“How do I get endorsements?” is another question from readers.
Don’t solicit endorsements until you have a book under contract. I’ve been asked to endorse books that the author was proposing and they never received contracts.
If you solicit people to endorse an unsold book (unless you’re going to self-publish), you’re asking them to take time to read your manuscript, write something, and send it to you. If no publisher buys the manuscript, you’ve wasted their time and I doubt you’ll ever get a second endorsement from them.
If you’re fairly certain specific individuals will endorse your book, say in your proposal, “I can reasonably expect endorsements from the following.” Don’t say that unless you’re sure.
So here are a few ways to get endorsements.
1. You don’t need just famous people. If you can get the president of Harvard or the CEO of General Motors, their titles are more influential than their names.
2. Assuming you’re represented, you can ask your agent if she has any clients or contacts.
3. Ask your editor of the publishing house if he thinks any of their writers would endorse your book.
4. Ask friends and other writers for contacts. Are you part of a writers loop? An editing group? If a writers conference director knows you and you’ve attended that conference, ask if she can suggest names.
5. Make sure those you ask are known in the genre in which you write. Occasionally I get requests to endorse novels. I’ve published novels, but most fiction readers wouldn’t recognize my name.
When you ask for endorsements, offer to send them the entire manuscript in pdf or have your publisher mail them an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy). Some authors send me their first two chapters and an outline and I won’t look at them. If my name appears as a recommendation, I want to have read the entire book.