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!


kristina stanley.jpg

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.

Advertisements

What do Author Endorsements and Sailing have common?

Many of you know I’ve sold the eBook and print rights for my upcoming novel LOOK THE OTHER WAY to Imajin Books. I’m excited to share that the fourth endorsement is in!

Look The Other Way takes place on a sailboat…that’s what’s in common between the endorsement and sailing.

In my book, The Author’s Guide To Selling Books to Non-Bookstores, I wrote about the importance of endorsements. Here’s a little excerpt to share with you why I’m working on getting endorsments:

AGTSBNBWhy Are Endorsements Important

When you take your book to a store, endorsements on the front and back cover will add legitimacy to your books. That’s promotional material every time someone picks up your novel.

I believe this is more important for printed books than eBooks. The image of your book cover online may be too small for a potential buyer to read the endorsements. In a store, the endorsements may just give you an edge over other books on the shelf.

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 which case, go ahead and use her.

SO WHO DID I ASK?

Bestselling author James Osborne

James’s working career began in journalism and then teaching journalism, after which he took a detour through the corporate world before returning to writing. That detour included becoming vice-president of a Fortune 500 company — a mixed blessing — and then president of a management consulting firm for 10 years. Those experiences made clear that a varied life, filled with a diversity of good and occasional not-so-good experiences, provides a huge resource for creative writing.

You can find out more about James’s novels at https://jamesosbornenovels.com

James blogged on Mystery Mondays July 18th, 2016 and I hope he posts again.

AND THE ENDORSEMENT

Be Prepared

Fair Warning: Be sure to make dinner and get lots of rest before starting to read Look The Other Way. You will not want to put this gem down until the very surprising and very satisfying end. This wonderfully told double-murder mystery by award-winning novelist Kristina Stanley will sneak up on you and refuse to let go until you have followed the twists and turns in the unpredictable adventures of Jake and Shannon to the logical outcome… but is it, and are they, and do they, and did they? You may never know unless you take the time and… Look The Other Way.  

Endorsements And The Writing Journey

I once thought that if I wrote a novel that was accepted by a publisher, I could sit back and relax. Have you stopped laughing yet?

So not true. After being accepted by a publisher, the excitement begins. There are the dedication and acknowledgement to write. There is the bio to update. And there are the endorsements. And so much more…

Asking for an endorsement is a big deal, and that’s when my nerves start to act up.  I’m asking someone else not only to take the time to read my novel but to then write a short summary of what they like about it.

For me, writing an endorsement for another author takes about a week…after I’ve read the book. I know my words will be permanently written on the cover or back cover of their book, so they better be good. Hence the week to write it.

Meaning, I understand what I’m asking of someone else. Before Imajin Books will publish my latest novel, Look The Other Way, I have to ensure I have endorsements, and I’m very pleased to announce the second endorsement for Look The Other Way has arrived.

And Who Is The Endorsing Author?

jpmclean-headshot-1034x1034J.P. (Jo-Anne) McLean lives on Denman Island, nestled between the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Raised in the greater Toronto area in Ontario, J.P. lived in various parts of North America from Mexico and Arizona to Alberta and Ontario before settling on the west coast.

Jo-Anne holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia, is a certified scuba diver, an avid gardener and a voracious reader. She had a successful career in Human Resources before turning her attention to writing.

J.P. is the author of The Gift Legacy series. Reviewers call the series addictive, smart and fun. Her books include endorsements from bestselling authors, Elinor Florence and Kristina Stanley. The genre is contemporary fantasy. The series has been described as Fantasy Light and is a good introduction to the genre for the uninitiated.

The first book of her Gift Legacy Series, Awakening, received Honourable Mention at the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Awards.

Here is what Jo-Anne has to say about Look The Other Way, soon to be published by Imajin Books.

“When Kristina Stanley takes you sailing, hold on tight. Look the Other Way whips up a storm of suspicion and intrigue in deceptively tranquil Bahamian waters. Stanley writes characters who will capture your heart, fire your anger, make you doubt, and keep you wondering until the end.”

 

Jo-Anne would love to hear from you. Contact her via her website at www.jpmclean.net or through her social media sites. Reviews are always welcome and greatly appreciated.

You can also find her here:

Betrayal 3D-Book on xparent.pngSign up for her Readers Club JP McLean’s Book News

Read and follow her blog www.jpmclean1.wordpress.com

Find her on Goodreadswww.goodreads.com/jpmclean

Follow her on Twitterwww.twitter.com/jpmclean1 @jpmclean1

Like her on Facebook www.facebook.com/JPMcLeanBooks

 

What’s LOOK THE OTHER WAY about?

It’s the beginning of a new series set in the Bahamas. The mystery takes place aboard a Lagoon 380 catamaran, which happens to be the type of boat I lived on for 5 years.

Mattina sailing
Mattina in the Bahamas

Here’s the blurb:

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace his last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing their 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers some dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send all three of them to the depths.

Thank you to Imajin Books for once again supporting me!

Imajin Books is a Canadian publisher that publishes suspense, mystery, thriller, paranormal, horror, romance, fantasy, young adult and select non-fiction. They will be open for submissions April 2017, so keep your eye on the website if you’re looking to submit a novel this year.

The Importance Of Author Endorsements

Many of you know I’ve sold the eBook and print rights for my upcoming novel LOOK THE OTHER WAY to Imajin Books.

Now the publishing journey moves quickly. Imajin Books has a fast paced schedule and I need to keep up.

In my book, The Author’s Guide To Selling Books to Non-Bookstores, I wrote about the importance of endorsements. Here’s a little excerpt:

AGTSBNBWhy Are Endorsement Important

When you take your book to a store, endorsements on the front and back cover will add legitimacy to your books. That’s promotional material every time someone picks up your novel.

I believe this is more important for printed books than eBooks. The image of your book cover online may be too small for a potential buyer to read the endorsements. In a store, the endorsements may just give you an edge over other books on the shelf.

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 which case, go ahead and use her.

The first endorsement for LOOK THE OTHER WAY is in!

I asked an author who has more romance in her novels than I do in the Stone Mountain Mystery series because LOOK the OTHER WAY is a romantic suspense novel.  I asked an author whose books I’ve read and loved.

SO WHO DID I ASK?

KAT FLANNERY

Kat FlanneryKat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing. A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been on Amazon’s Bestsellers list many times and was #62 over all their titles. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.

AND NOW FOR THE ENDORSEMENT!

“LOOK THE OTHER WAY is a fast paced ride complete with a tidal wave of emotions, suspense, and a well crafted who-done-it tale. Miss Stanley has impressed me yet again with her keen ability to keep the reader wanting more!”

What’s LOOK THE OTHER WAY about?

It’s the beginning of a new series set in the Bahamas. The mystery takes place aboard a Lagoon 380 catamaran, which happens to be the type of boat I lived on for 5 years.

Mattina sailing
Mattina in the Bahamas

Here’s the blurb:

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace his last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing their 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers some dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send all three of them to the depths.

Thank you to Imajin Books for once again supporting me!

Imajin Books is a Canadian publisher that publishes suspense, mystery, thriller, paranormal, horror, romance, fantasy, young adult and select non-fiction. They will be open for submissions April 2017, so keep your eye on the website if you’re looking to submit a novel this year.

What do Avalanche And Gail Bowen Have In Common?

I’m sure you’ve guessed from the title, what I’m about to share…I know, as a mystery writer, I should hold back information, give a little clue here and there, but the excitement is too much for me.

I’ve been a fan of Gail Bowen’s since her first book was published in 1990. So to have Gail write an endorsement for AVALANCHE is truly unbelievable. Before I share her endorsement, let me highlight Gail’s amazing novels. You can click through on any of the links or book covers if you’d like to buy one.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.44.12 AM The first six books in the Kilbourn series – Deadly Appearances (1990); Murder at the Mendel (1991); Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.45.36 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.47.03 AMThe Wandering Soul Murders (1992);Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.48.26 AM A Colder Kind of Death (1994), winner of the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award; A Killing Spring (1996) Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.50.33 AMand Verdict in BloodScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.51.42 AM (1998) – have appeared as made-for-television movies with world-wide distribution.  Burying ArielScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.52.55 AM (2000); The Glass Coffin (2002); The Last Good DayScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.55.16 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.57.51 AMScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.53.56 AM(2004); The Endless KnotScreen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.56.36 AM (2006); The Brutal Heart(2008)
and The Nesting Dolls (2010) have met with critical and commercial success.  In June 2008, Reader’s Digest named Bowen ‘Canada’s Best Mystery Novelist’.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.59.10 AM

On to Gail’s endorsement of AVALANCHE:

A mountain as deadly as it is majestic; characters far too familiar with the Seven Deadly Sins and murder−Kristina Stanley’s Avalanche has it all. This fast-paced mystery is as thrilling as a heart-stopping run down the slopes.

If you’d like to read DESCENT and BLAZEboth are on sale this week for $0.99 US.

Thank you, Gail, for supporting me. And thanks to those of you reading…

Endorsement For The Author’s Guide To Selling Books To Non-Bookstores

Shroud of RosesToday, I get to thank Gloria Ferris, first for being kind enough to take time from her busy writing schedule to read an ARC of The Author’s Guide To Selling Books To Non-Bookstores, and then for writing a lovely endorsement.

Targeted

Gloria is the author of the Cornwall & Refern Mysteries, including Shroud Of Roses and Corpse Flower. She’s also completed the amazing feat of co-authoring Targeted with Donna Warner.

So over to Gloria…

Well, I’ve been a published author for almost five years and it never occurred to me that I can sell my books in places that — wait for it — don’t usually sell books! It’s true. The Author’s Guide To Selling Books To Non-Bookstores, by Kristina Stanley, is an in-depth instructional guide on how to do this. Every step is covered, from formulating a plan to collecting money — and, everything in between.

Kristina kindly provides a sample spreadsheet and invoices to keep the author organized. I also picked up some new book-signing and marketing tips from this book, and my mind is whirling with the possibilities! The book is well-written and worth the read for authors who are interested in stepping up their marketing efforts. ~ Gloria Ferris, award-winning author of the Cornwall & Redfern Mysteries”

Sell Books To Non-Bookstores

Of course, DESCENT and BLAZE can be bought online, but it sure is fun to see them in stores. Soon, AVALANCHE will be sitting beside these two on the shelves.

Thanks for reading…

Avalanche Explodes Again: More Praise…

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.24.14 AMThe weeks and months before a novel is published is an exciting time. It’s the time when early praise starts to roll in. I’m so thrilled to share an endorsement from James M. Jackson. James is the author of Ant Farm, Cabin Fever, and Bad Policy.

THANK YOU, JAMES 🙂

Avalanche is the third in the Stone Mountain Mystery series and is scheduled for publication by Imajin Books this spring.

Avalanche smashes and uproots relationships in Stone Mountain Resort, leaving devastation in its wake. With as many layers as winter’s snow, this whodunit will keep you turning pages and guessing to the end. ~ James M. Jackson, author of the Seamus McCree Series

***

On a cold winter morning, deep in the Purcell Mountains, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed hours before Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, disappears in an avalanche.

Under normal circumstances, as the director of security, Kalin would lead the investigation into the theft, but Roy is the prime suspect. The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin. She’s told to stay clear of the investigation and risks her job to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name.

Threats against Kalin escalate as she gets closer to the truth. Is her faith in her brother justified? Was the avalanche an accident or did something more sinister happen? And is the truth worth destroying her life for?