During 2016-2017, 4 authors & 1 digital platform publisher emailed asking for reviews. I’m not a fan of solicited reviews because it turns reading for pleasure into work.
Not only do I have to take time to read the book– but I also must put the pen to paper and write about it.
That’s a paid critic’s job. Not leisure reading and reviewing.
Therefore, I seek payment.
But not always.
9 times out of 10, I don’t know the author and the author has no clue what types of books interest me. Then there’s that 10th author who gets it but before she arrives the journey unfolds as follows.
“Without a relationship, there’s no expectation of performance”
1) The first author wrote that she saw my review on Amazon for a similar book and offered to send me a digital copy of her book. I read it but I’ve yet to write a review. It was a perfect book for both men and women on how to move from the “friend zone” and into intimacy. There was a problem. The name on the book didn’t match the name of the woman requesting the review. She never said she used a pseudonym. It felt a bit tricky even though she assured me she was the author. Still, I felt no urgency to move on her request. Without a relationship, there’s no expectation of performance.
“If you don’t walk your talk why should I read your words”
2) By the time, I received the second review request – I realized how much time is involved in reviewing books I probably wouldn’t have read on my own. I responded I’d be happy to review his book for $125 my hourly consulting rate. It would take more than an hour to read and review his book but I liked the subject matter. He wrote back and told me that he thought it would be dishonest to pay for a review and Amazon frowns on that behavior. I cracked up…because his book’s thesis was about sticking it to authority.
Engagement and relationships are key to selling (Anything)
3) An author wrote and asked for a review…and I responded, “I don’t write for free” … She wrote back “Good answer! I love and respect that– and wish you all the very best :)”. I went on twitter to help her with her book promotion by retweeting and tweeting her offer to all my followers too. She followed me. I followed her back. I didn’t buy her book then. The other day, about four months after she first contacted me, I thought about her books and I bought one. When I finish, I’ll write a review here – so check back.
And that’s how marketing works. Whether she wanted me to review her book or not; by her contacting me and then engaging me she got my attention. The author then moved from unknown to known. And just like that I felt moved to help her in her quest to get the word out about her book, even send a tweet on her behalf and eventually buy a book.
Shopping and buying is more of a social activity.
So, take a page out of the Social Selling manual –and remember