Thomas Nelson Starts Reader Review Program

By Rachel Deahl (Publishers Weekly)

Thomas Nelson is putting out a call for reviewers. The publisher has launched a program called Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers, allowing readers to register at a Web site in order to receive a free copy of a select book for review purposes. At the site,, which is now live, there are currently nine books available for review. For its part, Nelson requires potential reviewers to write 200-word reviews and post them both on its blogger site and on

The idea for the program, according to Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt, came out his own blogging. After Hyatt started talking about two books on his blog, Stephen Mansfield’s The Faith of Barack Obama and Lynne Spears’ Through the Storm, he noticed a number of readers and fellow bloggers wanted to discuss the books. In August, Hyatt offered free copies of Mansfield’s book and the move generated over 100 online reviews. Now, with this program, Hyatt wants to generate similar reactions. “Good or bad, we want people online talking about our books.”

A spokesperson at Nelson told PW that the publisher plans to ship a limited number of free copies on each title, but that the number will vary, ranging anywhere from 50 to 1,000. What of negative reviews? Hyatt isn’t worried. “The positive reviews will be a priceless word-of-mouth marketing vehicle and the negative reviews will be a useful tool in understanding why a product might not have sold at retail.”

Thomas Nelson Starts Reader Review Program – 10/29/2008 8:07:00 AM – Publishers Weekly.

NOTE: I’ve signed up and ordered a copy of The Faith of Barack Obama—can’t wait to receive it!