I was lucky enough to work with Richard Rumelt on the website for his new book, The Crux. Richard is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy and management.  His previous book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters is an award-winning work on the subject of strategy and The Crux follows up with techniques for how to implement good strategy.  I’m using this project as a case study for this post because we had great testimonial blurbs to work with so we included them in a few different ways:

  1. We called out a handful of the best to showcase on the Home page of the site.
  2. We leveraged others to showcase Richard’s work as a strategy teacher and consultant.
  3. We included advanced praise for The Crux and will add more as they become available post-launch.
Richard Rumelt The Crux Book Website Design

Excerpt of the design for the book website’s Home page.

In including featured blurbs, whenever you have the opportunity to show a headshot for the attribution, you should. It adds a great visual focal element, and also reinforces that these thoughts are coming from an actual person.

If you’re lucky enough to have many testimonial burbs for your book, choose the ones to feature first based on the ones that speak best about the book, the prominence of the attribution, and what you like the best. There’s no need to list every single testimonial blurb on your book website’s Home page (unless you have a single-page site). The vast quantity listed means that site visitors will be unlikely to wade through them all and their impact will be lost. If you have a detailed page about your book — essentially a page dedicated to folks who want to take a deeper dive anyway — that is the perfect place to list them all.

And if you have testimonial blurbs that speak to not just your book, but your authority on a subject, and/or your mastery of your topic, and/or your skill as a speaker, etc.. make sure to feature those on the page where you talk about yourself and those services you offer. For example, if you’re an accomplished speaker be sure to include a testimonial blurb that talks about how much someone enjoyed hearing you speak.

Richard Rumelt The Crux Book Website Design

Example of testimonial blurbs related to a consulting offering.

And if you don’t have any blurbs yet, don’t lose heart! Make sure you’re following good advice on how to get them, and in the meantime use quotes from yourself as the author talking about your work, or quoting from it directly. Those can serve the same visual purpose and will make it easier to swap in testimonial blurbs once you receive them.

I often tell my author website design clients that sometimes the best way to present information about your work is to let someone else do it for you. This lends credibility and also often distills down the essence of your work in a way that is difficult to do for yourself.