Updated March 1, 2023
Good testimonials are a critical ingredient in your book’s financial success
Testimonials are one of the critical ingredients of your book’s marketing plan. If created and utilized correctly, they can positively impact your sales. This list gives you a quick run-down of a variety of testimonials.
What You Will Learn
1. You will learn the seven most common types of testimonials.
2. You will learn the essential ingredients that enable a testimonial to help your book sales.
3. You will learn why you must get an assortment of testimonials.
Testimonials are one of the critical ingredients of your book’s marketing plan. If created and utilized correctly, they can positively impact your sales.
Once you understand the differences, you will be better prepared to explain to your readers and fans how to create a testimonial that will help you improve your book sales. This list gives you a good idea of what makes a compelling, mediocre, and useless testimonial.
Here is my list of the seven types of testimonials you should know about and recognize:
Type # 1. Faked testimonial
I strongly advise against using a fake testimonial. Readers, who are also your customers, are sophisticated and tuned in to what is real or fake. If there’s even the slightest hint of being contrived, you’ll lose your audience – and they won’t return. Don’t forget that it is effortless to get legitimate testimonials. So, there’s no practical reason to create fakes.
You must be careful not to do things like this because it will cause you and your book to lose credibility with your audience. And, as a self-publisher, credibility with your audience is essential if you expect to have any kind of success – financial or critical. Building credibility with your audience can take years to make. Don’t ruin all your hard work by being too lazy to get legitimate testimonials.
Type # 2. Real testimonial without the person’s name, title, and company
For example: “Jones’ book was really good.” Zachary S.
For example: “Jones’ book was really good.” Zachary S.
This testimonial is a total waste of time and insulting to your audience. Your audience will automatically assume that these are fake despite being real. And, if not perceived as counterfeit by remote chance, your audience will question why none of your readers would give their full name and title.
You will lose sales either way. Many people are willing to use their full name and title, and your buying audience knows this. Your job as a self-publisher and book marketer is to find them.
Type # 3. Real testimonial with person’s name, title, and company, talking about your book in generalities
For example: “Jones’ book was enjoyable to read.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate physics professor, MIB University.
This one is also too vague to be of much value to your buying audience. But at least this one has a natural person with a fancy title attached to it. You’ll need to get back to this person and ask them for a more specific testimonial. Mention a few things they might have noticed or been interested in in your book. Tell them more about what you were trying to accomplish with your book.
Type # 4. Real testimonial with person’s name, title, and company, talking about you the author
For example: “Jones is an amazing author and teacher. His writing is so clear and concise.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate professor in physics, MIB University.
This testimonial is a remarkable statement about you, the author, but it does not say anything about the book itself. Some might be swayed to purchase your book because it says nice things about you. But most consumers want to know more about the book itself. They want to know how your book has helped other readers.
Type # 5. Real testimonial with person’s name, title, and company, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
For example: “Jones’ book helped me finally understand Einstein’s theory of relativity. His book made it so clear and easy to understand. Because of this book, I was no longer falling behind in my studies and could finally pass my final exam.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate professor in physics, MIB University.
Okay, here we finally get to it. This testimonial is much better because it tells your buying audience how they should benefit from reading your book. This “third-person testimonial” is a powerful one to get. It’s much more believable than the others. It’s speaking directly to your audience’s needs and telling them how they’ll specifically and directly benefit from buying and reading your book.
Type # 6. Real testimonial with person’s name, title, and company, and a head-shot photograph, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
This testimonial will not be easy to get, but you should ask anyway. In addition to “Real Testimonial #5”, try to get the testimonial writer to give you a small headshot photo. This photo will be perfect to use on your website.
Type # 7. Real testimonial with person’s name, title, and company, and a video, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
This testimonial is the ultimate. This one is like hitting the jackpot. Keep the video testimonial down to about 60 seconds. Place it on your website. If possible, ask them to create a customer video testimonial for Amazon. This video will be tough to get. But keep it in mind, and you will eventually find someone to help you.
Your audience is seeking books like yours because they have a need that must be filled. A need that they are willing to pay their hard-earned money to get help and advice that will enable them to fulfill that need.
Your book’s testimonials must show them how they will benefit from buying it. You must get an assortment of testimonials like this from various people: celebrities, experts with fancy titles, minor celebrities, industry insiders, other authors, and ordinary people.
An assortment of testimonials like this becomes a powerful way to boost your credibility and your book’s sales. Testimonials from a wide variety of your reading demographic make all of them seem more believable, which makes them, as a group, a potent marketing tool.
Questions to Think About
1. Have you tried to get testimonials for your book?
2. How have you used them in your marketing materials?