Tips for Getting Endorsements and Why you need them

Endorsement cloud

By the time my first book was contracted, I had several endorsers willing to come on board. The same with my second novel.  Endorsements are an additional encouragement to readers that your book is well-written and worth reading.

Who should you ask for endorsements

Endorsements however lose value if it is your mother or any other family member. They need to be from other authors or people in the field you are writing about.  My second book has an endorsement from a women’s life coach, Darlene Larson. She helps wounded women begin afresh. My heroine Isabella is healing from an abusive marriage. Darlene’s endorsement was crucial.

I write for women, but I got male endorsements for both novels. That extra atta-girl from the male gender lets prospective readers know the storyline will appeal to men.

Where does one get endorsements?

I am going to assume you attend writers’ conferences, critique groups and other writing classes. You have found friends and kindred spirits in these places. I review lots of books for many authors as well.  I emailed a lot of these friends to get the half-dozen I have in each book. Many turned me down for various reasons: they were too busy at the moment or because of their affiliation with my publisher, they couldn’t.

Don’t be afraid to ask

It’s like getting published. If you never submit, you’ll never get a contract. If you never ask, you’ll never find yeses. The more you ask the more chances of getting more than one. Send out twenty or so requests, and if you get four you’re doing well. Be sure the twenty aren’t all best-selling strangers, but people you’ve spent time getting to know. Especially those who’ve read portions of your book or critiqued it. They will give you a glowing endorsement. Perhaps they can’t endorse but might be willing to do a review when it comes out. That’s golden.

Some authors ask busy people for endorsements by giving them three or four prewritten endorsements to choose from. I personally have never done this.  I won’t endorse something until I’ve read it. Prewritten endorsements are permissible in writing circles, if you can get more endorsers that way go for it. Some people want to read the synopsis and the back cover and then a bit of the book before they write an endorsement.

Be sure these are people who read your genre, have some credibility as an author or in their field of expertise before you ask them.

When do you ask?

As soon as you finish your book. You can tell them you’ll send a copy once it’s edited and you receive a contract. That way you can add who has agreed to endorse your book in the proposal. But after the contract is signed is also good.  You’ll have plenty of time before it is published to secure them. And your ARC copy will be available to send out once you get a yes.

Now, go forth and get endorsements.

Share what you do to get endorsements.

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Historical Suspense Writer Peggy Blann Phifer Visits

Today I welcome Peggy Blann Phifer to Jubilee Writer. This is the kind of guest blog I look forward too. I started writing novels when I was fifty thus the blog name Jubilee Writer. Peggy is a great model for my theme. Hello, Peggy, let me give you a cyber hug and offer you a seat at my kitchen table. Let’s get started.

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Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I was a late bloomer as far as this writing thing goes. Unlike many others, I didn’t always want to write or be a writer. I didn’t start this journey until age 50. That happened when, while on a lunch break at work, I finished a book I didn’t particularly like, put it down and commented to my friend, “I can write better than that.” And she said, “Then why don’t you?” So, I did. But it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought. Ha! Many false starts, giving up, starting again, but I found that once bitten, I couldn’t NOT write.

 

What is your latest published project.

“Whispering Hope” is my third published book, released in early May of this year. It’s a historical romantic suspense set in 1930 during the Prohibition years. It’s a story that formed in my mind many years ago, but I was hesitant to start it. I knew it would take a lot of work and a ton of research. But it kept bugging me. I’d work on it, set it aside, pick it up again, and so on. Then, about a year ago, after learning there weren’t many novels out there set during this time in American history, I determined to dust it off and finish it.

Whispering Hope -final

 

How do you research for your book?

It took a ton of research. I bought books dealing with bootlegging, illegal liquor coming into Wisconsin from Canada and smuggled down to Chicago. Books about Al Capone and the others making a fortune from it, and the efforts of Federal Agents attempts to shut them down. I even bought a used copy of the book “The Untouchables” written by Eliot Ness from which the TV show of the same name was based on. It was a fascinating search through this era leading up to the Great Depression.

To See the Sun Final

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Start sooner!

 

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

My reading tastes are rather eclectic, but I generally like to read what I write, which is romantic suspense. But I also like political thrillers.Somehow Christmas Will Come Final

 

Peg is giving away an e-book version of Whispering Hope to a lucky commenter.  Ask Peggy any questions you may have about her writing. Please comment on this blog, not on other social media where this will appear if you wish to be part of the give-away drawing.

 

Other books by Peg:

“To See the Sun” – contemporary romantic suspense set in Las Vegas.

“Somehow, Christmas Will Come” – women’s fiction with a touch of romance.

 

Bio

Author Peggy Blann Phifer, a retired executive assistant after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale Industry, lives in the ‘boonies’ of NW Wisconsin. A late bloomer, Peg didn’t start taking writing seriously until age fifty.

Her debut novel, To See the Sun, a contemporary romantic suspense, released in January 2012. A second novel, Somehow, Christmas Will Come, contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of romance and mystery, released in November 2014, revised and re-released in late 2015. A new work titled Whispering Hope, an historical romantic suspense, set during the years of Prohibition, released in early May 2018. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies over the past five years.

 

Peg is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not writing, Peg enjoys reading, blogging, and sharing her home with her daughter, son-in-law, and a Border Collie mix dog named Rocky.

Social media and buying links

Blog/website: http://whispersinpurple.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pegphifer

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pegphifer @pegphifer

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/pegphifer

Google+: http://plus.google.com/+AuthorPeggyBlannPhifer/posts

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/pbphifer

Email: pbphifer@centurylink.net

Purchase link for Whispering Hope: https://amzn.to/2KURU8x

Purchase link for To See the Sun: http://amzn.to/1ikiBEc

Purchase link for Somehow, Christmas Will Come: http://amzn.to/1MeSpok

 

If you enjoy these author interviews subscribe to Jubilee Writer and get the latest ones in your inbox. Also don’t forget to comment on this blog to enter the giveaway for an e-book of Peggy’s latest release Whispering Hope. Winner will notified by email on Friday.

 

Writer’s Conferences have evolved

Last week I attended the Write To Publish conference. And I’ve watched it evolve over the decade plus I’ve been an attendee. Most conferences have followed the same pattern of evolution according to some friends who attend various ones across the country.

Then:

Back in the day everyone brought paper copies of proposals and articles along with ready pitches memorized. I had a three-inch notebook with sleeves to hold all my clips and proposals. Before that, I had six copies of my proposal, each in its own thesis binder.

I carry my clips and samples in a three ring binder with plastic sleeves.

Now:

This past week I had three folders. One had one-sheets and the other two were copies of my proposal. Two publishers requested my proposal to be emailed to them. And every magazine I pitched to did not even want to look at clips. Instead they’d prefer emailed articles.

Then:

Two contests

Now:

At this year’s conference there were more contests to enter for several genres—for both published and unpublished writers. Contests are a great way to support a conference and give authors and would-be authors wonderful accolades. Entering contests for unpublished authors challenges entrants to polish their work and practice submitting according to guidelines. For those of us who are published and win, it adds credentials to our by-lines that open more doors for future publication.

Then:

Ninety-nine percent of the classes offered were about writing in a variety of genres including articles and poetry. One class on proposals and query letters.  Another on marketing and over time one on marketing using the internet which evolved into social media. A class or two on a speaker’s platform usually rounded out the schedule.

Now:

Classes on website building, blogging and successful marketing on a myriad of platforms are offered alongside fiction and nonfiction writing classes, including articles both for the web and periodicals but no poetry. Speech classes cover more than live talks, adding podcasts and YouTube videos. A writing career is more than putting words on paper, and conference class offerings are reflecting that more and more.

Always the same

One aspect of conferences that hasn’t changed is the kinds of attendees. You will see the alumni who network with faculty and conferees alike with grace and encouraging words. Among them are the returning unpublished alumni showing more confidence from their experience in the past, anxious to reconnect with friends who get-them as a writer. And the first-timers whose faces are overshadowed with a bit of terror as they look around at a room of strangers.

 

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Jodee Starrick and I became BFF after meeting at a conference a few years ago.

 

By the end of the conference those newbies have found friends and made valuable connections and those of us who attended every year are encouraged and refreshed with a notebook full of notes and requests for our words.

How have you seen conferences change? How are they the same?

 

 

Book signing and a Class Reunion

When my husband first signed us up to attend his 50th class reunion, he suggested I do a book signing at the local library. I was hesitant because library things can often be a bust. People go to the library to borrow books, not buy them. But I wanted to honor my husband’s request. He announced it on his class website and kept them in the loop. I was listed as an event for the class along with other activities that day. I’d placed a press release in the town paper to be sure others knew about it.

 

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My book signing visitors.

 

The library is a transformed school. My wi-fi connection for my square wouldn’t work in the old structure. We arrived early and set up, book trailer playing on the laptop, nice table cloth, bookmarks and posters. My table was in an out of the way place. That concerned me. As I said libraries are not the best places for book signings.

 

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Signing books

 

At the start time people came. To my surprise and delight my husband’s cousins had driven up from Arkansas to participate in the book signing.  Salem, Illinois is four plus hours from their homes in Arkansas.

An 80-year-old from a neighboring town had seen my press release in the paper. Judy Trader had never been to a book signing and decided she was coming. Two of Charley’s classmates came as well.

 

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80 year old Judy Trader at her first book signing

 

I did a reading from both books, and we had a wonderful time of discussion. Everyone bought both my books, which is always a plus.

 

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Reading from New Duet

 

That evening at the reunion festivities, the MC announced I was there with my books, and I sold several more sets. I guess being a woman in her sixties achieving her dream made me a celebrity. A strange feeling indeed. I sat at our table and classmates would come up and purchase signed copies. No special table covering, no fanfare. Another new experience. And thankfully my square found a connection in that location.

 

Cindy and me

Charley and I at the pre-reunion gathering where they insisted I needed to bring my books to the reunion festitivties the next night.

 

Everyone signed up for my newsletter because they wanted to keep up with my writing journey.

I almost refused to do it because I didn’t want to distract from Charley’s reunion festivities. But he was as excited as I was over the response. Visiting with his cousins later after the book signing was an unexpected treat.

I plan on taking other opportunities to present my books in new and different venues. Maybe my own 50th reunion, five years from now.

 

Where are some unusual places you’ve had book signings?