If you've been reading this blog lately, you know that I've got a new book coming out in September called Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst. As all of you also know, the book business is in a period of profound transition, and the ways that publishers produce and market books is in flux. My view, after talking to lots of people in the business over the past year, the bad news is that it is a period where "nobody knows anything," but the good news is that it is a period where many people in the business know that many of their old skills and assumptions are obsolete. The other bit of good news -- at least to me, as I am attracted to the notion of pushing the envelope -- is that they are willing to try weird new things. This blog post is one of them.
As some of you may know, one of the ways that publishers promote books for authors is that they print a bunch of "galleys" or "advanced copies" of the book -- essentially cheap paperback versions of the book that usually have a few typos and may need a little more editing -- to send to the press and other opinion leaders. In recent years, publishers and publicist have also made a practice of sending advanced copies of books to influential bloggers. I am a big believer in this practice, in part, because I believe that -- more than anything else -- the success of The No Asshole Rule was driven by early buzz on the blogs, and in particular, a key early post followed a couple months later by a post on the ARSE test by the amazing Guy Kawasaki.
We are using a similar strategy to create buzz and encourage people to do pre-orders at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I have written a lot of bloggers I know to ask if they would like a galley, and now that the power of blogs has been recognized in the book business, the publicists I am working with have supplied my lists of influential blogs -- ones visited by many people each day. So I have written many of the people on the list, even when I don't know them. I have been pleasantly surprised by how nearly all have written back and the support and enthusiasm they've expressed. This is weird to say, but the occasional rejections have been equally wonderful. I especially liked Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame), as he wrote that he was really too busy to do it, and added that he would probably never read a hard copy of any book again! I still like the old-fashioned hard copies (although I also like reading books on my wife's Kindle, but not so much on my IPad as I wrote here).
In addition to this strategy of writing notes to a bunch of bloggers I know or hope might be interested in my book, I also would like to give the opportunity to bloggers I have may have overlooked or don't know to get a copy of the galley, and I hope, say something about it on their blog if they find it interesting. So, if you are an active blogger, please write me and my publisher will send you a galley, which should arrive in the next couple weeks. I am trying to keep this as open and "non-elite" as possible, but there are few guidelines:
1. We have 50 galleys to mail out, when they are gone, they are gone.
2. Because my publisher -- which is paying to send these out -- sells the book primarily in the U.S. and Canada, this is restricted to bloggers in those countries.
3. I don't care how many visitors you have, but I do care that you have a legitimate blog and that you blog actively (say at least three or for times a month?). So please send me the URL and your email so I can check it out. We also will need a mailing address so we can send you the galley, so please include that in your note. Also, although I think I am pretty open-minded, I reserve the right to decline to send a galley to blog that offends my (biased) sensibilities.
4. If you are interested, and "fit" the above guidelines, please send a note with the above information to my gmail account.
If you do get a galley, posting anytime is fine should you decide to do that, and it would be especially nice if you provided a link to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or another online seller and gently encouraged your readers who are interested in buying the book to consider pre-ordering it -- as that helps the book succeed.
Note I have never tried anything like this before and therefore not entirely sure what I am doing -- so please forgive me if I am doing anything badly or unfair. Whether you are a blogger or not, please let me know what you think of this idea and if you have any suggestions of how to make it flow easier for either bloggers or my publisher and me. Thanks so much, and I will give you a report about how this little experiment turns out.