The Important Question

When I learn about new products and services that may be useful to small publishers and authors, I write about them here on this blog. After all, one of the purposes for this blog is to provide information to help you be more successful at publishing and promoting your books.


I only write about those products and services that I feel have value for publishers and authors. I believe that writing about any product or service on this blog is an endorsement for a company. As a result, I do not write about something just because someone asks me to. Information presented on this blog is meant to add value to your work.

The other day, I was approached by a start-up company that is offering a service in regards to digital books. The person at this company sent me an email about their new service and suggested that I write about them on my blog.

My first thought was “Why should I write about you?” The company wanted me to write about them so they could get some free publicity. But, why should I write about them?
In other words, other than material for my blog, “What is in it for me?” The company did not offer me a special that I could pass onto you, the blog reader, nor did they offer me a free “try” of their service to see if it was worth my time to blog about. In other words, they did not offer anything in return for their request that I write a blog about them.

The reason I am blogging about this little encounter is because I believe it holds an important lesson for small publishers and authors. Here it is:

When asking someone to do you a favor—review your book, interview you on a blog, write an endorsement—be sure that you offer that person something in return.

Often, the only thing you may be offering is a free copy of your book or publicity for that person giving you the service. Just be sure to let the person know what they will receive in exchange for honoring your request. In other words, tell them what is in it for them.

After checking out the services of the company that requested I write a blog about them, I felt that they were not offering anything new that was not already easily accessible to publishers and authors other places. And, since they were not offering a special discount, I did not see the value in writing about them at this time. Who knows, maybe in the future, they might be worth a mention.