Greetings from Cat and Kregel Publications! When I came to work this morning, I was planning on writing this post about a completely different topic. But when I sat down at my desk, I did what every marketing manager does when she first arrives in the office—I opened my email. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best thing to do because I spent the next hour answering queries from ad reps, questions from coworkers, and quandaries from authors. One email in particular took me by surprise.
Written by a first-time author, the email was only a few sentences in length. Short. To the point. I like that. She was asking for advice on how to get her book into the hands of people who could help promote it. Influencers, I thought. Impressive. Since we only just finalized the title of her book and haven’t even finished designing a cover, I was impressed that the author was already thinking about a post-release promotion. It was the last sentence, however, that really caught my attention:
“Would you be willing to give me your thoughts on my list of endorfluencers.”
Her what now?
Ok. She got my interest, I thought. I’ll postpone writing the article for the CAN blog… just a few more minutes.
I opened the attachment with a bit of anticipation. And what I found was a long list (over 100 names!) of endorsers AND influencers. Though mixed together, I could fairly easily determine which were which. I saw the usual suspects (don’t get me wrong, I love Oprah… but I’m still waiting for her to use her influence for one of my books). And I saw a few not-so familiar ones (the pastor at the author’s church, the manager at her local food pantry, and a local news anchor, among others). Rather than take the time to separate them out, I hit “reply” and started writing an email explaining the difference between an endorser and an influencer.
I explained that endorsers were sent books before release and influencers received books after release. I explained that endorsers typically had recognizable names or positions, whereas influencers were anyone who could “influence the use or purchase of the book in his/her place of business or ministry.” Fame and recognition not required. And then I wrote that endorsers are people who agree to write a favorable comment about the book that we could use in our promotion efforts, but that influencers…
Wait a second…
Influencers do that, too.
An alarm went off in my head: Danger, Will Robinson. I was about to seriously confuse this author (and myself!) Both endorsers AND influencers are meant to do the same thing… talk about the book. Endorsements may be printed in/on the book, whereas influencements (err, influencer comments) appear mostly on blogs and retail websites like Amazon.com and ChristianBookDistributors.com. Despite where they appear, they are BOTH written comments. Endorsers influence a book just as much as influencers do. And influencers, in their own way, endorse a book.
So endorsers are influencers. And influencers can be endorsers.
I suddenly realized that the author had it right all along. She knew exactly what she was saying when she asked for help with her endorfluencers. She didn’t need me to explain the difference as much as she wanted to know when the people on her list would receive the book. I promptly erased my drafted email and started again, this time opening with a note of thanks for the fun marketing exercise she took me through (without knowing it!).
Later today, I will be emailing again, including messaging a couple more authors to ask for their lists of endorfluencers. What are you doing today? Do you have a few minutes to comment and offer your take on endorsers and influencers? Who is the best influencer you’ve found for your book?
I look forward to reading your comments.
See you soon,