A guide to writing a book endorsement
You might have agreed to write an endorsement because the author selected you as someone with credibility and influence in your field. You might want to write an endorsement because you liked the book that you’ve just read and you want to recommend it to others.
More and more we rely on reviews. Whilst an endorsement is not a review, it’s a written statement of approval and support for a book from an influencer, it’s similar enough. The idea is simple. If you’re a fan of Stephen King and he endorses a new horror novel, you might be inclined to read it.
Lend credibility to a book. With so many books to choose from, how do readers know which is the most suitable for them? Readers might ask – ‘How do I know if this will be a good story?’ Or ‘How do I know I can trust the information provided in the book?’ A good endorsement answers these questions for the reader. When reader’s trust the person endorsing the book, they trust that the author is credible.
Reader’s have limited time to assess whether a book is suitable for them. Book buyers report that the number one way they choose a book to read is through recommendations from someone they know and trust.
An endorsement can significantly enlarge the book’s audience but it can also enlarge the endorsers audience by providing additional exposure.
Some tips for writing an endorsement:
Your endorsement should open with a compelling incentive that will resonate with the target reader’s needs. This can be either a complete sentence (eg If you want to know what’s happening with the army reserves, this book is a definitive account) or a fragment (eg The transformation of the British Army Reserve in 200 pages). More generic statements (eg This is a good read / this book is highly recommended) should be avoided.
Reflect on the elements of the book that struck the most powerful chord as you read it. These elements could be surprising/shocking, even humorous (eg controversially highlights what went wrong with FR20 / whilst the policy struggled generally, surprisingly this book highlights success in integration with the regulars and the professionalization of the reserves).
Consider personalizing your experience of reading this book (eg ‘I am recommending this book because there isn’t another on the market that captures this attempt to transform the army reserves).
Write down all of your reactions and feelings first and then whittle it down to a succinct 100 words maximum.
Read other endorsements, if available, to see whether you can highlight something different about the book.
Readers will want to know who you are and how you are qualified to write so make sure to add your title, full name and affiliation as you wish it to appear.