How Bloggers Can Get My Book for Free

If you have a blog, website, newsletter, or if you write for some other publication, you can get a free review copy of my new book Personal Development for Smart Peoplebefore the book hits the shelves on October 15th. This is a print version of the book (not an e-book), shipped to you for free.

What’s the catch? The catch is that you have to meet some very basic criteria to qualify, and you agree to write a review of the book in your publication sometime during the month of October.

I announced this in my newsletter less than 24 hours ago, and about 90 bloggers have requested copies so far, with audiences ranging from a few hundred readers to more than a million. I expect this number will grow to hundreds of bloggers within the next few days.

I proposed this idea with Hay House (the book’s publisher) first, and they’re willing to send out hundreds of review copies to bloggers who get enough web traffic to justify the expense. Consequently, Hay House can’t send freebies to everyone who requests one, but they’ve agreed to send copies to the people I qualify first.

How to Qualify for a Free Book

Here are the criteria to qualify for a free review copy of my book:

  1. You have a website, blog, newsletter, or access to some other publication where you can post your own review of the book.
  2. Your publication has a non-embarrassing level of traffic or readership. I.e. if you post a book review, it will be seen by a reasonable number of people (at least 100 or so), and you have some way of demonstrating this. For example, your website has an ranking of 1,000,000 or better, your blog posts show active visitor commenting, your content comes up in Google searches, your website has been online for at least a few months, you write for a magazine found on newsstands, or something along those lines. Since it costs Hay House money to mail out each review copy, I just need some way of verifying that your publication is more than a ghost town.
  3. You agree to write and post an original review of the book on or around October 15th (i.e. sometime in October 2008) where your readers will see it. For publications with long lead times, a later publication date is okay.
  4. If it’s posted online or in some other electronic medium, your review links to the book’s sales page at Feel free to use your own Amazon affiliate links if you’d like.
  5. Optional: You don’t have to do this last step, but I’d appreciate it if you would also post a review of the book at All I ask is that you share your thoughts honestly. I will never ask anyone to post phony five-star reviews to help inflate the book’s rating (which is unfortunately an all-too-common practice I’ve seen other authors use, where the first 10-20 reviews are from friends of the author). Once you read the book, you’ll understand why I’ll never use such tactics, regardless of how effective they may be at boosting sales.

How to Get a Link From

As an extra incentive, if you post a review of the book sometime in October and then email me a link to your review once it’s online, I’ll add a link to your review from my website. gets more than 2 million visitors per month, so you’ll gain a free link from a high-traffic website in exchange for writing the review. Most likely that link will be online indefinitely.

In order for me to link to your review, I need to see at least enough substance in your review that makes it clear you actually read the book. I won’t link to reviews that merely rehash the book’s back cover. However, you don’t have to write an exceedingly gushing or glowing review. You don’t even have to recommend the book to your visitors. Just share your honest thoughts about it in a way that provides some extra value to your visitors and mine. Fair enough?

Why Am I Doing This?

Obviously the idea here is to help create more buzz for the book in the blogosphere, which in turn should help generate more sales. But making more money isn’t my main motivation for doing this. If I just wanted to make more money, I’d have self-published this as an e-book or produced a home study course for a higher price point, and it would already be selling here today. It’s likely I’d make a lot more money from self-publishing than I would by working with a publisher, especially considering that my net income per sale would be around 10x higher if I self-published.

The reason I went with a mainstream publisher is that my primary motivation is to see that the ideas in this book spread to as many people as possible. Call me an idealist, but I think this is a book that will help shift a lot of people’s mindsets for the better. So I think it makes sense to offer free copies to those people who can turn around and share the book’s ideas with many others.

By working with a mainstream publisher, I also ensure that the book will be available in bookstores around the world and translated into multiple languages. There will be versions available for Amazon’s Kindle device and Sony’s ebook reader as well. That’s a lot more than I can do on my own if I self-published, even if I gave the book away for free.

Don’t tell Hay House I said this, but I honestly don’t care if this book earns me a dime. Ok… well maybe I care, but that isn’t my main concern here. My ultimate goal is to change the way people think about personal growth. I’d like to see us abandon the fragmented, fast-and-easy drivel sold by slick marketers, so we can collectively embrace a more practical and holistic process of growth and change that’s aligned with the principles of truth, love, and power.

All Publication Topics and Languages Welcome

Since Personal Development for Smart People is a book about universal principles of growth and change, the ideas in the book can be applied to absolutely any field, so it doesn’t matter if your website’s topic seems totally unrelated to personal growth, self-help, or psychology. Personally I’d love to see people exploring how the book’s ideas can be applied to other fields like game development, fashion, art, music, science, and so on.

Non-English publications are fine too. Hay House is an international publisher, so Personal Development for Smart People will be available worldwide in multiple languages. At this time I don’t know what the non-English release schedule will look like. But if you want to write a review in Russian, Chinese, or any other language, go for it.

How to Request a Review Copy

If you believe you meet the criteria above and would like to request a free review copy of the book, please send me the following info via my contact form: (1) your name, (2) the URL of your website or blog, (3) an estimate of your website’s monthly visitors, (4) any evidence that I can use to verify that your site is more than a ghost town, and (5) your mailing address to receive the review copy.

Review copies will be mailed in September. This offer expires on September 30th, 2008.

Since it’s likely that I’ll be flooded with review copy requests this weekend, please give me up to a week to acknowledge your request.

Interview Requests

If you have a blog, website, podcast, radio show, or other publication and would like to arrange an interview with me related to the launch of Personal Development for Smart People, please let me know as soon as possible. Presently my lead time for interviews is about 2-3 weeks.

Before I announced my book, I would usually receive a few interview requests per month. Now I’m averaging 5-6 requests per week, and this doesn’t include what Hay House’s own PR team will soon generate. So I have to be a lot more selective that I used to be. However, if I must decline your request, I can at least provide you with a standard text interview that you can republish if you’d like (it includes questions and answers); it just won’t be exclusive.

What to Expect

In order to make sure we’re on the same page, if you’re concerned that I’ll be shamelessly promoting this book in the weeks ahead, you’re absolutely right! Given how much effort I put into writing it, I’m certainly not going to wimp out when it comes to telling the world about it. So you can expect more PR-related announcements like this one, especially around October 15th when the book launches. It’s easy enough for people to disregard any announcements and updates that don’t interest them, so if this bothers you for some reason, you should probably get away from the computer and go outside more often. 😉

I also have dozens of ideas for new articles, so rest assured there will be plenty of fresh content appearing here as well. It’s not every day I have a book coming out. 🙂

Update September 1, 2008: More than 300 bloogers have requested review copies in the past few days. About 1 in 8 people forgot to provide their mailing address. This is a print book, not an ebook, so please be sure to provide your mailing address if you want the publisher to mail you a copy.