In the course of a month, I usually get one or two advanced review copies of books about community/social media/business strategy/web culture. It’s fantastic that so many authors and publishers have me on their lists, so for that I have to say thanks!
The problem with getting this many books in my mailbox is that I simply can’t find the time to review them all. And lately, I find myself reviewing them in relation to projects I’m working on. Working on presentation justifying social media? I might grab Groundswell. Pitching a Facebook app? I grab Facebook: The Missing Manual and read a decent portion of it. Wanting to improve the word of mouth recommendations of my blog? Word of Mouth Marketing does the trick for me.
I might not be able to complete a full read and full review in one session, but this actually results in connection to the book long-term, and I pitch these book I actually use far longer than doing traditional reviews. I know that publishers are far more interested in the initial launch burst than the slow burn sales over time, but in a world of Amazon and the long tail I have to assume that there’s value to this.
Thing is, I want to use them more often than I do, but since I’m on the road quite often, I simply can’t take them with me. Imagine getting the review copy of a book on a Kindle (or in Kindle format if you have already have a Kindle). Considering how much money various publishers have spent sending me review copies + postage, I’d be that in certain circumstances it’s just as expensive to buy me a Kindle with free content product costs as it is to add me to the reviewer list. Heck, maybe they take a page from the Nikon book and send out loaner devices to reviewers that can be sent back or purchased at a reviewer rate after a period of time.
Certainly this is a bit of a dream at this point, but give the Amazon Kindle time to drop in price and consider the process of actually sending books and who you send them to and it may just make sense.