A while ago the author of the Fifth Column series, Mr. Nathan M. Farrugia, contacted me on Goodreads because he had read my reviews of the Theirs Not to Reason Why series by Jean Johnson. He offered me the first book in his book-series for free. Naturally I am not so naive as to think this was only because he thought my reviews are great pieces of prose (although I hope that if he thought they are really bad he would not have bothered). Anyway, this is of course also an opportunity for him to do some publicity for his book and he surely hopes that I will find the book good and want to buy the next book in the series as well as write a good review for it.
Personally I think there’s nothing wrong with this. It is not exactly blind spamming. He picked one of my reviews for a book that I liked and that concerned a book with similarities to his own work. He gets a chance of promoting his books and I get a free book and will read a book that probably would have fallen under my radar otherwise. I think it also shows the advantages of these focused social media sites that cater for people with a common interest unlike general sites like Facebook (Facecrap) which, to me, is little more than a graffiti-filled electronic toilet wall. On Goodreads both readers and authors gather and if you put just a little bit of effort into it you get loads of great new tips for your reading hobby.
I think it is also a score for e-books. It is my firm opinion that e-books make it easier for new and independent authors to create and distribute their work, especially for trying out the waters so to speak. In this case for instance, I got a Goodreads message to which I replied and literally minutes later I had the book in my email inbox. No way one would have done that with a traditional paper book not to mention that this cost the author nothing but a wee bit of time whereas sending paper books around would have cost money.
Well, now I only hope that I will find the book to be a good one as well. We will se. I will probably have a go at it after I have finished my current book.