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Get Your Name On The Back Cover Of PNI!

Since I launched my new book PNI, I have been getting emails, Facebook messages, Twitter updates and live feedback at events about what people liked and didn’t like about the book. These comments are a wealth of insight, but no one aside from me is getting the benefit of seeing them. Amazon reviews are the most visible way right now of sharing this type of feedback, but most people will not bother to go to the effort to write a review on Amazon – unless they have the right incentive. That’s what this post is about.

If you have read Personality Not Included and have some thoughts about it, I’m asking you to post your review on Amazon.com (or on an international version of Amazon if you happen to be outside the US). To offer an incentive, I also agreed with my publisher that we will be taking one quote from an Amazon review and featuring it on the outside back cover of the next edition printing of Personality Not Included (McGraw-Hill makes the final call). That means anyone who picks up the book in a bookstore or searches it online will see your name and organization name or URL. So before I start, I want to clarify a few things.

First of all, I am NOT in any way asking you to lie or share opinions about PNI that you don’t personally feel. If you read the book and hated it, go ahead and post your review to that effect on Amazon or anywhere else. I probably won’t use it for the back cover (obviously), but I’m not trying to stop you from doing that. Instead, my goal is to reach the many people who have read the book, but have not posted a review on Amazon because there is no tangible reason or benefit. Hopefully, this idea gives you a reason … visibility. You don’t need to be a blogger or a CMO to participate. My goal is to take a piece of REAL feedback from one of you and feature it on the back cover of the second edition, and encourage some useful book reviews on Amazon.

If you have already posted a review, don’t worry – you’ll be included in this competition. If you haven’t, but had some thoughts after reading the book, please share them on Amazon. And if you think this idea is just a cheap stunt to get more Amazon reviews, post a comment here and let’s talk about it. As an author, asking for reviews is a minefield because you don’t want to manipulate people, but you do want them to review the book so more people hear about it. Successful or not, I’m considering this an experiment in doing that.

Admission: For the more astute, you probably noted an assumption in this post – which is that PNI will actually get a second edition printed. All expectations from the publisher are that we will do one … but it does depend on sales of the first edition, so I don’t want to mislead anyone to thinking its a done deal. The chances are pretty good, though.

30 thoughts on “Get Your Name On The Back Cover Of PNI!”

  1. Cool idea. Sure, it’s an obvious move to get more reviews and opinions, but so what. Bloggers do contests and giveaways all the time, where the way to enter is to post a comment. I don’t see this as much different. You’ve been clear and honest about your motivations and why you’re doing this, what you’re looking for, and humble enough to welcome even negative reviews. I say go for it, and I wish you luck! 🙂

    Now I just have to find time to finish reading PNI so I can enter with my own review. 😉

    Reply
  2. Cool idea. Sure, it’s an obvious move to get more reviews and opinions, but so what. Bloggers do contests and giveaways all the time, where the way to enter is to post a comment. I don’t see this as much different. You’ve been clear and honest about your motivations and why you’re doing this, what you’re looking for, and humble enough to welcome even negative reviews. I say go for it, and I wish you luck! 🙂

    Now I just have to find time to finish reading PNI so I can enter with my own review. 😉

    Reply
  3. I think it’s a great idea! As Josh said, you’ve been open and honest about what you’re asking for, and I think anything any business can do to encourage honest feedback from their customers is to be applauded.

    Reply
  4. I think it’s a great idea! As Josh said, you’ve been open and honest about what you’re asking for, and I think anything any business can do to encourage honest feedback from their customers is to be applauded.

    Reply
  5. Rohit, what works so well about this is that you’re not just asking for something from your readers, but you’re offering something in return. This is how any good brand should act – demonstrating value in return for the sale. So, rather than just pleading for reviews, you’re actually showing that you’re willing to give something back in return. And for those readers who care about such an opportunity, you’re created a perfect incentive to participate.

    Reply
  6. Rohit, what works so well about this is that you’re not just asking for something from your readers, but you’re offering something in return. This is how any good brand should act – demonstrating value in return for the sale. So, rather than just pleading for reviews, you’re actually showing that you’re willing to give something back in return. And for those readers who care about such an opportunity, you’re created a perfect incentive to participate.

    Reply
  7. What is great about this idea is that it also demonstrates how people can build their brand online…by posting reviews on Amazon, the reviewer also gets more visibility and added credibility on a high traffic site.

    Of course, it’s important that your Amazon profile is up to date and is an excellent representation of who you are.

    Reply
  8. What is great about this idea is that it also demonstrates how people can build their brand online…by posting reviews on Amazon, the reviewer also gets more visibility and added credibility on a high traffic site.

    Of course, it’s important that your Amazon profile is up to date and is an excellent representation of who you are.

    Reply
  9. Rohit, it is cool that, for the time being (while this post remains your latest), this post shows up before the reviews on your Amazon book site. I think this makes it an even more honest effort, because someone looking at the Amazon page will see how you are soliciting reviews. There is no attempt to cover it up.
    I had been planning on writing a review and this gives me a little extra motivation.

    Reply
  10. Rohit, it is cool that, for the time being (while this post remains your latest), this post shows up before the reviews on your Amazon book site. I think this makes it an even more honest effort, because someone looking at the Amazon page will see how you are soliciting reviews. There is no attempt to cover it up.
    I had been planning on writing a review and this gives me a little extra motivation.

    Reply
  11. Read this post after I posted my Amazon review. I know it’s like pulling teeth to get those reviews up there…and I also know how valuable they are to selling books. But I think all you really had to do was ask. A simple, “hey, write a review on Amazon, whether you liked it or not.”

    Now you’ve created an incentive for someone to write a POSITIVE review…which is a little weird. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a “cheap stunt,” but you could have thought of a different incentive that wouldn’t have been as likely to sway reviewer sentiment.

    Reply
  12. Read this post after I posted my Amazon review. I know it’s like pulling teeth to get those reviews up there…and I also know how valuable they are to selling books. But I think all you really had to do was ask. A simple, “hey, write a review on Amazon, whether you liked it or not.”

    Now you’ve created an incentive for someone to write a POSITIVE review…which is a little weird. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a “cheap stunt,” but you could have thought of a different incentive that wouldn’t have been as likely to sway reviewer sentiment.

    Reply
  13. Lindy – Great point, I actually had someone else share a similar thought … and I actually learn the most from the reviews that aren’t all positive so I do want people to share criticism there too. I’d like to offer something to the reviewer who offers the best piece of criticism to help me improve either something around the book right now, or my writing/process in case I am ever crazy enough to try and write another book. So here’s an open question – what would a suitable incentive for that part be? If I can get a good idea, I’ll amend this original blog post to include that information at the bottom as well …

    Reply
  14. Lindy – Great point, I actually had someone else share a similar thought … and I actually learn the most from the reviews that aren’t all positive so I do want people to share criticism there too. I’d like to offer something to the reviewer who offers the best piece of criticism to help me improve either something around the book right now, or my writing/process in case I am ever crazy enough to try and write another book. So here’s an open question – what would a suitable incentive for that part be? If I can get a good idea, I’ll amend this original blog post to include that information at the bottom as well …

    Reply
  15. Rohit – Smart. I like it. How about adding the person with the best constructive criticism to the acknowledgments? I think that has similar appeal to the back cover idea.

    Reply
  16. Rohit – Smart. I like it. How about adding the person with the best constructive criticism to the acknowledgments? I think that has similar appeal to the back cover idea.

    Reply
  17. This isn’t a cheap stunt…just another cleaver way to get people engaged.

    BTW I loved the book and wrote my own Amazon review!

    Best,

    Saul Colt
    Head of Magic
    FreshBooks.com

    Reply
  18. This isn’t a cheap stunt…just another cleaver way to get people engaged.

    BTW I loved the book and wrote my own Amazon review!

    Best,

    Saul Colt
    Head of Magic
    FreshBooks.com

    Reply

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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

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