Seven years ago, Lisa Copen shared the following advice on getting testimonials with members of The Book Marketing Network. I thought her advice was worth repeating.
When collecting your testimonials or blurbs for your book, make sure to not have all of them be from experts. Yes, a well-known celebrity can add a bit of sparkle to your sales sheet. For example, who wouldn’t want a quote about your new adoption scrapbook album from Angelina Jolie?
Testimonials from experts and celebrities catch the attention of both media like radio producers as well as your audience of potential readers. They will think, “Wow! That’s nice that she was able to get a recommendation from her. That took some effort. Must be a decent book.”
And it will add credibility that the book isn’t a real flop.
But in my opinion, it’s the average reader who will influence a person to buy your book.
Which blurb would make you want a book?
One by Stephen King that says… “Intriguing. Excellent read.”
Or a testimonial from Suzy Smith that says… “Your book completely turned my life upside down—or should I say, right side up? I’ve made so many changes in both my actions and my attitudes. It’s improved my health, my relationships—everything! Thank you for helping me get my life back!”
Stephen King’s remark is nice, but it doesn’t make me think I need this book. Suzy’s review makes me think, “I need this book so I can get my life back too!”
Don’t cover your book’s front and back cover with just vague endorsements from celebrities. Be sure to add at least one real person’s testimonial that will make the shopper think, “This person sounds just like me. If this book helped her (or entertained her), it will help me, too.”
John’s Book Marketing Comments
If I had to choose between a celebrity’s rather vague testimonial and someone else’s specific benefit-oriented testimonial, I’d always choose the benefit-oriented testimonial. Every time. Without fail.