Need a Book Endorsement? The Advance Reader Copy is Your New Best Friend. #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.

This is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!

This month, I’m writing about how to get endorsements from other authors.


I have a confession to make: when a novel of mine is close to being published, I get nervous.

I get nervous because I know that it’s almost time to start sending out Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) – an almost-but-not-quite-final version of my book – for endorsements. ARCs are sent before the final editing and proofreading is complete. Why do I stress myself out this way?

Despite my misgivings, there’s a method to the madness. When your book hits the shelves, endorsements on the front and back cover adds legitimacy. It’s added promotional material every time someone picks up your novel. It’s important to get endorsements early, so they can be incorporated into your book’s cover design and online listings.

The endorsements that go on your cover are ones that connect with your readers. You want to find authors who write in your genre that readers will recognize. Having an endorsement from your mom is nice, but it won’t help sell your book. (Unless your mom is a famous author. In this case, go ahead and use her!)

Endorsements are critically important, and it all starts with the ARC. It makes me nervous to have people I know and admire read an unfinished version of my book, but the payoff is so worth it.

Here are my tips on how you can spin your ARCs into book marketing gold:

Networking and the ARC

I learned early in my writing career that networking long before I finished my first novel is critical to the publishing journey.

How does one find established authors willing to spend their time reading an about-to-be-published-for-the-first-time author’s novel? That’s where networking comes in.

I’ve attended writing conferences, workshops and awards dinners. Each of these gave me a way to meet other authors. I started a blog. Got active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

When I first joined the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC), I sent every CWC author a LinkedIn message asking them to connect with me. Hundreds did. I was amazed. I kept a spreadsheet of the authors I’d sent a message to, which ones accepted my invitation and included a check mark when I sent a thank you. Since then, I’ve kept up communication with authors, sending them a message when I’d read their book and posted a review..

Who To Ask For An Endorsement

I chose authors that I had some connection with. Either I’d met them in person, or I’d connected with them on the Internet. I looked for authors where our writing had something in common.

I wrote a letter to each author as I would a query letter. I included my writing credentials and the reason I was asking a specific author. Part of asking is the condition that if they didn’t like the book, I wouldn’t expect an endorsement.

What Format to Send

When possible, ask the author which format they prefer (i.e. PDF, mobi, epub, print, etc.). This shows them respect and it means they won’t be distracted from the story because they’re reading in a format they don’t like.

For one author, I was so thrilled they said they would read an ARC, I had it printed and bound at my local print store.

How Many Endorsements Are Enough?

I recommend a minimum of three. One for the front cover of your novel and two for the back. My covers have the highest profile endorsement on the top of the front cover. The next two endorsements are on the top and bottom of the back cover. When potential readers pick up my novel, they don’t even have to open the cover to see the promotional material.

For anything more than three endorsements, jump up and down and do the happy dance. Then plan to put the endorsements after the copyright page.

What Should An Endorsement Look Like?


The endorsements on the outside cover are edited to contain only the most enticing words. The full endorsement is written on the inside of the book after the copyright page.

For my novel DESCENT, the front jacket endorsement is:

“A vivid, chilling tale of jealousy, secrets, and betrayal…”
– Barbara Fradkin, award-winning author of the Inspector Green Series.

The full endorsement printed inside the book is:

In this impressive debut, Kristina Stanley weaves a vivid, chilling tale of jealousy, secrets, and betrayal in a close-knit mountain ski village. Like its likeable young heroine, Kalin Thompson, DESCENT is both tender and tough. – Barbara Fradkin, award-winning author of the Inspector Green Series.

Readers have two chances to discover the endorsements, and that’s two chances that they will buy your book.

A Thank-You

We all know a thank you goes a long way. After my book is published, I mail a  signed print edition of my novel to any author who endorsed it. I know I love to receive a copy of any book I’ve endorsed, so I’m assuming others like this too.

On that note, thanks for reading!


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Kristina Stanley is a bestselling author, editor, and the CEO of Fictionary. Fictionary helps writers tell better stories with breakthrough online software that simplifies story editing. She’s the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series, Look The Other Way, and The Author’s Guide to Selling Books To Non-Bookstores.

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Celebrating LOOK THE OTHER WAY with Imajin Books

Every month my publisher showcases the top selling books from Imajin Books.

August was an awesome month for Look the Other Way and Avalanche. Top Bestselling eBook, 2nd bestselling paperback, and top selling author overall. I feel like I won the lottery.

Can I just say the smile on my face is huge? I feel so lucky that Imajin Books took on Descent in 2015 and has kept me on as an author.

 

Imajin Books Aug 2017

Thank you, Imajin Books, for your continued belief  in me.

That’s all for today’s happy dance. Thanks for indulging my little bit of happiness.

Celebrate Canada Day and Buy Yourself A Book. Summer Sizzles E-Books $1.99 Or Less Sale!

My publisher, Imajin Books, has put their ebooks on sale for just $1.99 – and some for less!

If you love mystery, suspense, and thrillers check out these bestselling books. Grab ’em now between July 1st and July 15th only! Visit the exclusive book page.

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If you haven’t read one of my books, here’s your chance to get them on sale. Just click the book cover.

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Descent Had Me Falling for Canadian Author Kristina Stanley – Sarah Butland – Imagination Captured

I love how Facebook sends me memories. This one appeared today from one year ago and it’s too lovely not to share…

 

Source: Descent Had Me Falling for Canadian Author Kristina Stanley – Sarah Butland – Imagination Captured

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00072]

 

If I hear of a contest I’m eligible for I enter it, especially if the prize consists of books so when I heard of Imajin Book’s contest celebrating their Canadian success and authors I had to enter.

A few days later I found out that I won the ebook by Kristina Stanley, Decent (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 1) and I was thrilled! Only it got buried in another pile of downloads, projects and my own writing and then I was reminded again and went searching for it.

With a much more pleasant winter than last, I was delighted to read of a fictitious, but very likely, blustery mountain and ski resort. Downhill Skiing While you Sit!Much like I imagine a mogul run would feel like, the mysteries of Descent had my heart racing with all of its bumps in the road and twists on the path. Filled with a lot of characters, each one seemed as real and honest as […]

Source: Descent Had Me Falling for Canadian Author Kristina Stanley – Sarah Butland – Imagination Captured

Audio Books: Self-publish or Traditionally Publish

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve sold the audio rights for DESCENT to Auspicious Apparatus Press.

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What does this mean?

Sometime during 2017, DESCENT will be available on Audible.

There are so many choices for an author to make during the journey to publication. Self-publish? Traditional publishing?

The decision applies to audio books as well as printed and eBook editions. If you self-publish, you control most things about the publishing process.

If you publish via a publisher, you want to be careful what rights you sign away. My print and eBooks rights are with Imajin Books. But I didn’t sign away my rights for foreign language or for audio books.

I sold the German language rights for DESCENT to Luzifer-Verlag.

This means I now have the ability to sign with a different publisher for audio books.

Why did I decide to go this route?

For me, I want to spend my time writing and not publishing. Hence, I chose to use another publisher for audio books. This means I share the royalties, but it also means I’m free to write more. You’ll have to decide what’s right for you and what fits your skill sets.

If you have an audio book out, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to listen to it.

Thanks for reading…

The Stone Mountain Mysteries On Sale

Thanks to Imajin Books for putting DESCENT and BLAZE on sale.  Why not buy yourself a present, curl up, and read.

Just to entice you, here’s a little endorsement for Descent.

In this impressive debut, Kristina Stanley weaves a vivid, chilling tale of jealousy, secrets, and betrayal in a close-knit mountain ski village. Like its likeable young heroine, Kalin Thompson, DESCENT is both tender and tough.” – Barbara Fradkin: author of the Inspector Green Mysteries and two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.

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DESCENT shortlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Unhanged Arthur for excellence in crime writing.

When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.

BLAZE shortlisted for the 2014 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

Thank you 🙂

Thanks to all my readers who have bought and read the books in the Stone Mountain Series. It’s a wonderful feeling to know others have read my stories.

Instant Book Previews Via Amazon. Very Cool!

One has to wonder…Is it possible to stay on top of book marketing? Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with the amount there is to learn.

This week, I discovered, well discovered is not quite right…My publisher, Imajin Books, informed me there is a feature on Amazon where people can read a sample of my book without having to do much.

This is what you can do…

Add Instant Previews of your books to your website, blog, or app
When readers first discover your book, many of them will want to start reading it right away. By adding Instant Previews to your website, you enable your visitors to start reading a sample instantly without ever having to leave your site. No sign up, sign in, or app download required. Before Instant Previews, getting from your site to the first page of a book could take seven clicks. Now, it’s always just a single click away.
I think that blurb came right from Amazon.
So I’m trilled. Then I find out I’m late to the game. My author friends all know how to do this already. Hence I’m sharing it here in case there are others out there who don’t know about this.
If you want to test this feature out, here are the links:
If you want to see what a sample looks like, and perhaps discover what I write, then click below:
DESCENT sample
BLAZE sample
This feature is not available for AVALANCHE yet, as it releases officially tomorrow. But it will be then.
As a gift from my publisher, AVALANCHE is on sale for a limited time at $0.99 USD.
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