It is always exciting to get an email from a publisher who wants to promote a new book. It wasn’t until about a year into the creation of the Hour of History Podcast that publishers started reaching out to me about new books. Before the pandemic, they would say that a book was in the mail for review. Now, they usually send a pdf of the book in the first email. It is still exciting to me to see a university or popular press that wants to get eyes on a new publication.
At the peak of the Hour of History Podcast in late 2019, I would get emails every few days. Now that the show is on hiatus, the emails are less frequent, but they still come through.
Although the books sent to me are usually about history, they are not always about history that I have studied. Sometimes the are on topics that I would not regularly choose to read about.
I was always aware that while such books were free, they came attached to the unpaid duty of reviewing them, promoting them, and talking about them. Yet, something about the feeling of getting a free book outweighed the common sense that would suggest one should not to work for free.
I still read all the books that people send me or suggest I read. I don’t always finish them, but I respect the work that the author, editer, and publisher put into making the book a reality. In a way, I am happy that the presses send pdf versions rather than physical copies now as it is probably better from the environment.
It seems that the amount of free media will continue to increase, if society continues on its path. This would be a good thing for writers and readers alike, as long as people still buy books and hire authors to speak along the way. I am already looking forward to the next books that are sent my way.