There are 2 kinds of people who ask for free review copies of my e-books, paperbound books, audio programs, and other info-products.
The first is a media person or digital marketer who thinks I would benefit tremendously by getting my product talked about on or in his Internet radio show, podcast, newsletter, blog, or whatever.
My answer: Sorry, I do not give free review copies. If you want the product, you can buy it like everyone else.
Does this shock you? There are 2 good reasons for my refusal to give these “media people” my book or course for free.
First, who are they? I have never heard of 99.9% of them. So I question whether they reach much of an audience or would give me much benefit from a review. If the guy was calling from CNBC—which I’ve been on, by the way—that’s a different story.
Recently SW asked for free copies of about a dozen of my products, and got very huffy when I refused.
He told me in essence I was a fool to refuse him because he has an online magazine, which of course I never heard of.
He claims the magazine has 20,000 e-mail subscribers (I have 65,000, and my list is not considered huge, so big whoop) and gets 5,000 views per day.
Back in the day, when I ran ads in magazines, we only advertised in publications with audited circulations, meaning their subscriber base was verified by a third-party bureau.
Sadly, there is little or no auditing of online magazines, blogs, and the like. So when they claim a huge readership, you are really taking their word for it—and in most cases, I choose not to.
The second reason for my no-free-review-copies policy is: I have no idea whether the requests are legitimate, and in my experience, most are not. They are basically some guy with a blog no one reads who uses it to mooch products from info-product marketers like me.
SW also implies I am foolish to turn him down because Random House, Penguin, and other big publishers send him review copies.
Well, just because they’re suckers doesn’t mean I have to be!
Okay. So that’s the “media people”. The other group of freebie moochers is people who tell me I should send them a review copy because they want to sell my product as an affiliate.
What they do not understand is the 99/1 rule of affiliate marketing: 99% of your affiliate sales will be generated by 1% of your affiliates—known in the business as “super affiliates”.
These are big Internet marketers with large lists who can move a lot of product, and these super affiliates are worth their weight in gold.
One of them sold $19,000 worth of my $19 e-book with a single e-mail blast to their list!
Conversely, and this is my point, the other 99% of affiliates—we call them “ordinary affiliates”—will account for only 1% of your affiliate sales.
The sad fact is that most of these ordinary affiliates don’t know Internet marketing and won’t sell a single copy of your product. They are worth their weight in lint.
Virtually all the affiliates demanding free review copies are ordinary affiliates, and if they want your product, tell them to buy it like anyone else.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.