Book Promotion: what not to do

Speaking of book reviews and their function, I just stumbled across a humorous but rather sad example of different expectations concerning a book review. In this story, a reviewer accepts an ARC with the caveat that positive reviews are not guaranteed, etc. Turns out she didn’t like the work and gave it a negative review. What follows is not pretty even if it makes for humorous reading: the book’s publicist didn’t like said review and couldn’t refrain from sending a snarky email to the reviewer; reviewer replies politely reminding publicist of agreed up rules; publicist gets even more snarky; etc.

Word to the wise for small press publicists out there: don’t do this!

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).


  1. Good Pete! I hope common sense eventually wins the day at Windstream Publishing. I like the line about reading choices. I wonder if she has ever complained about too many books in the stores.

    I read a negative review of a book which made me think the reviewer didn’t get the book and I probably would.

  2. Sad, indeed. I wonder why anyone would get so personally involved in defending a book that she didn’t write, but is only hired to publicize? Maybe the person who wrote the nasty emails is the author of the book, using a psuedonym?

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