Excerpt from Rick Ollerman’s interview in The Digest Enthusiast No. 7 (Rick is a writer, and the editor of Down & Out: The Magazine):
TDE: Take us back to the beginning of your love affair with reading > crime fiction > and the giants of the PBO era
RO: Things didn’t get serious until my adult life, and the two things that probably did the most to trigger further adventure were the nearly simultaneous discoveries of the introduction of the Gregg Press edition of Donald Westlake’s The Hunter, and coming across Ed Gorman’s blog. Westlake talks about Peter Rabe and some things from his past, and Gorman talks about nearly everything else.
In mid-October Charles Ardai sent out an interesting promotional request to his Hard Case Crime email list: Post a review of one of his books on Amazon.com and he’d send you one of his latest releases. The offer was good for the first 30 people to respond.
I reviewed HCC-058, Stop This Man! by Peter Rabe, and sent a screenshot of the review. Even though I posted it hours after the email arrived, I was too late.
Charles replied: “You’re not one of the first 30 to respond—we were startled by how many people responded, and how quickly!—but we have some extra books, so we’re just going to keep sending out copies to say thank you to as many people as we can, until they run out.”
A week or two later, HCC-134 Understudy for Death by Charles Willeford arrived. Beautiful!
The promotion gave HCC a slew of new Ratings & Reviews on Amazon.com for minimal cost. How many sales it generated is known only to Ardai, but it appears to have been a successful campaign. It also illustrates how much publishers value reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Why not help out your friendly neighborhood publisher and post a review when you finish your latest indie read? A single sentence would be excellent.