According to Publishers Lunch, Thomas Nelson has launched a formal program (not sure exactly what is meant by “formal”) to enroll interested bloggers (“enroll” sounds a bit like “capture”) and provide them with free review copies of select titles in exchange for the promise of a posting of a review of at least 200 words on a blog and at Amazon.com.
The CEO of Thomas, who’s an active blogger, said he was inspired by things that happened on his own blog. He says the idea of doing this program of free books in exchange for book reviews "originally came from heightened interest on my blog, around two of our recent releases, Stephen Mansfield's The Faith of Barack Obama and Lynne Spears' Through the Storm. My readers, many of whom are active bloggers themselves, wanted to engage in the conversation about these products."
He’s not saying that the review has to be positive. He, in fact, says:
The positive reviews will be a priceless word-of-mouth marketing vehicle and the negative reviews will be a useful tool in understanding why a product might not have sold at retail.Okay, I admit I’m a bit cynical. Too many times I’ve joined a group or gotten something online only to start getting unwanted emails. But…if you look at the Thomas Nelson line of books and they interest you, and you have a blog, and you like to do reviews, and you like free books, and you check out the site and you trust this publisher enough to give them personal info, and you like free books, and you think you’d like to be in the Nelson database of bloggers, and you’d like to get involved in the dialogue, and you like free books, then go check out the program.
Did I mention free books?