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Archive for June 19th, 2012

Shoot for the stars when seeking celebebrity endorsements for your book!

For the next 11 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

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Day 18 writing prompt:

Who did/could you ask to write a blurb for your book? Why that person/people? How did/will you go about reaching them?

Endorsements, also called testimonials or blurbs, are statements made by people attesting to the quality of writing and the value of the content in your book. If you can get celebrities or industry experts to endorse your book, it can have a significant positive effect on prospective buyers. In marketing terms, this is called the ‘Halo Effect,’ meaning you benefit from another person’s or organization’s notoriety.

Thus writes Brian Jud, author of How to Make REAL Money Selling Books (without Worrying about Returns).

And Jud is correct. If you think about how many times you’ve seen famous folks pitching every kind of product from cosmetics to financial services on the TV machine, you probably know the value their endorsements mean to big companies like CoverGirl and Capital One. So think about what a celeb endorsement could mean to your book!

The advice I universally give my clients is to AIM HIGH. Reach for the stars, in terms of who you approach to ask to write the intro or compose a blurb for the back of your book. The worst their going to do is say no, and you’re no worse off than you were before you asked.

While it may seem almost impossible to obtain a blurb from a celebrity, that doesn’t have to be the case. The best way reach out to someone famous for their endorsement is through networking. Talk to everyone you know and see who has a direct connection or knows someone who could make an introduction for you. Of course, you want to make sure your book is a good fit for that person. It probably wouldn’t make a whole ton of sense to approach Arnold Palmer for an endorsement of a SciFi book or Rachel Maddow for a blurb for your romance novel.

Another option for contacting the celebrity of your dreams is through the mail. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to reply to your request. In your initial query, include a cover letter asking them to endorse your book. Include with it the pertinent info regarding why you’re tapping them for this particular book: the table of contents, a galley copy or sample chapters for their review. Also provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to make it easy for them to get back to you.

Tell your celebrity up front that you appreciate them taking time from their very busy schedules, and provide sample testimonials from which they may choose if they do not have time to write one of their own.

Think about how busy you are. Even if a celebrity loves your book and wants to endorse it, it can take some time to receive a response from them. If you do not hear back from someone in two or three weeks, send a follow-up letter or email. They may have a gatekeeper screening their mail or email, so just keep at it. And wherever possible, make direct contact!

I have, to date, made one significant overture for a celebrity endorsement of 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women. My friend, Connie, attended an event where Sark was speaking and had a chance to present her with a copy of my book. She said she liked it, but was too busy writing her current book to do any endorsements at the time. That was a couple years ago, though, so I guess it’s time to take my own medicine and try again – as well as developing a longer list and getting busy!

Below, you will find a list of organizations that may be helpful in contact the celebrity you want to endorse your book:

The Screen Actors Guild represents nearly 120,000 film, television, commercial, and music video actors.

• 757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 323-954-1600

• 360 Madison Avenue, Fl. 12, New York, NY 10017 | 212-944-1030

Contact Any Celebrity claims to have a database of more than 15,000 reliable celebrity addresses. There’s a fee to join, but once you register you will receive full access to the members’ area, which allows you to search the database of celebrity addresses.

• 8721 Santa Monica Blvd. #431; West Hollywood, CA 90069 | 310-691-5466

Reel Classics, the classic movie website, provides a free list of addresses for certain celebrities that have approved the use of their contact information.

Additionally, I CANNOT and DO NOT vouch for this, but I came across an info product titled Secrets to Getting Celebrity Endorsements that claims to teach you all the ins and outs of obtaining celebrity endorsements.

Happy celebrity hunting!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

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