By Carrie Fancett Pagels
I was recently asked this question. As a newly published author with an ebook novella, I hardly feel competent to answer. But someone asked how I got endorsements for another project (a not-yet-published manuscript) in which three multi-published authors gave me endorsements. And the questioner wondered how I already had a number of multi-published authors who’d read and reviewed my novella, which had been published.
A good question to use for an ACFW blog post.
First of all I will back up to the beginning, because you must have relationships with published authors. Sometimes people are too busy to form relationships with authors who belong to certain groups or too busy to even join such a group. For instance, ACFW members have several genre groups where like-minded writers can mingle and some of those groups include multi-published authors. Pray, and ask around, and see where God leads you to connect with others. Sometimes however you may need to reach out and form your own group. We did this several years ago with the Colonial American Christian Writers-it was tough to get a colonial or American Revolution book published and we wanted a group where we could all help one another out with research questions and promotion of books.
If you’ve been in many groups and been a blogger, you are more likely to have more people you can ask if they might be willing to give you an endorsement.
Normally, you ask people if they’d give you an endorsement if a book goes to press. I had a dozen authors willing to give me an endorsement. I was agented and had submitted my proposal around a few places and it kept getting requests for full and going to committee. Here is how I got endorsements without asking for them. First of all I think it was a God thing. I have several author friends who I’ve gotten to know as a blogger, as founder of Colonial American Christian Writers, through my work as a volunteer with ACFW (e.g., as Mid-Atlantic Zone Director) and through meeting at conference, talking on the phone, and/or exchanging online messages.
I like to help people solve problems. I was a psychologist for twenty-five years. One of my friends, an amazing writer, wanted a certain agent. I knew that two of my friends were represented by this woman. So I asked them if they knew my unagented friend and if they’d be willing to help her connect with their agent. They went above and beyond. My unagented friend has a blog and heavily promotes authors and she’s been doing this for a while. The two authors offered to read my unagented friend’s proposal and give her an endorsement for their agent! That blew me away. Then one of the authors said her agent asked her to endorse a client trying to get her debut contract and the person was offered one. So then my author friend said she’d read and endorse my manuscript, to help me and my other author friend said, “me, too!” I was stunned.
I also have had beta readers look at my writing. After another author friend read what a beta reader put on Facebook (that she’d recommend my story as a best read in 2012 but it wasn’t published yet) she, too, offered to read and endorse! So I subsequently received endorsement from three authors prior to this manuscript being contracted.
I hope this is helpful! Do as the Good Book says-do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Carrie Fancett Pagels debut release Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, is a Kindle Civil War best seller. She contributed to God’s Provision in Tough Times, releasing in June 2013. Her short story Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas will appear in Guidepost Books “A Christmas Cup of Cheer” in October, 2013. You can reach Carrie via her Facebook page, or on Twitter.