Who should you ask to endorse your book?

Book endorsements – the publishing industry refers to them as “blurbs” – are testimonials from knowledgeable, influential, or important people.

You add blurbs to the cover, online sales pages, and several other places where your target audience will see them.

Like reader reviews, they’re social proof that tells us that the book we’re thinking about buying is a safe purchase.

The “right” person is key

They only make a difference, though, if that endorsement is coming from the right person – someone with a logical connection to the book, the genre, or the topic.

Let’s say that you think you can secure an endorsement from someone you admire and respect but who has no connection to your topic and won’t be recognized by your ideal readers.

Should you ask that person to endorse your book?

I vote “no.”

An inappropriate endorsement:

  1. Won’t help sales
  2. Will confuse people
  3. Takes up back cover space you can use for the book description

The reader reaction you want

You want meaningful testimonials from people your ideal readers admire and respect.

That means that when people in your target audience see your blurber’s name and credential (book title, job title, employer, etc.), they:

  • Recognize the person’s name, or
  • Recognize the organization the person works for, or
  • Recognize the individual’s book title when the person is an author, or
  • Respect the endorser’s credentials even if they don’t know their name, and
  • Are impressed

The person you ask to endorse your book if it’s fiction isn’t the same as someone you’d ask for a nonfiction testimonial. Let’s break it down.

Fiction endorsers

The best fiction testimonial sources include:

  • Well-known authors in your genre
  • Lesser-known authors in your genre
  • Trade/literary/media reviewers

If you write historical fiction, for example, your dream blurber might be Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent or Lisa Wingate, who wrote Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends. Genre fans will most likely recognize their names.

You certainly know the names of authors in your genre who are not as successful or well-known, too. You want them on your list of potential blurbers because they will be more accessible than the genre stars.

Your list can include published fiction authors you know, as well.

Excerpts from editorial reviews generated by advance review copies sent to professional reviewers at magazines, newspapers, and respected online sites also qualify as influential blurbs.

Nonfiction endorsers

endorse your book 2
My blurb for Laura Laing’s “Math for Writers.”

You have more options with nonfiction, but that doesn’t make it easier. Possibilities include:

  • Recognized topic authorities
  • Industry thought-leaders
  • Satisfied customers who have applied principles outlined in the book
  • High-ranking officials and executives
  • Authors of other books on your topic
  • Celebrities with a connection to the topic, which might be a disease, issue, cause, hobby, or location

It’s never too early to think about who these people might be, so start a file for them no matter where you are in the publishing process.

It’s a numbers game

How many people should you contact?

The answer depends on how many endorsements you want. Determine a reasonable and realistic number, then multiply that goal number by three.

You want to contact plenty of people because some won’t respond while others will decline.

What if you have a high goal and you hit it? No problem! Add them to the “Editorial Reviews” section of your Amazon sales page and the book’s inside front pages.

And don’t be concerned about the opposite – a less-than-thrilling response to your request. You only need one really good testimonial for the front or back cover.

Worst case scenario

What if nobody says “yes” and you’re left without any blurbs, endorsements, or testimonials?

That’s okay.

You won’t get the extra juice that comes with an endorsement, but there are worse things that can happen to your book.

They include doing nothing to promote it. Your book deserves marketing support, with or without endorsements. Keep working to make sure the people you wrote it for know about it.

Get your questions answered

Not sure how to research potential blurbers or ask for an endorsement? My popular training program, “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Authorities, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book,” includes everything you need to get the best book endorsement possible from important and respected people that your book’s readers like and admire.

Thanks to detailed instructions with examples, sample requests that worked, tracking files, and more, you’ll discover that getting a testimonial from people your readers respect is easier than you think! Learn more here.

Who’s your dream endorser? Tell us in a comment!

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


  1. “This project will still make money long after we are all gone,” seems a good endorsement. It was expressed to me in person by an HFPA and Golden Globe awards president (who read over 3000 books). His comment, however, refers to an original TV series project I wrote. Its most epic episode I now novelized and I simply know too little about the entire publishing business to think of who would be my dream endorser, books per se never being in my dreams—until induced to by a pandemic.

    1. Karl, it might take a little brainstorming and creative thinking, but I’m sure you can identify a few appropriate influencers.


  2. I was asked to give an endorsement for the first time the other day – the audiobook of ‘Unfortunate Stars’ by Susan Lanigan. The author made it very easy for me: she asked if she could use the Goodreads review I’d already posted! So if you’ve got a few reviews it might be worth your while looking down the list to see if there are any names you recognise.

    1. I hope you feel honored, Kathleen! And that’s a great tip for subsequent editions or formats for the book. Thanks!


  3. Is it worth sending out “ARCs” after a book is published? By definition, an Advance Review Copy is sent out before publication. Would an ARC after the fact be deemed wrong? My ARCs went out to almost exclusively Australian readers. I didn’t realise until later, that they wouldn’t be able to post to Amazon US.

  4. No, I mean ARCs. I’m struggling to get sales in the US, therefore I’m getting no reader reviews over there. It’s the old ‘chicken and egg’ thing. Where can I get respected reviews without paying through the nose?
    Without (hopefully) sounding cocky, I know my book will appeal to my audience if only I can get some of them to read it.
    (Yes, I know I’m not the only one in this position) Should I spend some money on Azn ads? I’m thinking of doing a free offer just to get some eyes on it. (I’m with KDP/KU)

    1. This article isn’t about reader reviews, which is what you’re referring to. It’s about pre-publication testimonials and endorsements from influencers, not “typical” readers. Regarding reader reviews, yes, you can give away ARCs to get reader reviews at any point, including after publication. This article will help you find readers who are willing to review books in exchange for a free copy:

    1. I love your blog post, Lisa! Thanks for linking to it. And a handwritten note from Emma Thompson? SERIOUSLY? You win the Internet.


  5. Another great article 🙂 “It’s never too early to think about who these people might be, so start a file for them no matter where you are in the publishing process.” This is so true!
    I see lots of authors who wait too long to ask for endorsements.

    1. So true, Peggy. You want them in place before you publish, and you have to allow time for the process to unfold smoothly.


  6. Hi Sandra,

    What about picture book? I’ve been asked by my publisher for blurb leads. Do I want someone who would appeal to the parents/adults or the 3-6 age group?

    1. Connie, parents and grandparents are making the book decisions for children this age, so that’s who you want to appeal to. Popular genre authors are a natural choice for this situation, but there could be other options, too.


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