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Getting Your Book Reviewed Is Easier If You Look In Your Own Neighborhood.

Updated on September 6, 2016

A True Story:

This is a true story. Names have been changed for privacy:

We lived in a small town in Florida and an alligator somehow got into a water drain pipe outside our home and passersby could see the gator through the grate in the sidewalk and would stop and look at it. Eventually people began throwing bread and other foods down the grate for the gator and watch him eat.


The grate was 50 feet away from our front door -- right outside. Word spread about the gator and more people would pass by, stop and watch the gator through the grate. Our children were small and my wife was having a fit.

So, I called every single government agency I could think of to come out and get rid of the gator. But each agency kept passing the buck to another agency.

“Is the drain pipe in the road berm?”

“No it’s under the sidewalk.” I said.

“Well, the sidewalk is most likely on the road berm and that's a State Road, so you need to contact the Department of Transportation....”

When I called the DOT, they told me the sidewalk and drain pipe weren’t on the road berm but I could go and get a map from the zoning department to show where the sidewalk was actually located and then they would tell me which agency had jurisdiction.

I went to the Zoning Department. Zoning couldn’t help me since the sidewalk had been built by the local service club; and Zoning wasn’t even sure if the sidewalk had been properly permitted. They told me to go to the Mapping Department to find the sidewalk’s exact location.

When I went to Mapping they couldn't find a current map of where the sidewalk was located since the sidewalk had been recently constructed and they weren’t sure where the map was. The mapping department told me to go to try the Building Permit Department; but they couldn’t find a record either but suspected it was in their office somewhere and to give them “A day or two to find it….”


It went on and on. I called the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s office, but the Governor's office referred me to the State DOT (where I first started) since the sidewalk was near a state road and the city had no jurisdiction over state roads.

Several days passed and still no one came out to remove the gator. My wife was getting so angry, I thought I would chip up the concrete around the sidewalk grate and pull the gator out myself since I would rather face the gator than my angry wife (Men, you know what I mean?).


Luckily, I had a friend, Dan, who was a reporter for our local newspaper and told him the full story about the gator in the drain pipe: “Hell, Dan, no one’s coming out to get rid of that gator. I keep getting the red tape run around.” I said.

"Maybe they can't get rid of this gator? This could be a real life situation like the 1980’s horror film, “Alligator". Dan said.

Dan came right out and took a look down at the gator and had a newspaper photographer get a picture. Dan wrote a story about it entitled, “Why Can’t They Remove this Alligator from the City Sewer?”

About 4 hours after the Dan’s story broke, I got a call from the DOT asking where the sidewalk was. I told them where it was and a DOT truck came out followed by a Seminole Indian in a pick-up truck. They stopped in front of our house. The DOT man busted up the concrete around the grate. The Seminole (wearing a Crocodile Dundee hat) dropped a pole with noose at the end into the drain and both men pulled the gator out, rolled duct tape around it’s jaws, and tossed the gator in back of the Indian’s pick-up truck.

This is not the Seminole that got the gator out but he looked just like this.
This is not the Seminole that got the gator out but he looked just like this. | Source

The whole scenario took 10 minutes after my two days of knocking on government agency doors. Our lives were back to normal!


That evening, I bought Dan a beer and thanked him and praised the power of media.

“Yes we get people’s attention right away and it’s great to be able to help you out.” Dan said.

"I owe you one." I said.

So what’ve you been up to?”

“I’ve just published a small book about golf. Say, you’re a golfer, you want to read it?”

Dan, being an avid golfer agreed, and liked my book so much he wrote a review of it and sales, of course, increased. Strange thing was, before all this I didn't even think of bothering Dan to ask him to review my book.


Every Book Review Helps, Of Course!

Our local paper wasn't the NY Times. Just a local newspaper with about a 100,000 readers. The point of this whole story is sometimes the media is right in front of you and getting a review is not that hard if you look around your neighborhood at local papers. Perhaps someone you know well might know a media reporter who might be interested in your book?

You can also get a free book promotion at


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