7 Types of Testimonials: A Guide For Self-Publishers
1. Faked Testimonial
I strongly advise against doing this. Readers are very complex, and very tuned-in to what is real or fake. If there is already the slightest hint of being contrived, you will lose your audience – and they won’t come back. Don’t forget, it is extremely easy to get authentic testimonials. So there is no functional reason to create fakes. You must be very 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 basic if you expect to have any kind of success. Building credibility with your audience can take years to build. Don’t ruin all of your hard work by being too lazy to get authentic testimonials.
2. Real Testimonial, without person’s name, title, and company
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. And if by far away chance they are not perceived as fake, your audience will question why none of your readers would give their complete name and title. You will lose sales either way. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to use their complete name and title – and your buying audience knows this. Your job as a self-publisher is to find them.
3. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, talking about your book in generalities
For example: “Jones’ book was really fun to read.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate physics professor, MIB University.
This one is also way too vague to be of any value to your buying audience. But at the minimum this one has a real person with a fancy title attached to it. You will need to get back to this person and ask them for a more specific testimonial. Mention a few things in your book that they might have noticed or been interested in. Tell them more about what you were trying to accomplish with your book.
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 is a nice statement about you, the author, but doesn’t say anything about the book itself. Some of your buying audience might be swayed to buy your book because it says nice things about you. But most consumers want to know more about the book itself.
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 was finally able to pass my final exam.” Dr. Zachary Smith, associate professor in physics, MIB University.
Ok, here we finally get to it. This is a much better testimonial because it is telling your buying audience about how they might assistance from reading your book. This “third-person testimonial” is an extremely strong one to get. It is much more believable than the others. It is speaking directly to your audience’s need and telling them how they will specifically and directly assistance from buying and reading your book. They are seeking out books like yours because they have a need that must be filled – a need that they are willing to pay their hard-earned money for. Your testimonials must show them how they will assistance by buying your book. Don’t forget to get an assortment of testimonials like this from a variety of people: celebrities, experts with fancy titles, minor celebrities, industry gurus, other authors, and average readers. An assortment of testimonials like this add up to become a very powerful way to raise your credibility and your book’s sales.
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
In addition to “Real Testimonial #5”, try to get the testimonial writer to give you a small head-shot photo. This won’t be easy to get, but you should ask anyway. This will be especially good to use on your website.
7. Real Testimonial, with person’s name, title, and company, and a video, talking about themselves and how they benefited from your book
This one is like hitting the jackpot. This is the ultimate testimonial. Keep the video testimonial down to about 60 seconds. Place it on your website. If at all possible, ask them to create the video testimonial to be used on Amazon, as a customer video testimonial.