Let’s be honest, asking for anything as a writer can be uncomfortable, whether it’s an endorsement, a shoutout, or even a simple Amazon review. You don’t want to seem needy or annoying by asking, but these are essential elements for getting your book off the ground.

In this post, I’ll be walking you through how to ask for book endorsements in a way that helps you come across as personal, yet professional. Without delaying things too much, let’s just dive right in.

What exactly is an ‘endorsement’?

Do me a favor: grab your nearest book and either look at the back cover or flip through the first 3-4 pages. You see all those quotes from Kirkus Reviews, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Publishers Weekly? Imagine those were individual people saying those things. That’s an endorsement.

An endorsement is essentially advance praise for your book from someone who is a well-known or reputable figure in your book’s genre, niche, and/or target audience. They would typically get a copy of your book in advance (more on that later), read either a portion of the book or, if you’re lucky, the whole thing, and say something about how awesome it is. This is different from a testimonial, which is primarily reserved for business owners. Both are recommendations for something, but endorsements are typically about the product, whereas testimonials are typically about the service. If you’re nonfiction author whose book relates to your business, then you can have both.

What’s the purpose of a book endorsement?

These add a level of professionalism and credibility to your book, as well as your developing or existing author brand. If you’re a fiction author, it commends the creativity and delivery of your plot. If you’re a nonfiction author, it commends the value it offers to your particular audience/niche.

It serves more as social proof than anything. Contrary to popular belief, endorsements are not actually known to sell more books as Kathleen Schmidt states here in her recent post. (It’s a fantastic read, you really should check it out, as well as her other stuff.)

Social proof means credibility and legitimacy. If I’m Brené Brown, and I wrote a book on embracing vulnerability in the workplace, and Tony Robbins endorsed it, that would indicate the high status I have with the pool of industry figures my book and I are being associated with. Think about it like who they’re eating lunch with in the school cafeteria.

How should I ask for one?

When asking for book endorsements, keep in mind that the people you are asking are most likely going to be busy. It is common for people to not have enough time to read your entire book prior to agreeing to an endorsement and, consequently, they will often base their endorsement off the first 1-3 chapters (depending on their length). 

Here’s how to politely and professionally request a book endorsement:

  1. Create a list of 10 different, pre-written sample endorsements (my example). I approached a colleague of mine with this list and she said it was the most professional endorsement request she’d ever gotten.
  2. Brainstorm a list of people whom you’d like to receive a ‘blurb’ from. I would shoot for anywhere between 5 and 10 names that you would most like to be associated with.
    1. HOT TIP: If you know of someone but are not connected with them, look them up on LinkedIn and see if you share any mutual connections. You can then ask that person for an introduction! Make sure you have a reason for why this target person would benefit from offering an endorsement though. (Ex: share a similar audience, you’re offering a solution to a shared problem…)
  3. Reach out to each of the people on your list and request an endorsement from them using this template:

Subject: Would you be open to endorsing my new book?

Body:

Hi [NAME],

Hope you’re doing well! [INSERT SOMETHING PERSONAL]

I’m reaching out to ask if you would be open to endorsing my upcoming book, [TITLE]. It’s about [PREMISE/PLOT]. It’s due to be released on [DATE]. I figured with your background in [NICHE], this book would appeal to you. Specifically, [REASON OF RELEVANCE].

If you’ve got too many things going on and would like to pass on this, just let me know! However, if you are open to it, I’ve got a couple different options for you:

  1. If you’ve got time, I’ve attached a PDF of the first [2 OR 3, DEPENDING ON LENGTH]chapters of my book if you’d want to read a portion of it and write your own blurb. I can give you access to the full manuscript as well, if you’d prefer. [NOTE: It’s up to you if you’d want to attach the entire PDF or mail them a physical copy.]
  2. If you’re short on time, I’ve created a sample list of “grab-n-go” blurbs you can assign your name to. You’re also welcome to tweak any of these to your personal verbiage, as well! [NOTE: Either hyperlink doc or attach separately.]

I’ll be using your endorsement for [BOOK COVER, WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA, ALL OF THE ABOVE].

I am so grateful to be connected with you and would be honored to earn your endorsement! Let me know what questions you have, and if there’s any way I can support you with any of your projects.

Many thanks,

[YOUR NAME]


As promised, with a template like this, you come across as both personal and professional. You’re telling them exactly what you need without being awkward or pushy about it. You’re also setting up your relationship with them for future success because you’re offering reciprocity at the end; you’ll just need to make sure you actually follow through with it. 🙂

If you need some extra support with this, feel free to check out this completed example I sent out to one of my colleagues.

When should I request an endorsement?

This depends on how you’re planning on publishing your book. Most traditional presses will have a dedicated timeline for this these types of requests, but going hybrid or indie will mean you have a little more flexibility.

If it were a perfect world, I would recommend between 2-3 months out from launch (AKA: your book’s release date). This makes sense because that’s typically around the time where you’d want to start consistently promoting your book online. Any blurbs you get will make for easy posts and let folks know who is supporting it.

Final Thoughts

Requesting endorsements for your book doesn’t need to be awkward! You just need to know what you’re asking for and how you’re asking for it. By exercising this muscle, you’re practicing taking yourself seriously as a writing professional. If you believe in your book and the value it’s going to provide, then it will be easier for folks to want to support it with you. 🙂


⭐ Let’s keep the conversation going! Email me at lauren@laurenericksonofficial.com 

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