Crown Publishing Group has been rolling out a marketing program hoping to leverage the power of social media. The program, Blogging for Books, offers free books to bloggers in exchange for book reviews. Ideal participants generate buzz by posting comments to social media and online bookstores, and including marketing materials like book trailers alongside their reviews.
But Kim Ukura’s writeup at BookRiot concludes that the program reduces readers to marketing associates expected to proselytize for the books they receive for free:
According to The Publishing Industry, it’s not enough for readers to just read books anymore. The point of it all is to take readers, convert them to fans, then push them to become evangelists for a book or author. Real readers have to become evangelicals for books because evangelism is, apparently, the only way to drive sales.