Monday, September 21, 2009

How's this for a promo gimmick?

So I'm taking a break, cruising the 'Net. And what do I come upon today? No, not my name in a happy place. I find a peculiar way for an author to pimp his or her latest book:


For a chance to win a signed Advance Review Copy, all you need do is spend time at some "social networking" site or your blog or any-damned-body's blog talking about why and how much you want this book. Posting the cover and an excerpt, or links to the cover and excerpt, will ingratiate you even further with the author (to whom, of course, you must report back with the url of your place of pimpage).

Seriously? Like, people are being asked to promote a book they haven't yet read, because it hasn't yet been released? On the chance they might win a copy? And might not even like it after telling everybody in the blogosphere exactly why and how much they planned on liking it?

I had to read this announcement a couple of times to make sure I was reading it right. Yup. Get on the stump, girls, and hawk this book . . . even though you didn't write it, didn't read it, probably won't win it, and have absofreakinglutely no reason to piss away your time in an effort to fatten this publisher's bank account!


Do you think readers will actually take this bait? Would you? (If you answered yes to the second question, get back to me, 'cause I'm sure we can cut a deal. Heh.)


Jenre said...

Well some bloggers do sort of pimp books they've not read by advertising them as books they want to read (like me) or books which are coming soon. I put the covers up on my blog with an embedded link to the publisher and a surprising number of people do click on those covers. Having said that no-one 'pays' me by sending me their arc (well, actually that's not true, I do get a few arcs but they are from people whose books I would have included in my 'looking forward to reading' section anyway).

Having said that, if an author I didn't know or hadn't read approached me and asked me to pimp their book on my blog in the way you've described, then I would politely decline. I only 'look forward to reading' those books from authors whose books are autobuys. You can't be an autobuy author if I've never read any of your stuff before.

I also never review or discuss books until after the release date (sometimes on the release date) because it's annoying to read a good review of a book and then find it's not released for another week.

Tam said...

Will some people do it? Hell yeah, anything for a free book right? (You're brownies are in the mail.)

Would I do it? Not unless I was 100% sure I would love the book (like I wouldn't have bought and read the last Harry Potter anyway). If I had a blog and was really excited about said release I might post something, but not for an unknown book. Would I just go to random sites and post on a completely unrelated thread? Ummm. No. Maybe Facebook where people post random crap anyway, but I'm not going to go to Josh's blog and post about a book on his thread about his HIV test results. (He's clean.) That would be too weird. "Oh congrats Josh, play safe and by the way, I heard about this great book coming out, blah blah blah." Umm. No. That's just rude.

K. Z. Snow said...

It's a whole different scenario, Jen, when a review blog like yours or Wave's alerts readers to recent or upcoming releases. (And that's all you do; you don't spend paragraphs rhapsodizing about books you haven't read, hoping there will be a payoff for you in the end. Holy smoke!)

It's different, too, when a reader takes the initiative--without any prompting or any dangling carrots--to say he or she is looking forward to a certain title.

This whole promo concept struck me as taking flagrant advantage of loyal readers--I mean, damn, sending them out there like an army of hucksters!--and I have a lot of trouble finding that acceptable.

Kris said...

Some people do it to bring more attention to their own blog. *shrugs*

Granted I would do pretty much anything for a free book, but this... not my thing at all.

MB (Leah) said...

The whole author/book promo/ pimping thing has always made me feel uncomfortable as a blogger.

I think it's one reason why I stopped blogging in a way. I don't quite know how to do it and then it gets into which authors do I do it for. And if I do it for some authors, then will others get miffed if I don't do it for them? Too many things to worry about and deal with and I don't like to hurt someone's feelings.

And then you kind of have to worry about trying to come up with fun things to blog about all the time to even get readers to your blog so that pimping favorite authors is even worth it.

It's too much work and no fun really.

About authors asking, I don't mind if they put it out, why not? But only if they ask on a public forum leaving it up to bloggers to do it if they wish.

If they asked me directly then it might put me in an awkward position, which fortunately has never happened. But for myself, I don't like doing that. I'd never do it for a free book that's for sure.

K. Z. Snow said...

For only the chance to win a free book, Leah. Yikes.

I don't think lone reader/reviewer-type bloggers (you included!) should worry about the material they cover. There are only so many hours in the day, and one person obviously can't read and review every title published every week in any given genre. Authors understand that.

Kris: I can see (and have seen) bloggers "featuring" certain high-profile authors to drive traffic to their blogs, but verbally swooning over a book you haven't even read is, well, just weird.

As a hypothetical example, I could spew pages about how much I'm looking forward to J. R. Ward's next release...but why should anybody give a rip? It wouldn't be an interview; it wouldn't even be a review. It would just be some gushy bullcrap that centered on anticipation of the release.

Jeanne said...

On my blog I leave it open to the guest how they want to blog - promo for a new book, talking about writing in general, their writing specifcally, interview - whatever they're most comfortable with. As long as they've written GLBT fiction, they're welcome.
I put out a call on several different lists and publishers lists and then try to arrange a good time.
I don't pimp anyone's book on my own and don't enter contests if authors whose work I like are entered at the same time. I don't think it's fair.
This fall the response I received for first time bloggers at my blog was amazing.
I'm really thrilled and grateful for their participation.

K. Z. Snow said...

Your guest blogs are tres cool, Jeanne! They're more a service to readers than some attempt to plug specific books for the sake of getting somethin' for nothin'. I've learned a lot about fellow authors at Loose Id, not to mention other m/m writers at other pubs.