| | |

Use celebrities for book promotion

CAMEO Marketplace is a service that lets mere mortals purchase a personalized “video shout-out” — a CAMEO video — from their favorite celebrity or near-celebrity.

According to the website, the company’s mission “is to create the most personalized and authentic fan experiences in the world.”

You are probably seeing already how you might use celebrities for book promotion. Imagine a celebrity saying something positive about your book. It’s a fun and intriguing idea, isn’t it?

Who influences your ideal readers?

Before using it, though, give careful thought to the type of personality you hire to read your message. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who influences my target audience – my ideal readers?
  • What well-known personality represents what I want to communicate about my book?
  • Who might alienate my target audience?

If you don’t select just the right celeb to represent your work, you could harm both the book and your brand.

Be thoughtful about who you hire

Prolific author Laura Lippman (not her real name) used a CAMEO video to  promote one of her books online.The quasi-celeb she paid, and another she was considering hiring, are well-known in large part because of their polarizing personalities.

In an online discussion, an author noted that the celebrity Lippman paid, and the other she was thinking about hiring, could alienate potential readers.

It makes sense — imagine seeing a book promoted by a celebrity whose values are the opposite of yours. Would you be inclined to buy the book? Probably not.

And that was the unintended beauty of this author’s celebrity choices.

The people she thought best represented the book helped readers decide if they should read it. The outcome might have been the opposite of what she wanted, though, which is why it’s important to be thoughtful about who you hire to represent your book.

How to use CAMEO

Once you know which types of personalities will help, not harm, your book, search for them in the CAMEO database. (CAMEO refers to them as “talent.”) Search for a name, or scroll through categories ranging from actors and athletes to reality TV stars and YouTubers.

celebrities for book promotion 2
Ryan Lochte

Each person’s fee for a personal video is in the upper right of the person’s head shot. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried charges $150; Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s fee is $100. Lesser-known influencers such as YouTuber Chris Dodd charge as little as $5.

Promotional videos can cost more. Learn more about promotional videos on the FAQ page. See who offers them in this list on the site.

Click on the headshot; on their profile page, select “book now” and fill out the form. CAMEO doesn’t charge your credit card until your video is done.

The personalities, I mean, “talent,” have seven days to do the job. If they don’t, your request expires and you aren’t charged.

The frequently asked questions page on the service website will answer most of your questions.

How to use your video

You can request a generic promotional video that says all the right things about your book and share it widely.

Or – and I think this would be really fun – you could use a pesonal video to thank your top fan or fans. Select your biggest fan (or two or three) and address your video to that person by name, thanking them for always supporting your books.

There’s lots of potential here. The videos are novel enough to get your audience’s attention.

Know your audience

Because of that, it’s important to be careful about who you hire. That individual has the potential to either delight or dismay your target readers.

The more you know about your target audience, the more likely you are to pick a winner. If you need help with that, our video training program, “Who Will Buy Your Book? How to Figure Out and Find Your Target Audience,” walks you through the process of learning as much as possible about your ideal readers.

Have fun exploring the possibilities with this unusual resource. And be sure to tell us if you give it a try!

What other ways would you use CAMEO to market your book? Please tell us in a comment!

Tip of the Month

I like to share a “Tip of the Month,” a free resource or tool for authors, on the last Wednesday of the month.

platform building for authors cheat sheet This month it’s my new, free, downloadable “Platform Building for Authors Cheat Sheet.”

In book publishing, “platform” is that built-in audience waiting to buy your book.

Think of it as the seat of a stool. You need at least three legs to hold up that stool, but the more you have, the more solid and strong that seat will be.

This free PDF download gives you 13 platform elements to consider as you build your stool author platform. Download your cheat sheet immediately!

Subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter and get the free special report, “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources,” immediately!

Similar Posts


  1. Good advice Sandra, an endorsee is most valuable when they are a match for your brand/audience.
    As for Cameo, only select personalities offer business endorsements such as a book or product endorsement, and those are at a higher fee. All are available for personal messages such as happy birthday, happy anniversary…

    1. Thanks, Jane. What’s really interesting about this is that for the video I saw, the author paid the celebrity half of what he’s charging now at what is listed now as his personal rate, not a promotional rate.


      1. Clearly personalities may be willing to negotiate. I am reporting to you what I was told directly by the Cameo team this week regarding business endorsements. If you look at Brett Favre – the rate is $500 for personal endorsement and $5000 for a business one. To see their business rate, if they have one – you have to click BOOK, and then it asks what you want to book them for – if they offer a business endorsement- there is an option to select “business/brand’, which will then show you the biz rate!

  2. Hey there!
    I’m interested in the latest take on this. I just acquired a fabulous blurb from my Cameo talent. I specifically mentioned that I wanted a blurb or shout out about how my book will influence the readers.
    She accepted the request and came through with a great line or two.
    Can I use a quote she said in the video, as a foreword in my book?

    1. Sheila, a foreword needs to be longer than two sentences. It would be more appropriate to use the comment as a cover blurb. Also, you’d need to ask Cameo what they allow recipients to do with the messages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *