Authors can use testimonials to sell an e-book in a number of ways.. They can be used on the e-book sales page, email newsletters, blog posts, the author's business site, or just about anywhere the e-book could be mentioned. Here are a few ways people use testimonials:

FakeĀ Testimonials

Under no circumstances do I endorse this kind of use of testimonials. People essentially use stock images of people, write up a testimonial (or hire a ghostwriter to do it), and assign fake names. These are often done in bulk to look like the product has a large number of testimonials.

Real Full Testimonials

Some e-book authors will use longer-version testimonials in full (assuming they're legitimate). In most cases I've seen, the longer the testimonials, the fewer there are.

Partial Testimonials

These are selected snippets of longer (real) testimonials. This can be a good idea if some testimonials are long without adding much value, or if you plan to use a lot of them.

I'm not a huge user of testimonials personally, because too many give me that "fake" vibe. On the occasions where I do, I try to make them from people relevant to the niche, and verifiable. Here are a few tips:

  1. Don't just list the person's name. If they have a title, site, job, etc. that's relevant to your target market, list it.
  2. Getting testimonials from recognizable (and respected) people in the niche can add credibility to your e-book.
  3. Make sure the type of testimonials you're using fit your audience. For example, if you're targeting a market that would get the most out of a longer story-like testimonial try to solicit and use that style. If your audience would prefer things right to the point, go for shorter testimonials.

What are your thoughts on using testimonials? From a buyer's perspective do you read them? Do they turn you onto more products, or turn you off from them? Can you tell the difference between real testimonials and those likely faked? Do you give different kinds of testimonials different weight when making buying decisions?

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