January 19, 2018

Wiley Reaching Out to Bloggers by Mailing Books

Got a package from J Wiley, the publisher, last month. It contained a copy of Personal Finance for Dummies and a letter. Here’s what the letter said:

Dear Stephan,

It’s a new year, a start of new beginnings, challenges, and opportunities.

Maybe you’ve resolved to try something new, to challenge yourself, and expand your horizons. I hope we can help with that.

When you attended BlogHer last year, you indicated that you would like to take the Dummies challenge. With this book, I invite you to do so. Whether you choose to tell your readers about your project is up to you. I do hope that you experience the success that millions of other For Dummies readers have.

If you want to try even more, consider stopping by Dummies.com. For Dummies is already the most widely recognized and highly regarded reference series in the world. Now, Dummies.com is bringing the how-to brand you know and trust online, and whether that means directions on how to set up a new PC, make dinner in your slow cooker, knit your first sweater, or load your new iPod, you can trust Dummies.com to tell it like it is, without all the technical jargon. However you like to learn – by watching how-to videos, looking at photo step-by-steps, reading articles, or following our team of expert bloggers — Dummies.com will make everything easier.

Please share your experiences, for better or worse, with me. You can find me on Twitter (@elleinthecity), Facebook, or you can email me at —–@wiley.com.

Best regards,
Ellen Gerstein
Marketing Director
Blogging at trueconfessions.wordpress.com

I edited out her email address as otherwise the spammers with their email address harvesters will grab her email address from this post.

I vaguely recall opting in for something book-related at BlogHer. So I’m pretty confident that this wasn’t a completely unsolicited reach-out. But even if it had been, I still wouldn’t have minded. What blogger would mind getting a free book, especially if it’s relevant/useful to them?

I congratulate Wiley on this blogger outreach campaign. I think it was tastefully done. And hey, you got a link out of it. Actually I gave you three. So it worked. 😉

Anything Wiley should do differently? Hmm, well I found the letter quite dry. I didn’t really read it, just scanned it, as it was clearly marketingspeak. It would have been great if the letter was truly personalized to me and it was clear she had visited my blog. Now *that* would have been impressive!

7 comments for Wiley Reaching Out to Bloggers by Mailing Books

  1. They’re probably the most switched on publisher in using social media. Also publish David M Scott, who published “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”.

    Comment by David Koopmans — March 1, 2009 @ 2:13 am

  2. That’s interesting that a large publishing house like is promoting it’s authors by mailing out copies of new books to bloggers. I think that is the way of the future for those of us who self-publish on places like createspace or lulu. You won’t get the time of day from a newspaper book review editor as a self-publisher but bloggers is another thing. Promotion is not free but we all have limited resources. If one buys in bulk, author copies are cheap. I’m going to do this with my next self-published work.

    Comment by Joe — March 8, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

  3. Hi there…

    Yes, this book was in response to something we were featuring at BlogHer. WAAAAAY back in July of 2008. Maybe you remember it, but maybe you don’t. Can’t blame ya! I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

    Anyhow, the goal of the challenge was to connect with the bloggers at the conference and offer them something of value. When I attended in 2007, I heard a lot of people talking about resolutions to try new things, taking on new challenges, and “improving” themselves. I put improving in quotes, because I think that’s a subjective thing – most people I met needed little improvement.

    So Wiley folks attending BH talked about ways to help people do that, engage the blogging community with something fun, and help get the word out about our site relaunch. Hence, the Dummies challenge was born.

    I sure took my sweet time getting these books out to people! I totally take responsibility for that, but my delay enabled us to tie the challenge books into the new Dummies.com launch, and that happened later than I thought it would. Regardless, the new site is up, and it’s such an improvement over what we originally had. Traffic is good, and feedback has been positive.

    Thanks for your advice. As I’m sure you tell your readers, when you reach out to bloggers, you have to have your ducks all in a row, and be prepared to hear lots of feedback, and not all of it good. I appreciate your talking about the promotion, and certainly don’t mind if people contact me directly to ask questions about it or try to take the challenge themselves. You list my twitter ID, which is the best way to reach me, or thru my email which is egerstein at wiley dot com (bot spammers be dammed!).

    Thanks again,

    Comment by Ellen Gerstein — March 11, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  4. Wow, sounds like a pretty good deal. Can’t beat a free book.

    Comment by Sharon Wilson — March 23, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  5. Glad to hear Wiley is reaching out to bloggers. Am helping to promote a book published by Wiley & Sons – The Impossible Advantage (http://www.impossible-advantage.com). It has been difficult to figure out what they have done in terms of promotion.

    Comment by chris — March 24, 2009 @ 2:42 am

  6. Very interesting. I’m sure they will get a lot of requests now for this package. Too cool.

    Comment by Candace — March 24, 2009 @ 8:59 am

  7. Great gesture by Wiley.

    Comment by Jack Zufelt — April 2, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

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