Key Steps to Getting Endorsements: Guest Blog Post by Faith Fuller Wilcox

My guest today is author Faith Fuller Wilcox. I had the honor of working with Faith on her book, Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again, which will be published on June 8, 2021. As we worked together, I watched Faith’s grassroots efforts to getting endorsements for her book and asked her to share some of her secrets with you. Take it away, Faith.

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Following the completion of my manuscript, I started to hunt for a publisher. I searched for publishers who published memoirs with an agent and those who didn’t require an agent. Sounds easy, right? However, it was a monumental task for me because I was brand new to this industry, and I soon discovered I had many options: self-publishing or publishing with a hybrid-publisher or traditional publisher. Ultimately, She Writes Press, considered one of the top two indie hybrid publishers in the US, welcomed me to publish Hope Is a Bright Star with them.

I tell you this because after completing these accomplishments, I thought I could say, “Phew, I’m done!” But, I couldn’t rest yet, because I learned that in the changing landscape of the publishing industry, publicity of a book is mainly up to the author or the publicist representing the author. Soon, I was researching the key components of a book publicity plan and discovered that securing endorsements was an essential component. Here’s what I learned and would like to share with you.

Planning for Endorsements

To begin your hunt for endorsements, create a list, including contact information, of all of the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence. Include your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, college alumni connections, book club members, trade association connections, and more. Reach out to these connections, explain that you are writing a book (or have written one), and ask if they have any connections with authors or influencers in the genre of your book. You may be surprised by the number of contacts they will generate! Simultaneously, broaden your reach to include your social media friends and followers.

Securing endorsements for your book is an essential component of your #bookmarketing plan. Learn how this #memoir author leveraged personal connections, social media, and her sphere of influence. Click To Tweet

Connecting with Influencers

Then seek out influencers, specialists in a field that overlaps with your book who may be authors, bloggers, or podcasters. Follow them on social media, get to know the branding and messaging on their websites, and comment on their blog posts. If the influencers ask for guest bloggers or podcasters on their website, request to contribute a blog or be interviewed for a podcast. If they have in-person or online courses, sign up for them and reach out to the influencers by commenting on their course. The goals are two-fold. You want the influencers to get to know you, and you want to contribute something of value to them.

How do I know that following these steps can lead to endorsements? Because over the past two years I have been building up contact lists, reaching out to family, friends, colleagues, nonprofits in the field of my interest, and my social media friends and followers. Through blogs and e-newsletters I kept them informed about the memoir I was writing, how and when I secured a publisher, and the numerous developments as my memoir moved forward in the book publishing process.

Getting book endorsements is easier once you've established a connection with #influencers in your field. Click To Tweet

Reaping the Rewards

I have also written numerous blogs about a topic that I’m passionate about—the healing power of writing. Over time, these blogs have been noticed and commented upon by influencers. I’ve been delighted to be asked to be a guest blogger on influencers’ websites and a guest on influencers’ podcasts. I’ve also taken online courses offered by influencers and reached out to them following the courses. I even overcame my initial trepidations and offered to lead a workshop at a nonprofit’s national (online) conference. They immediately accepted my offer, and I successfully gave the workshop to people who are likely to be purchasers of my book.

A #memoir author's request for book endorsements led to some surprising opportunities. Click To Tweet

After having set this stage, I wrote to numerous influencers, gave a brief summary of my memoir, and included a heartfelt request asking them to read my memoir and, if they were moved by my story, to write an endorsement. I even reached out to a bestselling author whose book has been translated into seventeen languages, and to my delighted surprise, she not only read my memoir, she also wrote a strong endorsement.

The key is that after you have given something of value to an influencer, the influencer feels more connected to you. This increases the likelihood that s/he will write an endorsement for you.

In summary, expand and leverage your connections, provide compelling content to your community, offer something of value to influencers, and then reach out to them. Stay the course and you will reap the rewards!

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Faith Fuller Wilcox believes that self-expression through writing leads to healing. Her writing is reflective of a growing body of medical research about “narrative identity,” which highlights that how we make sense of what happens to us and the value we give to experiences beyond our control directly impact our physical and psychological outcomes. Faith learned these truths firsthand when her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that took her life. Faith’s journey from grief and despair to moments of comfort and peace taught her life-affirming lessons, which she shares today through her writing.

Faith is the author of Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again (publishing date June 8, 2021) and Facing Into the Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, a book of poetry. To learn more, go to https://www.faithwilcoxnarratives.com.

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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, writing coach, and book proposal specialist who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining the author’s unique voice while helping them create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be. Learn more here.

For more great writing and publishing information, follow Change It Up Editing and Writing Services on Facebook, where I share interesting articles and links about writing and publishing. And let’s connect on Twitter and LinkedIn too!

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