Steven Weber has a good review of what he considers to be wasteful advertising dollars: a service offering paid reviews through Amazon.com’s “Book Surge” publishing service.
For $399 you can get a supposedly “big name” author to write a paid, gushing review that’s supposed to make you rich on the royalties. I wonder if you’d be better off having Google create an adwords campaign for $299?
I just finished a book review last night for somebody on a non business relatled book. I got a free book out of it. By the time readers see my review, I’ll at least have the satisfaction of knowing that what I said was a labor of like if not a labor of love and that book purchasers will get some real value for their book dollar on the work I reviewed.
Now there are certain reviewers in certain fields whose words on a book cover will overcome buyer resistance…in a niche market you will soon learn who they are. Often getting them to say something valuable just means sending them an early proof and asking their opinion since they’re an expert.