To Endorse or Not to Endorse
Do you have any feelings either way about the value of endorsing someone’s book? Publisher X has sent me a request. It’s an average book but I could probably find something good to say. Thoughts?
Your Totally In-Demand Client
Dear Ms. In-Demand Author:
It’s flattering that someone believes your endorsement might help sell books, so enjoy it! While there are conflicting opinions on this, many people take endorsements seriously and will decide for or against a book based on the blurbs. (I once bought a book from an unknown, first time, never-heard-of-him author simply because there was a raving endorsement on the front cover from Stephen King. I ended up loving the book, my husband loved it, we passed it among our friends who all loved it – and we looked really smart! The book went on to become a successful movie.) Take your blurbing responsibilities seriously.
Mainly you want to try and avoid attaching your name to books you honestly don’t like. Other than that, it’s fine to endorse if you’re asked and if you have time, especially at the early stage of your career when it’s a good idea to get your name out there as much as possible.
Never commit to endorsing before you’ve read the manuscript. Instead say, “I’d be happy to read your manuscript and consider the possibility of endorsing.” Then read the MS asap so that if you are going to decide against it, you’ll have time to let the author know that it’s not going to work out this time (but maybe next time).
As time goes by and you receive more requests for endorsement, you may want to come up with a policy for yourself, such as “I only consider four books a year for possible endorsement.” That will help you be choosy and only endorse the ones you really want to.
The situation can sometimes feel awkward – after all, these authors are probably asking you because you’re a friend or acquaintance. Have a personal policy in place, and always give yourself a way to decline gracefully if necessary.
Your Agent Who Always Has An Opinion
Q4U: What importance do you place on cover blurbs (endorsements) when making a decision to buy a book?
(c) 2010 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent