Pitch a Book or Product For Review or Evaluation
I have extremely limited time to review books and products, and I receive dozens of requests each week. Here’s how to make it easy for us both.
Make it relevant to my audience. My audience consists of businesspeople who want to get better results in their own lives, from the perspective of the individual. My topics include general business skills, interpersonal skills and strategic thinking, decision-making, personal productivity, career development, and self-help.
If you’re selling ball bearings, we’re not a good fit, because businesspeople don’t generally need ball bearings to succeed in their jobs.
If you have products or tips to help people negotiate, increase their influence skills, be more productive, manage their time better, increase their memory, or get things done quicker or better, then we’re a great fit.
Let me experience the book or product. I will never discuss a product just from a pitch sheet. Sending a press release and expecting a review or mention won’t work.
I endorse products or give reviews when I believe a product is great through direct experience. Sometimes a demo will be sufficient, and sometimes not. Many times things that look great in a demo don’t actually work in real life, and something that looks mediocre in a demo may turn out to be the Best. Product. Ever!
If you are offering me a temporary evaluation account of some sort (to a website or service), make sure the trial period is at least 3 months in duration. As I mention below, it may be several weeks before I have the time to do a thorough exploration. Having my first login lead to a “Your trial has expired” message won’t make a favorable impression.
Make it easy for me. I’m busy, my time is valuable, and yours is too. So increase your changes for success by making it easy for me. If you send me a message saying “Go sign up for a free two-week demo account and read our FAQ” then don’t expect a reply. If you are going to ship a demo unit, also send along return packaging and a pre-paid mailing label if you want it back. If you are pitching a book, be prepared to send a paper copy if possible, or a Kobo-compatible copy, if physical copies aren’t available.
If you want to set up a trial account for me, great! If you expect me to give you my credit card number or link to my Facebook profile in order to get the trial, that’s a deal breaker. You need to find another way to provide an evaluation.
I can’t guarantee a mention or review. I don’t publish reviews per se; rather, I recommend solutions to people. If your submission isn’t a good fit for my audience or addresses a problem that I’ve recently addressed or don’t plan to address soon, the appearance may not happen for a while, if at all.
The timing must be flexible. Even if your product or book is the greatest thing since sliced bread, my various media channels have production schedules that sometimes fill up several weeks in advance. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get to your product or book on any particular time frame. If you have certain timing needs (e.g. a book launch), let me know and I’ll try to accommodate.