How to Sell a Book.
I've been getting lots of very kind suggestions about how to market "The Whistleblower."
But actually, the key to be successful with a book is word of mouth. That means you guys. Without you this book would go nowhere. And thanks to many of you this book is off to a great start, in fact we have sold more books during the first four weeks, than the blockbuster "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," sold.
Here is what my publisher recently told me:
People buy books because of word of mouth. It's the nature of the product. It was the old conventional wisdom and the new conventional wisdom--the internet simply eases the process of one friend or trusted interlocutor "speaking" to another.
So book promotion basically entails triggering as many word-of-mouth actions as possible, in order to achieve a critical mass. All books that sell well over the long run do so because the word-of-mouth engine is humming.
Overall, my publisher has cut back on the number of e-mail blasts, because folks weren't acting on them. Reading them sure, but not acting on them in terms of reviewing a book, interviewing an author, running a feature...
Contrariwise, publicity like NY Post, MM&M, CNN/Glenn Beck, Lenny Lopate, Bloomberg, Fortune, local radio and such, is so key because they've got a loyal audience--Beck and Lopate are like trusted friends to their fans--the folks Rush Limbaugh used to call his ditto heads. Oprah's genius is not her ratings which are lower than a lot of primetime and breakfast stuff, but rather the kind of bond she has with her audience, one that is intimate and shared, and a word from her about a book traverses that intimate bond...the less intimate a bond, the less effective the statement "this book will speak to you personally"
Consequently, my publisher's focus has been on generating that kind of publicity, and we've been plugging away with that stuff all along, actually. But the process is like really bad baseball, one hit in every 15-20 at-bats. But it's not something one can give up on, it's something that we have to keep pushing, sending books to radio producers, magazine editors, websites, every day another dozen copies of the book go out to new folks, and that's the process that has borne greatest fruit over the long run: "The Whistleblower" is a David and Goliath story and is timeless, so we expect to keep doing this for a long time to come.
One particularly noteworthy thing is that we've not yet been covered by the progressive press, and they will be key to the book over the long run: Many of the blogs, CNN, Bloomberg, Fortune, BrandWeek are all in the news/opinion/business sphere. The good part is that this means there's a whole universe of stuff waiting for us there. Now that said, we've got many, many copies of the book out in the progressive world, but they're slow. The magazines are quarterly or bi-monthly, the websites are way understaffed.
As for libraries, as some of you have suggested...to be reviewed in BOOKLIST, they need to get the book 4 months before publication. We couldn't do that for various reasons, but this is not the type of book they review anyway. They review, on average about one quarter of my publisher's books, mostly fiction. Also, it takes a starred review to get orders above 500 units from libraries.
This is a long way of saying that the difference for this book will be made by YOU. In the end it is what YOU say to your friends and YOUR action that makes a something happen . . .
And if you can't afford the book, but want to read it, ask your library and they just may buy it...remember $10 is about as cheaply as you can get any book today.