It is essential that a self-publisher understands the differences between an endorsement and a testimonial. Each plays a vital role in the financial success of the book. Both will play an essential role in a book’s marketing plan. Together, they provide third-party validation to your book, which is the most powerful sales tool you can use. Without these, a book will have a hard time selling. Therefore, I have presented some basic definitions of each to help the self-publisher have a starting point before beginning 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 supporting your book, you are telling the public that they trust what you have to say. They usually talk only about the book and not about you, the author. They also generally don’t discuss how their book helped them with a problem or improved their lives.
Testimonials, on the other hand, come from your readers, customers, and ordinary citizens. These are less desirable than celebrity endorsement, but are 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 a dramatic way, for example. The greatest power of using endorsements and testimonials comes when you use them together. All book buyers like to receive endorsement from a big-name celebrity or industry guru. But all consumers know that these people have some vested interest in having their own name published. This is why the testimonials of ordinary people also carry weight for the book buyer. A testimonial can appear less biased and more honest. The book buyer looks for both endorsements and testimonials to give them an overview of their book.
The “B” Listers
There is also an area between endorsements and testimonials that you should not overlook. This would be getting the endorsement of lesser known celebrities, such as a local authority figure, a local celebrity, or a person with a fancy title. For example, get the endorsement of a university president, or your county executive, or the president of a large company or bank, your pastor, radio host, local television newscast, etc. While many of these may not carry much weight to the national book consumer, they will certainly help with your overall marketing plan when combined with the other endorsements and testimonials.
Don’t underestimate the power of endorsements and testimonials to help your book be noticed, bought, and read. Getting lots of powerful endorsements and testimonials from a wide variety of people will almost guarantee that your book will be bought. Always look to get more of both kinds – the more the merrier. Using these endorsements and testimonials in your book, website, blog, brochures, on Amazon, on LinkedIn, etc., will help keep your book selling for a long time.