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Welcome to Season 5 of The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson, where we give you information you can immediately implement to increase your influence and market your books more successfully. 

In this episode, Becky talks to Glen Van Peski—Ultralight Backpacker, Founder of Gossamer Gear, and Author of take less. do more.—and Jeevan Sivasubramaniam—Managing Director of Editorial at Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Listen as Glen and Jeevan share their insights on who to ask for book endorsements, the impact of endorsements on book sales, how to ask for endorsements, and the ideal number of endorsements an author should strive for. 

Key Points From This Episode:

[01:33] Glen and Jeevan introduce themselves and share about their work in the world. 

[03:41] Jeevan reveals the meaning behind his nickname, “The Cranky Editor.” 

[05:55] Learn some of the basics about endorsements and why they are critical for anyone who is preparing to launch a book. 

[10:00] Glen and Jeevan talk about how an author can decide who they should ask for endorsements.

[14:35] What if you’re an author who wants to have a big-name endorser but doesn’t have a personal relationship with any? Glen and Jeevan share their advice. 

[16:43] Jeevan explains why endorsements don’t necessarily make or break a book. 

[21:40] Find out whether or not there is a right number of endorsements an author should be aiming for and if there is danger in getting too many. 

[25:13] (AD) Learn about our Book Marketing Strategy Live Course.

[26:54] Jeevan shares his thoughts on whether endorsers should represent the demographics of a book’s target audience, or if it’s better for authors to represent a diverse audience in their endorsements. 

[30:02] Should authors write sample endorsements that potential endorsers can edit? Jeevan discusses this approach, and Glen talks about his own experience of asking for endorsements. 

[35:03] Both Glen and Jeevan share their final thoughts and advice about the power of endorsements. 

Action Steps:

  1. If your book has been out for a while but you haven’t recently brought attention to your endorsements, craft some social media content to highlight them. This will give your book some credibility and remind people of the value it can add for them. 
  2. Download our free ebook, Making the Ask. It contains practical guidance for obtaining great endorsements for your book.


Key Quotes:

I see endorsements as a way for people who are briefly browsing to understand why they should buy a book. —Glen Van Peski 

An endorsement is that blurb that might go on the back cover of the book or under editorial reviews on Amazon, where people are giving a reason why others should read the book. —Becky Robinson 

I think it’s good to have A-listers, but they should be A-listers who are in some way connected thematically or directly to your book. —Jeevan Sivasubramaniam 

I did lend Matthew McConaughey all of my personal backpacking gear for our trip in Buckskin Gulch, and he very graciously gave me an endorsement.  —Glen Van Peski

That’s the other thing about endorsements. I think they’re nice, but I have honestly not seen one make or break a book in any way. They’re just very nice window-dressing. —Jeevan Sivasubramaniam 

Think of your book like a pebble thrown into still water. That first ripple is what determines every ripple afterward. And that first ripple is your core audience. And then, if it has a big enough impact, it automatically goes into other audiences elsewhere. —Jeevan Sivasubramaniam 

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Read our latest article based on key takeaways from this episode. 

Explore our archives! Listen to Becky’s five favorite episodes:

  1. Episode 125 with Michael Bungay Stanier
  2. Episode 121 with Juliet Starrett
  3. Episode 112 with Clint Pulver 
  4. Episode 108 with  AJ Harper
  5. Episode 106 with Jane Friedman