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. Both will play an essential role in the marketing plan of a book. Together they give your book third-party validation, which is the most powerful sales tool you can use. Without these, a book will struggle for sales. Therefore, I have presented some basic definitions of each to help give the self-publisher 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 renowned authors. By providing endorsement for 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 usually don’t discuss how your book helped them with a problem or how it made their life better.
Testimonials, on the other hand, come from your readers, customers, and ordinary citizens. These are less desirable than celebrity endorsements, but are still essential to the success and overall marketing plan of your book. 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. 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 vested interest in printing their own name. This is why testimonials from regular people carry weight for the book buyer as well. A testimonial may seem less biased and more honest. The book buyer is looking at both endorsements and testimonials to give them an overview of your book.
The “B” Lists
There is also an area between endorsements and testimonials that you should not overlook. This would be getting endorsements from lesser-known celebrities, such as a local authority figure, a local celebrity, or someone with a fancy title. For example, getting the endorsement of the president of a university, or your county executive, or the president of a large company or bank, your pastor, radio host, local TV news person, etc. While many of these may not carry much weight with 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 in helping your book stand out, get bought, and be 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 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.