clean, uncluttered look.

Since your back cover will include a headline, intro positioning copy, possible bullets, a bio, and one or two other elements, you don't have room for a lot of testimonials. Use three and try to edit them down to sound bites of about two lines each. If you have or are planning to get more than three testimonials, consider using one at the top of your front cover, but only if it is from a highly recognizable "household" name in your market.

This isn't just about asking for something
One final note, don't feel like you are only asking for something for yourself when you approach someone about a testimonial for your book. If your book has high-quality content, and you are going to actively market it, then you have something of value you are offering others as well--an opportunity to get even more visibility and recognition for their name, expertise, book, business, or organizaiton.

Did you know?
The last thing most authors and experts think about when publishing their books and information products is the first thing you can do to start making money. Learn 13 ways to profit from your book's #1 marketing tool You'll also see some great testimonials, so that you, too, will remember to enjoy the process, make friends, and create good ways to work with others. Go to,

Questions? Please give us a call at 715-634-4120 or email

© Copyright 2007, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market,

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