Progress Report

by Mike Kimel

Cross-posted at the Presimetrics blog.
Progress Report

Getting a book out when you’re a complete unknown is tough. Presimetrics shipped a couple of weeks ago, and we’re doing what we can to get the word out but its slow going. We had a lucky break a few weeks ago when Parade Magazine featured a quiz based on the book. A week ago I had an interview with US News & World Report which I understand will appear in their on-line edition in mid-September.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard that among major bricks & mortar stores, the book is being carried by Borders. According to the publisher, Barnes & Noble ordered copies too, but the local store isn’t carrying it and I’ve heard from people in other locations that they haven’t seen it at B&N locations near them either. Online, its easiest to watch the rankings bounce around on Amazon; they’ve been everywhere between 5,000 (right after the Parade Magazine quiz) and 150,000 in the past couple of weeks. Nobody has put up a review on Amazon yet. (Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen the book reviewed anywhere in the media or in blogs yet.)

The publisher is continuing to try to book us with national media (they were the ones who hooked us up with Parade and USN&WR) but there’s a chicken and egg factor; a certain amount of fame/notoriety/recognition is needed to be featured on many media venues, and being picked up by the media is needed for the book’s existence to become known.

On a more local level, over the past week and a half I’ve been extremely busy with my outside life, but this week I plan to get in touch with local tv & radio shows, and also to look into local book signings. We will also begin going after the academic market, focusing on poli sci/government/recent American history rather than economics; this is a book about governance, after all, and economics is only a component of the book, after all.

Anecdotally, people who are reading the book seem very enthusiastic about it. I suspect word of mouth will lead to the biggest slice of sales for this book in the long run, but that takes a while to build up. The biggest problem, so far, I think, is us – the authors. We’re both low key guys who aren’t hugely comfortable tooting our own horns in a world where marketing beats product. But we’re trying to change our ways.

So that’s where we are. And I’m interested in your feedback. Have you read the book? If so, what do you think about it? If not, does it seem like something you would read? Why or why not? Also, any ideas on marketing are welcome.