What I Did to Get Great Endorsements
by Ed Weinsberg
I knew I wanted endorsements from high-profile individuals for Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life, which I wrote with Dr. Robert Carey. And I knew I wanted those high-profile individuals to include doctors and bestselling authors. So I made a wish list, and then I asked the people on it to provide comments on the book
Here are some of the individuals who endorsed Conquer Prostate Cancer as a result:
• John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
• Dr. Bernie Siegel, surgeon, cancer specialist, and author of Faith, Hope and Healing:
Inspiring Lessons Learned from People Living with Cancer
• Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
• Dr. Ellen Kreidman, psychologist and national media expert in relationship and marriage enrichment
• Stanley Smisskiss, founding chairman, American Cancer Society Foundation
• Kathy LaTour, editor, Cure magazine
• Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, co-editor of Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul
• Dr. Edward Hallowell, author and psychiatrist specializing in anxiety disorders
• Peggy Huddleston, author of Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide of Mind-Body Techniques
• Dr. Vipul Patel, director of urological oncology, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute
You can see the complete list of endorsements and testimonials in the sidebars of the book page at ConquerProstateCancer.com/book.
The Ask (Including Offers)
In seeking the endorsements of bestselling authors and experts, I sought out people who were opinion-molders in fields related to my book (cancer, faith, intimacy, and relationship building). I contacted them after editing so I could send the manuscript for their positive comments without risk of being rebuffed because of errors, and I sent the manuscript instead of the book because I needed to include endorsements in the printed edition.
Since I was already acquainted on some level with six of the fifteen people on my list, it was easy enough to simply phone them. But the others initially didn’t know me from Adam. So I made sure to introduce myself to these “unknown greats” by sending an email asking if we could set up a time for a phone conversation about my new book. In some instances I got their attention by first developing some rapport with their gatekeepers.
More specifically, I simply called their personal secretaries and established a rapport with them by giving them the sense that I valued not only their bosses but them too. This motivated them to work on my behalf to obtain the potential endorsements I had in mind.
I knew that my book would resonate with these people, given what I sensed about their kindred interests in my subject matter and my target audience of boomers and seniors. In my initial conversations or emails, I focused on the significance of the book’s title and also gently reminded them of my credentials as a rabbi with a doctorate in gerontology. I figured they were more likely to regard me a peer because of my academic record and professional accomplishments.
Also, I offered to send each of my prospective endorsers a few chapters of my book, unless they preferred to get the entire manuscript. And I asked them whether, out of consideration for their time, I should send them a brief sample of the kind of endorsement I was seeking. All but two said “Yes!” but still consented to review my manuscript.
I sent each of the people who said “Yes! a different set of three to five sentences they might concur with, once they had read all or part of my manuscript. And I sent the manuscript along with a title page and the table of contents, so they could easily see the book’s entire scope. In some instances I included endorsements from other prominent people in my covering letter to persuade potential endorsers of my book’s worth.
Responses to Rejoice Over
I was delighted that most of those who endorsed the book used some of the phrases I had suggested. They did that in part because my sample quotes were brief and to the point.
More important, the people who endorsed my book did so because they felt my topic was worthwhile, or because they enjoyed my upbeat writing style, or because they sensed that associating their names with my book would be good publicity for them, or all the above. It helped that by the time I asked for an endorsement, I had honed my manuscript with repeated editing, and I was confident that it would be recognized as top-notch.
Ed Weinsberg is a prostate cancer survivor and rabbi with a doctorate in gerontology from Columbia University. A certified sexuality counselor, he works with cancer patients who have intimacy concerns due to treatment side effects. This article is derived from material he submitted for How to Get Your Book Reviewed: Sell More Books by Using Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements for Book Promotion by Dana Lynn Smith (GetBookReviews.net).