Marketing: Off-Road Disciplines

kinnon —  January 19, 2007 — 7 Comments

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Let me say, up front, as I have elsewhere, Earl Creps Off-Road Disciplines is one of my favourite missional books – appealing to my post-charismatic nature. I recommend the book highly and will explain why in greater detail in another post. However, I found the Leadership Network Books blog rather amusing today.

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Bloggers can get Off-Road Disciplines for free from Leadership Network. Well, sort of free. All you have to do is agree to write a review of the book on your blog and put a book review up at Amazon – it can be favourable or unfavourable.

So let’s do some math. It will probably take the average reader about five to six hours to read the book. A well written review will take about an hour. Assuming you’ll do the same review at Amazon, you are probably looking at another 15 minutes to get your review up at Amazon. So for an agreed investment of 7.25 hours, Leadership Network will give you a “free book”.

Now the book probably costs around five to six dollars in production costs. Shipping and handling adds another four bucks, max. So for a ten dollar investment, the good people at Leadership Network want you to agree to invest 7.25 hours. My advice, buy the book from Amazon – they are available from $14.91. Enjoy the read – and write a great review because you want to. You’re worth more than $1.37 per hour.
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If you wander over to the Leadership Network Books blog, please note that they quote a favourable comment from me about ORD in the post before the one I’ve commented on here. And I did receive a free copy of the book originally with an expectation that I would blog about it – but without the “contract.” The decision to write or not write was still my own.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to Marketing: Off-Road Disciplines

  1. Wait a minute….
    They are going to send you a free copy of the book you are going to write a review about?
    How do you read the book to review it prior to getting it? Or are they going to post you a cheque for the $14.97 after you do the review?

    I never understand that type of marketing. It’s sdrawkcab….. I mean backwards.

    That being said, I did sign up…. 😉

  2. It’s a good book, Chris. Well worth the read. And considering our church backgrounds, very good for people like you and me.

    The marketing is just a touch silly. ‘Tis all.

  3. hey – I’m Anglican by association – I married into it, but I was born United….
    Not that it matters…
    Or are you referring to our mega-church associations/ experiences?

  4. Thanks for your comments 🙂 To give credit where credit is due, the free book giveaway is from the generosity of Jossey-Bass/Wiley. And it is implied in the giveaway that you’d read the book before writing a blog entry and a book review about it, but maybe for some people we should make that explicit 🙂

  5. DJ,
    I think you’re missing my point. It’s not generosity – it’s marketing. And the books aren’t free as the Leadership Network Blog has created a contract – agree to write a post on your blog AND at Amazon – and you get a book. It’s a form of work for hire.

    Now enforcing the contract would probably be problematic – but I’m sure you could annoy the stuffing out of people who don’t fulfill the “contract.”

    That being said, Off-Road Disciplines is a very good book. I hope fifty people do write glowing reviews of the book – whether they get it from you or not.

    Being as smart as you are, do I really need to spell it out? :-}

  6. yeah, yeah, yeah….. I thought so.

    I am actually looking forward to reading it, Bill. It sounds interesting and thought provoking.
    I do agree with your thoughts about it being marketing, though.
    BTW – I hit return at the wrong time – so there is a blank comment. Sorry. :-}

  7. I think the marketing tactic by Leadership Network is entirely appropriate. If someone is going to read the book, it will give them some motivation to finish it and write their thoughts if they got it free and they have made the agreement to put it on the web. Having lots of people review books is good I think. I guess that is the Wikipedia in me.

    But I grant the fact that writing book reviews in the academic world and in the publishing world is not going to make you rich. I was given this book by Leadership journal to review it for them. It is a service and you have to realize that.

    Brian McLaren’s publisher W gave out The Secret Message of Jesus to people who would review it on and got 124 reviews on with a total of 3 stars our of 5. Lots of reviews but not superb ratings. But still almost in the top 1000 of books sold so they probably achieved their objective.

    Here is my Creps books review:

    link to


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