It is essential for a self-publisher to understand the differences between an endorsement and a testimonial. Each plays a vital role in the financial success of the book. They will both play an essential role in a book’s marketing plan. Together they give third-party validation to your book – which is the most powerful sales tool you can use. Without these, a book will struggle for sales. Therefore, I have laid out some basic definitions of each to help give the self-publisher a starting point before they begin their first book.
There is a fine distinction between endorsements and testimonials. For example, an endorsement comes from celebrities, industry insiders, industry gurus, and other big-name authors. By providing an endorsement for your book, they are telling the public that they trust what you have to say. They generally talk about the book alone, and not about you, the author. They also do not generally discuss how your book helped them with a problem or how it improved their life.
Testimonials, on the other hand, come from your readers, clients, and ordinary citizens. These are less desirable than a celebrity endorsement, but still essential to your book’s overall marketing plan and success. A great testimonial will tell how your book helped the reader improve their life in some dramatic way, for example. The greatest power of using endorsements and testimonials comes when you use them together. Every book buyer likes to see an endorsement from a big-name celebrity or industry guru. But every consumer knows that these people have some personal interest in getting their own name in print. This is why testimonials from regular people also carries weight with the book buyer. A testimonial might appear to be less biased, and more honest. The book buyer is looking at both endorsements and testimonials to give them an overall view of your book.
The “B” Listers
There is also an area in-between endorsements and testimonials that you should not overlook. This would be getting an endorsement from less well-known celebrities, such as a local authority figure, or local celebrity, or person with a fancy title. For example, getting an endorsement from a college president, or from your county executive, or the president of a big company, or bank, your pastor, radio announcer, local tv news person, etc. Although many of these might not carry too much weight with the book consumer on a national level, they will certainly help with your overall marketing plan when put together with the other endorsements and testimonials.
Do not underestimate the power of endorsements and testimonials to help get your book get noticed, purchased, and read. Getting many powerful endorsements and testimonials from a great variety of people will almost guarantee that your book will get purchased. Always be looking to get more of both types – the more the better. Using these endorsements and testimonials in your book, website, blog, flyers, on Amazon, on LinkedIn, etc., will help keep your book selling for a long time.