Sometimes people send me books to review; sometimes I review them.
As a writer myself, it’s an interesting approach to marketing. Based upon my previous Amazon reviews, authors have approached me to review their books. It’s almost always business books, and rarely novels or bottles of whisky. Perhaps this is because business authors are more marketing-savvy.
The email pitch was a good one:
I’m a first time author reaching out to those who love learning and reading about innovation, leadership and new ideas on reinventing companies for digital.Your review of StrengthsFinder 2.0 is what caught my eye. Our new book (The Age of Surge.) was written to help leaders and everyday employees take the kinds of ideas covered in StrengthsFinder 2.0 and show how to put them to work in even the most dysfunctional, “broken” companies. I think you’ll find our book provocative and thought provoking… you might even like it 🙂Would you be open to reading our book if I send you a free digital copy (no strings attached)? Obviously I’d welcome and appreciate any time you’re willing to spend leaving an honest review.
This was a good pitch for a couple of reasons:
- It was personalized. The email was not just a press release but a personal note that highlighted the fact that I liked a similar book. There was research behind it.
- It was written in a human voice. The pitch came from the author. It was direct, concise and respectful of my time.
That said, just because it’s a good pitch doesn’t mean I’m going to review it.
I look at these books on business reinvention with a jaundiced eye – my novel Don’t Mess Up My Block satirizes the genre, following a clueless consultant who leaves disaster everywhere he goes. It’s based upon my experience seeing organizations conduct ill-conceived change initiatives.
I didn’t want to like The Age of Surge. But it is a very readable, humane look at change in the workplace from someone who operates in the real world, not the theoretical domain of management consultants. The author praises middle management – I’ve never seen that before.
So, it’s not enough to craft a catchy email. First, you have to write a great book. But to get reviewers to read your book you have to approach them with a personalized, human, relevant message. That’s a good pitch.