As I remarked once before -- actually in the introduction to the book version of the Grumpy Old Bookman -- bloggers are part of the gift economy. For the most part, bloggers do what they do for the fun of it. And it is also, in some quarters, customary for writers who have produced an actual printed book to give away free PDF copies of it, on the grounds that the resultant buzz -- if the book is buzzworthy -- will more than compensate for any supposed 'loss'.
Furthermore, it is standard practice, of course, for publishers, whether big-time or self-, to send out review copies to established mainstream media. What is much less common is for substantial numbers of free copies of the actual physical book to be handed out to bloggers.
However, Paul Dorrell is doing it. (Thanks to Liam Daly, who designed the book's web site, for the tip.)
Paul is a novelist and gallery owner, and this time out he has produced Living the Artist's Life, a non-fiction book which does pretty much what it says in the publicity, namely, provide a guide to 'growing, persevering, and succeeding in the art world.'
Paul and his publisher, Hillstead Publishing, have decided to give away 250 copies of Living the Artist's Life to any blogger who wants one. No strings attached, apparently, but you must have been blogging for three months and you must have a US mailing address. The last requirement is not surprising, given the hideous cost of airmailing a book anywhere.
Well, it will be interesting to see how cost-effective this exercise is. Full details of the offer are on Paul's blog. You can also read more about the book on its dedicated web site. This is not a new book, by the way: it was published nearly two years ago, so this marketing exercise is also unusual in that respect.
Paul Dorrell's book sounds reminiscent of Julia Cameron's book from the early 1990s, The Artist's Way. Described on the cover as 'A course in discovering and recovering your creative self', this has reportedly sold over two million copies and has proved inspiring to 'creative' people in a number of media. I have a copy, and until I looked at it just now I was sure I'd read it. But since there are no pencil marks whatever on it, I am no longer so sure. Maybe I'm confusing it with something else. In any case it all looks a bit too heavily concerned with 'self-expression' for my taste. But hey -- don't let me put you off.