How do you get someone to read your book? Give it away and call it the worst

I received a Goodreads email Thursday night (1-7-21) and the subject line was “John Rachel has invited you to the event: FREE READ … The Worst Book Ever Written!”

I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see what this was all about from an author I knew nothing about.

I blocked out five minutes of my valuable 24/7 downtime for research as a warm prospective customer, a marketing term I learned from Mella Music.

Rachel’s Amazon page says that he “has written eight novels, three political non-fiction books, and a fantasy/travel/cookbook about the dietary preferences of mermaids.”

This is the pitch he delivered in the Goodreads email:

Date: January 08, 2021 12:00PM

Venue: Everywhere bad books are read! (US, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand)

Location: The United States


The worst book ever written is now available.

I’m giving away free ebooks to the first 100 people who send me a message here at Goodreads. Put ‘Free SEX. LIES & COFFEE BEANS’ in the subject line.
Specify EPUB, Kindle or PDF.

Tell me if you think it’s worst book ever written. If not, I’d like to know what could possibly be worse.

Have a nice day!

Your Response:




I hope you saw the humor. I did. I laughed

Imagine consciously branding your new book as the worst, a line basically stolen from Adam Weinstein.

You’re at risk for a great blunder like the one a New Orleans pizza chain made in the 1960s.

Mr. Pizza was the name of the business, which had TV ads and its slogan was “World’s Worst Pizza.”

“It wasn’t the worst, really,” New Orleans restaurant critic Tom Fitzmorris wrote in 2010. “They threw their own crusts and baked their pizzas in the classic Blodgett stone-floored ovens. But it wasn’t the best, either.

“The chain fell apart in the 1970s, but some of the restaurants kept going for years. VIP Pizza in River Ridge started as a Mr. Pizza and has never closed, although it’s not much like Mr. Pizza anymore.”

I never went to Mr. Pizza. I was never interested. I was young and gullible. When Mr. Pizza said it had the “World’s Worst Pizza,” I believed it was true. Back then, I was serious about pizza and I’m more serious about it now in my late 60s.

Rachel is joking about his own work. I recognize a really smart self-deprecator and self-effacer, and you’ve got to be careful spelling deprecator because you might make an embarrassing mistake.

As I edit this post, maybe those self words are incorrect.

On further review, I think Rachel is practicing the not-so-subtle art of self-amusement, being playful and having fun to get attention.

He had me at “Coffee,” so I did what he said to do and emailed him immediately that I would appreciate a free copy of “Sex, Lies & Coffee Beans,” though I left out my preferred ebook format. That was fixed Friday morning (1-8-21) after I heard back from him.

I received my copy Friday night (1-8-21) and I’m excited to start reading it this week.

I took a look inside “Sex, Lies & Coffee Beans” and was entertained Friday night at Amazon, where the Kindle edition is just 99 cents, which is almost as good as free. Literary Vagabond is the publisher of the book, which came out on Dec. 20, 2020. You know, 20-20. Five days before Christmas. Merry, merry.

“Sex, Lies & Coffee Beans” is an American satire and work of fiction in which the main character is Dr. Joy Smothers, the folk-singing psychologist who played a major role in self-help in the 1980s and 1990s.

Joy Smothers. I like the sound of her name. I wonder if she believed that joy smothers. I wonder if she was related to the Smothers Brothers. I wonder if Dr. Joyce Brothers inspired her.

It doesn’t matter.

A Thursday night email can be the highlight of the week.

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