It’s a busy spring around here! Two clients in structural edits, two in copy edits, and one in layout. The client in layout asked a great question today about collecting advance praise reviews for her book. So to give her some direction and create a resource for you, here’s how you do it:
1. When should you start getting advance praise reviews?
Don’t jump the gun here! Your book needs to be [this close] to being done. Usually that means that you’ve got a layout done.
Because you don’t want your expert to see a draft of the book! Not a rough draft, certainly, but also not an unedited draft.
2. Who should you ask?
There are two types of experts that will help you sell books:
- A well-known (and RELEVANT) name
- An unknown person with a RELEVANT title.
Sure, everybody wants their business mentor to write an advance praise blurb for their book. But if your book isn’t about BUSINESS than that person’s praise won’t mean anything to your potential reader. Just because your business mentor is famous to YOU (or in your business circle) doesn’t mean she’s a good fit.
For example, my client Rochelle Seltzer got an amazing review from Seth Godin for her book, “Live Big: A Manifesto for a Creative Life”. Seth Godin is really well known in business-book circles. Would this review pack the same punch if her book had been about weight loss? Nope! It would have just been weird!
You can also find someone with zero name recognition but who has an impressive TITLE – one that will really matter to your reader.
Now read that last bit again:
It must MATTER TO YOUR READER.
Because if these advance praise experts aren’t perceived as experts to your reader, then you might as well have your best friend’s dog groomer write the advance praise blurb!
3. How do you ask them?
The hunting of their email address is the hardest part!
Then you just write them a professional but friendly email. Drop any names of mutual folks, if you can. Explain why you want them to write an advance praise review. Invite them to say yes or no. Don’t SEND the manuscript at that moment! (Unless on their website they’ve requested that you do so. Seth Godin has a whole section on his for how he handles these requests.)
Once they have agreed, then it’s pretty much like Asking an Expert to Write Your Foreword