Books, Books, Books…
…and more books, delivered right to my door.
In the Proof There is a God Department, I recently got on the press release list of a PR firms that deals with authors, or at least their press releases. The press releases come directly to my inbox, and here's the clincher–at the bottom of the release I am invited to reply with my address for a review copy.
Um, okay. When the press releases first started coming to me it was difficult to control myself. I was replying to nearly everything. But I've gotten a bit more circumspect now, as I really do feel it is my duty to read and review these books, since the publishers or authors are nice enough to send them to me.
Its been interesting to see the differences in how the authors approach publicity. Most of them (well, two so far) have simply sent me the book. No letter, no other supporting information, nothing. Which is all well and good. They are sending me a book, after all, so I'm not going to complain.
But my favorite author so far is Helen Tse. She wrote Sweet Mandarin, which is apparently a memoir about her family (her grandmother was the first Chinese woman to open a restaurant in Great Britain) that spans 100 years.
As if all that is not cool enough, Sweet Mandarin is also a restaurant that recently opened in Great Britain. But Helen also knows publicity, because no sooner had I sent off the request for a review copy then I got in return a personal enail from her, along with a jpg of the book cover, an interview, and another press release.
So, check it out, as Randy would say, I'm already giving Helen publicity and I don't even have the review copy of the book yet. As soon as it comes, I'm all over it. After all, Helen and I are best buds now. No, seriously, its amazing what goodwill a little personal contact can generate. I'll put Helen's book to the top of the pile as soon as it comes (I think its on the slow boat from England).
There's a lesson in publicity for all writers here–personal contact, baby, personal contact.