Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Brief Bulletin

We interrupt this blog for a desperate act of shameless self-promotion:

CPAC is a great place to meet conservative people, which was why I was there promoting DONKEY CONS. In the modern marketplace for books -- especially conservative books -- there is no substitute for personal effort by the author. As a newspaper guy, over the years I’ve sometimes been a little put off by authors aggressively promoting their books. (Not naming names, since some of my best friends are authors.)

Now that we’ve got a book coming out -- which you can ORDER NOW ON AMAZON! -- I understand why authors and their publicists are so aggressive. Advertising doesn’t sell books. Even if NelsonCurrent devoted one meeel-lion dollars to advertise DONKEY CONS (did I mention it was available on Amazon for 34% off list price?), it would not have nearly the impact as will talk radio, personal appearances and other efforts by a couple of authors who are completely shameless self-promoters. You know: The kind of people who will put up a blog devoted exclusively to reminding people that you can now buy DONKEY CONS at Amazon.com for the low, low price of only $16.49.

Of course, it helps if you’ve got an exciting book about a timely topic, like we do. But even then, you gotta pimp the book. Excuse the language, but that’s the phrase that was on my mind at CPAC: I was pimping the book. Or pimping myself. At any rate, I was talking to anyone who would listen about the joys and wonders of DONKEY CONS, which is now available at Amazon.com for just $16.49 (fishnet stockings and stlletto heels not included). Our D.C. publicist tells me I’ve got to wait until the book is actually in stores before I start turning tricks with talk-radio hosts, but in the meantime, that’s me leaning on the lamppost with the leather bustier and the come-hither look, OK?

Being an extrovert helps when you’re in book-pimping mode, as does sheer desperation. Let’s do our Five-Point Author Desperation Checklist:

1. First-time author? Check.
2. Not exactly a household name? Check.
3. Got the proverbial “face for radio”? Check.
4. Promotion/travel time limited by the obligations of a full-time job? Check.
5. Co-authorship means you only get half the royalties? Check.

So I was glad-handing every CPAC-er in sight, handing out business cards and chapter samplers (a 24-page pamphlet with the prologue and Chapter 1 of the book) and collecting business cards in return. “Yeah, I’ll send you an e-mail as soon as I get home. We’ve got to get together and have lunch sometime, man.”

Then, I get home -- and I can’t find half the stack of business cards I so assiduously collected!

Which means it’s time to amend our Five-Point Author Desperation Checklist:

5(b). Hopelessly disorganized slob? Check.

Did I mention that you can buy DONKEY CONS now at Amazon.com for 34% off the cover price? Now only $16.49! Did I tell you that Amazon.com is now estimating a delivery date as early as March 1-6? And how do you think I look in these fishnet stockings, sweetheart?

-- McCAIN