By Amy MacKinnon
Have you heard about Book Browse? It's a web site for people who love books and want to share their thoughts -- good and bad -- with other devoted readers. People who sign-up for the program can request a free galley and then write a review of it. That's quite a bit of power in this brave, new world where publishers are beginning to focus much of their publicity budgets on Internet marketing. Pay attention, writers.
So while my publicist and marketing director were thrilled to report last week that Tethered was the most requested galley in Book Browse history, I was a little wary. What would people be saying -- for all the world to read -- about my book?
It used to be that word-of-mouth was all done over the back fence or at the local coffee shop, dropping of the kids at school or picking up a book at the library. I tend to believe, and I could be completely wrong, that professional reviews don't inspire the average reader to plunk down their money for a book, nor do ads. Maybe seeing it on the front table at Borders, Barnes & Noble, or especially a favorite indie might inspire interest, but a trusted friend's suggestion is gold, isn't it? Publishers can't buy that kind buzz.
That's what's so interesting about Book Browse. They're corralling a network of readers into an online community in order to get real feedback. This is the wave of the future. The administrators of Book Browse won't accept pitches from publishers for their book selections, though they do accept advertising, they select what books they'll offer to their readers. The want to remain independent of anyone's influence.
Well, some reviews from real, live readers are starting to trickle into the site. While I've no interest in professional reviews, I care deeply what readers have to say. They are the ones who matter.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
By Amy MacKinnon