We at Greenleaf Book Group would like to take a moment to congratulate our authors who have books coming out this April.
The Last Daughter of Prussia by Marina Gottlieb Sarles
Dare: Accepting the Challenge of Trusting Leadership by Scott Weiss
The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success by Teresa A. Taylor
The Third Peril by Paul Hoffman
Well done! All your hard work and dedication has paid off, and we’re honored to be partners in your latest and greatest work.
Not pictured: The Third Peril by Paul Hoffman
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So, you know how to identify and approach influencers for endorsements and you’ve got kudos and support rolling in from mentors, thought leaders, bestselling authors, and standouts in your industry. Now, what the heck do you do with those sparkling endorsements? You know that endorsements influence consumers to act, but how do you make sure consumers see those endorsements? Here are a few ideas:
Add endorsements to your book cover. Give the most prominent spot on the cover of your book to the strongest endorsement by your most recognizable endorser. You can add additional endorsements on the back cover or add an endorsement page to the beginning of the book.
Add endorsements to your retailer book pages. Most retailers have a section on each book page specifically for endorsements and reviews. Your publisher can assist in adding these blurbs to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and other retailer sites. You can also add endorsements to your Amazon book page through your Amazon Author Central account.
Quote those endorsements. Your publicity efforts can get a lot of mileage out of a great endorsement. Add quotes to ads, press releases, book descriptions, and sales materials.
Name-drop. It’s hard to find the fine line between casually mentioning an endorsement and being an obnoxious name-dropper, but it can be done. Don’t be afraid to mention those endorsements at the podium or in interviews when appropriate. Endorsements are largely volunteer efforts, so by making use of your endorsement, you’re endorsing the endorser (did you get that?), which can benefit everyone.
Add an endorsement page to your website. The great thing about websites is that they can be updated regularly to add fresh endorsements. You can even branch out and add published reviews and testimonials from readers. This can help keep your website fresh for your fans and search engines.
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Do you feel like you could be doing a better job at keeping up with your blog? Do you find it hard to dig up inspiration when it’s time to write a new post?
Making an editorial calendar and mapping out your content is a great exercise; it helps you stockpile topics and ideas designed to reinforce your brand identity while providing valuable information to your audience. It’s also simple and completely worth the effort—it will save you time in the long run and make the process of regular blog posting more efficient and enjoyable.
Start by sitting down with any existing content you can pull inspiration from—whether it’s a manuscript, a finished book, old articles, or previous blog posts—and a list of other topics related to your overall platform. From there, identify relevant and timely topics that help you connect with your audience. Then, research and map out 3-6 months’ worth of blog post/article topics, outlining the key points you want to make in each one. Be sure to spend enough time researching and writing the content so that it is consistent with your authorial voice and relevant to your audience.
Once you have a list of good ideas together, get out your calendar and put them in an order that makes sense, tying the post in with things that might be seasonal to your business, or aligning them with a particular holiday or event you already have scheduled.
Now that you’re armed with an outline, as you come across related articles or news or think of specific points you want to include in any particular post, you can add them to your map. Then, when it’s time to write up that next blog post, you already have a solid place to start, making it easier to consistently share your content in a meaningful way.
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It’s no secret that the number of books being published each year has skyrocketed. As a result, publishers, distributors, booksellers, and consumers are bombarded with a sea of choices. One way to ensure that your book swims and doesn’t sink is to gather powerful, moving endorsements.
Ideally, your endorsements will come from celebrity voices—authors, business leaders, or other notable figures working in your field or industry. Unfortunately, not all of us are on Oprah’s speed dial. But pay attention to the following tips, and you’ll be well on your way to an awesome cover blurb.
One of the best ways to maximize your chances of receiving a great endorsement is to start many months before your pub date. The popular authors and thought leaders you’re reaching out to aren’t typically the type of people who lounge around reading all day. Starting early will give them more time to consider your proposal and read your work. It will also give you more time to brainstorm backup endorsers and write follow-up emails and letters. Makes sense, right? You’d be surprised how many authors wait until the last moment to contact potential endorsers. Don’t procrastinate on gathering great endorsements.
Take Time Building a List
Scribbling down the first five people that come to mind isn’t going to do you any favors. Do your research. Take time looking up the top sellers in your genre, the exciting new faces in your field, the movers and shakers of your niche. But don’t stop there. Think of authors whose books you respect, colleagues whose ideals you admire, bloggers whose pages you visit often, and people you just plain like. A list of ten to twenty potential endorsers is a great place to start. You’ll want a mix of easily recognizable names and less well-known but very relevant professionals. Additionally, make sure you have a valid way to contact them directly (not through a Facebook message or publisher address if you can help it). Make Google, Amazon, Goodreads, and bestseller lists your best friends at this stage.
Strut Your Stuff
In your initial email or snail-mail letter to your list of potential endorsers, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn a little bit. Be proud of your work and highlight any professional or personal accomplishments you’re particularly proud of. Know that you deserve great endorsements. Mentioning any other endorsements you’ve received or blurbs from press will get your endorser’s attention. Be sure to include the first few chapters of your book and even your cover art if you’d like.
Do you know who, besides booksellers and consumers, are swamped with books? Other authors. In order to stand out amid the spam mail, fan mail, and other endorsement requests, you need to get personal. Tell them why you like them and which book(s) of theirs you’ve read. Share a few lines from your upcoming book or write a killer summary. Why not even go ahead and share your favorite ice cream flavor and yoga pose if you feel so inclined?
Being specific and adding a little color to your email will certainly work in your favor. And while we’re on the subject, adding actual color to your email in the form of a funny design or image could work as well, depending on your subject matter.
Another great way to stand out is to have your publisher handle your endorsement outreach if it’s an option for you. This will add credibility and expertise to your request, and will likely provide you with better access to more popular names and more professional insight into potential endorser lists.
Look Beyond the Endorsement
One important thing to remember while you’re searching for endorsers is that the really important part of this process isn’t actually all about the endorsements. Making endorsement lists will expose you to popular and innovative topics in your field, which will be good news for you when it comes time to draft marketing materials and publicity plans for your piece. Reaching out to those on your list will not only get your name out there, it will give you a personal contact for any future correspondence. Recognize that the entire process is a connections builder, and you can’t lose.
Alright, now it’s time to get researching and writing! Not sure how to word your email or letter? For an example endorsement letter check out our previous blog post on getting great endorsements for your book.
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Have you ever written a blog post that you’re super excited about only to find that you’re missing the perfect photo to complement your writing? Or the perfect background music to accompany your video? Creative Commons to the rescue!
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of digital content through free, legal tools that work alongside copyright to give people the right to share, use, and build upon work that others have created. That means that if you’re looking for content you can freely and legally use—everything from songs, videos, academic materials, photos, and more—you should start your search with Creative Commons–licensed content. It also means that if you’re an artist, photographer, or academic and want to put your work out there for others to use, you can assign a license and give them permission via Creative Commons.
The most commonly used type of Creative Commons content is photos, and photo-sharing site Flickr has more than 200 million public Creative Commons–licensed photos available, making it the largest free photo repository in the world. Writers can search for images for use in blog posts, book illustrations, and even book covers thanks to photographers and artists everywhere taking part in Creative Commons.
Have you used Creative Commons content? Have you licensed any of your content with Creative Commons?