Thursday, January 15, 2009

Want Killer Testimonials for Your Book? Write Them Yourself.

Want Killer Testimonials for Your Book?
Write Them Yourself.

By Susan Kendrick

The reason you may avoid approaching well-know experts, bestselling authors, industry celebrities, and other people in high places for testimonials for your book ... is the very reason you should consider writing those testimonials yourself. These people are busy. They may want to help you, but getting around to writing a meaningful testimonial can be daunting. They want to make you look good. They want to look good, too! If you understand this, you can make the process easier for both of you.

You may be surprised to find out ...

Knowing you can offer a way to help will also make you more confident about aiming high and approaching your "ideal" testimonial sources for their support of your book. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that many testimonials on book covers are created through this kind of collaborative partnership between author and quote source.

Help those who are helping you

Aim high. Do the best for your book. And, do it in a way that helps those that are helping you. Having testimonials ready for review is just another way to demonstrate your total professionalism as an author and expert. You show that you are a capable partner, one who can be trusted to take care of details and publish a quality piece of work.

Your source may approve a quote you have written without making any changes to it at all. Or, they may tweak it a bit. Or, they may use your quote as a springboard for their own thoughts. As with any kind of writing, some people just need a good running start. Start your book cover process early to give yourself time to get the testimonials you want.

Two Ways to Write Killer Testimonials

General Testimonials:
One way to write testimonials is to create several choices that could be said by anyone. That is, they each say specific things about some aspect of your book's message, its usefulness, what makes it different from other books in its market, how it will make a difference for people looking for information on this topic, etc. The quote focuses on you and your book, but does not reveal anything about the person saying it.

Customized Testimonials:
Writing a customized testimonial means that you do some research on the person your want to approach, more than you may already know about them. You look at their book or books on amazon. You google their Bio information, accomplishments, current projects, etc. You take that and weave it into the quote in such a way that it showcases their expertise or promotes that in subtle ways. High-profile
experts will appreciate your genuine interest in what you can do for them as well as in what they can do for you.

Warning: For any testimonial that you either receive from someone or write yourself, be sure to avoid making highly inflated remarks that are so glowing as to be unbelievable. Over-the-top exclamations can easily backfire and detract credibility instead of adding to it. This can hurt not only you and your book, but your quote source as well. My next blog post will provide a checklist of words and phrases to avoid as well as ways to create copy that is specific, intelligent, believable, and therefore the huge credibility boost you want for your book and your reputation as an expert on your topic.

Take control of the credibility that great quotes can give your book. As with almost any endeavour, do that by finding ways to help the people you are asking to help you. Your book gets the credibility boost it needs, and the person kind enough to lend you the support of their good name looks good, too. Everybody wins.

For information on how to choose who you will approach for testimonials, see the my article on Getting and Using Testimonials: Use the Three P's. For one-on-one feedback or advice on how to write quotes for your ideal sources, please contact us at

Happy Publishing!

© Copyright 2008, Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 1-715-634-4120.

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