Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

480 Articles


How to get someone to endorse your book.

Hooray, you’ve written a book! You actually did it and that’s awesome!

Now, how do you get someone to endorse it? How do you get someone else to lend their name to your project? Follow these steps:

1. Ask the most famous person you have a personal relationship with.

Someone in your circle of connections has at least a little bit of fame. Start there. It’s easier to get a second famous person once you can say, “So and so already endorsed it.”

2. Make a list of your dream endorsements.

Focus on people who would add value to your book. If you wrote about sports, get an athlete. If you wrote about finances, get a financial guru.

3. Create a short, kind email request with examples of what an endorsement could say.

For instance, if I was sending someone an endorsement request, I would say, “One of the things people have remarked about the book is that it’s brave. Your endorsement could say something like, ‘I was encouraged by the invitation to bravery that this book provided.’” Famous people are busy. Your job is to make this as easy as possible for them.

4. If they say no, immediately thank them for their time.

Sometimes, when I say no, people try to shame me into changing my mind. That’s a great way to burn a bridge.

5. If you can’t get a single endorsement, make another list called “My silver medal endorsements.”

It’s important to dream big, but there’s a good chance Michael Jordan isn’t going to endorse this book. Notice I said “this” one. It gets easier with each book you write.

Endorsements matter more than you think. There are lots of people who immediately flip a book over to see who has vetted it. Start small and work your way up.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged when someone says no. I was told no twice for my book, “Do Over.” It’s just part of the process.

If you want more ideas about writing and selling books, make sure you sign up for my free once a week writer’s list.


12 hours.

Remember that book you were going to write someday?

Or that weight you were going to lose someday?

Or that business you were going to start someday?

Well, this summer is someday.

I’m going to do everything I can to help you finish.

I’ve created a free, 8-week challenge to guide you toward the finish line.

You’ve got 12 more hours to sign up for it.

Thousands of people from around the world have declared this the “Summer of Finish.”

To get the special PDF chart I created, all the content and loads of encouragement, sign up here.

It closes tonight at midnight.


I have a confession

My confession is silly, but it is true.


I never finished the Harry Potter series.

I read every book and almost the entire last one, but then stopped before I read the last page.


Because I used to be terrible at finishing.

I’d make a million plans, start a million projects and launch a million hopes only to have them all limp to early deaths somewhere in the middle of the journey.

Maybe you’ve done that too.

Maybe you have half read books or half started business ideas or half started diets.

Want to know why that’s so destructive?

Because a goal is never just a goal. A goal is a promise. It’s a promise to yourself and every time you don’t finish it, you’ve broken a promise. You’ve lied to yourself about something small or something big. Those little lies build up over the years until you no longer trust yourself.

That’s why when you start a new diet, you can almost hear a voice inside say, “Oh sure, this is going to last for like a week until you quit.” That’s why when you sit down to write your book, that voice says, “Why even bother? You didn’t finish the last one or the one before that.” This is why when you decide to declutter your house, the voice remarks, “Oh, you read the magic book of tidying up again and got excited? Here we go for a week.”

I’m tired of that voice.

I’m tired of starting with enthusiasm but then giving up.

I’m ready for something new and it begins this summer.

I declare this the Summer of Finish! What’s that?

It’s simple, I’m challenging us to finish one thing we care about during an 8-week process.

That’s it.

You choose the thing.

It could be health-related. Hustle on your fitness this summer.

It could be book-related. Finally finish that novel that has haunted you for years.

It could be money-related. Use the summer to get your finances in shape.

It can be anything you want it to be.

What will I do?

I’ll give you a bunch of free resources. (This is 100% free.) Here’s what you’ll get:

• Access to a private Summer of Finish periscope account!
• 8-week email course, mailed weekly to you.
• A Summer of Finish checklist to chart progress.
• Surprises along the way.

That’s it.

If you’re in, just sign up here today.

It’s free.

It will be fun.

And most importantly, it will help you finish.

Let’s make 2017 the Summer of Finish!


Have your kids ever put their hands in the oven?

Have your kids ever put their hands in the oven?

It’s a pretty simple question. Have your kids ever put their hand in the oven?

No? Just me? Fair enough. I guess you’re a perfect parent.

That happened when my daughter was 18 months old. We had the oven open for approximately 1.3 seconds but that was all it took. (Kids are like tiny raptors, constantly checking your perimeter for weaknesses.)

That’s what the first few years of raising a kid is like. It’s not parenting so much as it is protecting.

Protecting and trying to get your kids to eat something other than the chicken nuggets you used to judge other parents for feeding their kids. Do you know the kind I’m talking about? They’re sold in a bag that’s as big as a sleeping bag at Walmart?

Parenting is a weird, fun, difficult journey.

I’ve got two kids, one who is almost 14 and one who is almost 12. (They’re still in the almost age group. No adult says “I’m almost 52!”)

I’m by no means an expert. I’m learning to navigate things like social media with my kids and dreams and hopes and the future just like a lot of you.

Along the way, I’ve decided to share a few of the things I’ve discovered about parenting. Once a week, I’ll send you an idea that has helped my family.

The ideas will be honest, real and sometimes funny. To that last point, don’t sign up if you’re easily offended. Parenting is too hard to also add being offended. I don’t have time to be offended.

That’s it.

If you want the ideas, sign up here.


Be careful about reading this.

I recently changed what I’m doing online.

Instead of blogging big general ideas, I decided to get laser-focused. I started writing ideas exclusively for writers, speakers, entrepreneurs and fitness fans.

In the middle of that, I got an email from a guy name Garth. Here’s what it said:

Garth rewrote his speech after reading one of the ideas I shared and it absolutely crushed.

That’s awesome, but I still must warn you.

If you start reading these ideas, you’ll need to change. You’ll need to finish that book you’ve always wanted to write. You’ll have to edit your speech. You’ll have to get off the couch and into the gym. You’ll have to learn how to promote your business.

If any of those things make you nervous, don’t sign up for anything I do. But, if you feel differently, here’s your invite:

To write better books and sell more of them, sign up here.

To give better speeches, sign up here.

To have more fun and make more money with your small business, sign up here.

To get in better shape and eat healthier, sign up here.

Each list is ultimately about change.

Our lives are constantly changing, that’s not the question. The question is “Will we be part of it or will we fight it?”

Sign up for the list that works best for you. That’s all you have to do today. But soon, you’re going to send me an email like the one above.

I can’t wait to read it!


The simple mistake public speakers (and pastors) often make.

There’s a very common, very fixable mistake that a lot of speakers make. It’s something that particularly plagues pastors.

The problem is not something I came up with. I first read about it in a book called “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln” by James C. Humes. It’s such a grievous error that he spends an entire chapter of the book on it. What is this problem?

The weak open.

Or more specifically, wasting the most important minute of your speech.

A speech has two critical minutes, the first one and the last one. What happens in between is certainly important but it’s nothing like what happens when you open and close a speech. It is in those moments that you have the greatest opportunity to reach your audience.

On the front end, this is the moment you first capture their attention. On the back end, this is the moment you send them home with something memorable.

Lots of speakers waste their first minute by doing one or all of the following:

1. Introducing themselves.
2. Expressing their gratitude at the opportunity to speak.
3. Commenting about how great the event is.
4. Specifically thanking the person who just introduced them.

Pastors, however, have added a new twist on these wasted moments. Now, if they have more than one campus watching via video, they feel the need to say hello to all the audiences.

“Hello Springfield, hello friends in Mission Hill, special greetings to anyone watching online, shoutout if you are watching a recording of this on a data chip after the zombie invasion, etc.”

I attend a video campus and I have never once thought, “Thank goodness that pastor acknowledged I’m here.”)

Why shouldn’t you introduce yourself or say thank you in the first minute? Well, for starters, you will most likely have already been introduced. In 99% of the speaking engagements I do, someone introduces me. Why should I repeat what the audience has just been told?

More than that though, it’s a waste of a powerful moment, that moment where everyone in the audience is waiting to see where you’ll take them. It’s an awesome moment, packed with anticipation and hope.

Imagine if a movie or a concert started with an introduction or a hello to everyone who might one day see it. “We’re U2 and we are from Ireland. We usually start with an amazing song. Today though, we want to tell you how thankful we are to play music for you here in Cleveland. This is such a great arena and we’re so glad that the opening band played some songs for you guys. We also want to say hi to everyone who is watching the livestream of this.”


What a boring concert.

Instead, what does U2 do? Instead what does the movie theater do? They dim the lights. They widen the screen. They launch you into a huge moment, full of excitement and joy and emotion! They set the stage for something amazing to happen.

How do you do that, especially if your speech or sermon isn’t loud and dramatic like a rock show? Read this.

That’s not to say you can’t greet other campuses or thank the event host. You can do all of those things. Just do them where the author Humes recommends, in the middle of the speech.

Don’t waste your opening minute.

It matters too much.

P.S. I’m writing a book on public speaking and giving it away week by week for free. This is one of the chapters. To get the rest, sign up here.