Friday, July 14, 2017

Writing: Endorsements

A recent communication from a friend and fellow author about possible endorsement made me think it's time for me to talk a bit about those things. We've all seen them on the cover of a book or in conjunction with an advertisement, but did you ever think how they came about?

I've preached steadily about making connections and meeting people at writing conferences--not because they might be useful someday (although the friendship might), but because they're your colleagues. In my case, these are the people I approach first for "blurbs" (i.e., brief endorsements) if they either write in the same genre as me or if they're really big fans (and fortunately I have several of those--people who don't write in my genre but have followings of their own). And I never ask them for a blurb. I ask if they'd be willing to read "in view of an endorsement." Most say "yes," but if the answer is "no"--no matter the reason--that's okay. A few even say to ask them again, and I do. If they don't, I cross them off as potential endorsers, but the friendship remains intact.

What about if you're on the other end? What do I do if someone asks me to endorse a novel? I've formulated these rules from what other authors have suggested, and they've served me well over the years. I'll read in view of an endorsement (I never promise one) if: 1) I know the person or I've been recommended by a mutual friend, 2) the novel is in the genre in which I write, and 3) I either have read some of the individual's writing or I am pretty sure it will be good. After that, the book makes the decision. And, yes, I read the whole thing.

Are endorsements important for you, either as a writer or a reader? Let me know.

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Elise Griffith said...

I can see from a writer's perspective, endorsements from other published authors of the same genre would be appreciated. From a readers perspective? Thoughtful reviews (more than "good book" or "didn't like") are more persuasive than professional endorsements to me. Your mileage may vary.

Richard Mabry said...

Elise, I agree. The rules or guidelines are mainly for me. I still recall that I sent my debut novel to a friend who was well-known in the historical/romance area of Christian fiction, and she gave me a glowing review that began by saying she didn't often read in this area. I really appreciated it.

Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

As a writer, I am always thankful for other writers who will write an endorsement of my book. But as a reader, endorsements don't get me to buy the book. It's that first page that gets me to put my money down. :-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I agree. I added a single blurb to the back cover of my indie-published novel, Cardiac Event, which will be out in a couple of weeks. I sometimes wonder if this isn't something we do because it's "always been that way."

Paula said...

I will tell you an incident involving a friend of mine who shares one of my favorite authors. I asked her to read another author that wrote similarly. She put off looking at this author. Then our mutual favorite author recommended the second author's books right at the top of the cover! Now my friend is reading the second author. So-- two things: another author's recommendation and mine finally got her to try a new author! I guess it takes a team effort. I do pay attention when a favorite author recommends a book. I also pay attention to reviews, especially those made by authors I trust. Thanks, Richard!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for sharing that, Paula. Sometimes that's what it takes.