So, a couple weeks ago, I got an odd e-mail. It was from a woman asking if she could send me some free jewelry from her store. I don’t really wear jewelry, and of course the first thing I think when someone offers to send me something free is “scam.” As it turned out, though, it was on the level.
It also gave me an idea.
I asked Sarah, the proprietor, how this works for her. She said it’s actually turned out to be a great way to generate traffic to her website: she approaches bloggers who, from her perspective, seem trustworthy and offers to send them a free product if they’re willing to give it their honest opinion and a link to her site. I would wager it’s cheaper than buying search results on Google and also counts on the fact that the best sort of advertising is word of mouth. There’s no guarantee that review is going to be favorable, so it’s a bit of a crap shoot, but if you’re not willing to take that risk, I guess you don’t believe enough in what you’re selling.
I ended up picking out something for my niece (who loves jewelry, and if she happens to be reading this, well—surprise, Sam!). Specifically, I got this from the selection of pendants. About a week after I placed the order, it arrived in a sturdy, understated box. Like I said, I don’t know much about jewelry, but it looks nice to me. (Her website’s pretty simple and straightforward. Not much in the way of jewelry for men, which is why I opted for something for my niece.)
And that’s when I got the idea. If/when my book gets published, why not do something similar? Why not send out copies to some of the people on my blog list if they’re willing to review it? (This assumes, of course, that even if they don’t like it, they can get through it. Or at least indicate the point where they flung the book across the room and shouted, “Gods! No more!”)
So, any volunteers?