Binoculars 160One of the more gnarly issues I’ve tried to deal with in trying to promote my book is how hard to try to get reviews, and if so, of what types, and from whom. I decided in the beginning that trying to get highly ranked Amazon reviewers to read my book was likely to be a lot of work with little result (I wonder how much luck others have had with this?) I also haven’t spent any time trying to get print reviewers to read it, for the same reason. Instead, I looked for professionals in the subject area of my book (cybersecurity) that were frequent, well-followed bloggers, and offered to send them a free review copy.

That took a lot of research effort, in part because cybersecurity experts for obvious reasons aren’t as likely to post their email addresses at a blog as others. But eventually I came up with about 35 addresses, and a fair number of the emails I sent produced an affirmative response, and eventually a number of reviews (you can see them in the first category on this page).

It’s hard to say how many copies of my book this moved, because my publisher (Dogear) only releases reports on a very delayed, monthly basis, so the best I can do is to watch my Amazon page rank after a review is posted. The impact seemed very modest, at best.

I also invited friends and acquaintances to read and review the book, and you can find their reviews on the same page. As you’ll see, I’ve sequestered those from the other reviews, as I think that most people (rightly) will assume that reviews by folks you know are not likely to be too critical, and in some cases, the person might not have even read the book at all. I’m hoping that by segregating reviews in this way people will give more credence to (at least) those where I have no influence over the reviewer. Of course, people still have to trust me to have put the reviews in the proper categories.

That takes us to the last category you’ll find on my review page, which is spontaneous reviews posted at other sites, such as Amazon. Those always intrigue me, because, as with sales generally, I’d love to know how they found out about my book to begin with. For example, two new reviews were posted by readers I’m sure I don’t know at my Amazon page because they used their real names. Happily, they’re both very positive:

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, January 2, 2013

By Michael Bradley (Dallas, TX USA) – See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

The last couple of years have produced amazing works based on real events and epic hackers and heroes. This is not one of them. Sometimes you just want a funny story; the Alexandria Project is just a funny story that leaves you rooting for our hero and thinking of Dad. If you liked the whiz kids comics but cannot define the term, rootkit, and you don’t care too, this book is for you.

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome., December 27, 2012

By Daniel ReurichSee all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This is an awesome book. Very gripping and a fantastic plot, well written and modern. It paints a picture of the dangers our modern world faces from mis-used technology and the bufoons that control it.

I wish I could thank both of these readers for taking the time to post a review. Of course, if I could, I’d also be tempted to ask them to be sure to tell their 1,000 closest friends that they think my book is a worthwhile read.

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

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