“Survival of the Richest” So Far
My new book Survival of the Richest has been out less than a month. It’s been Amazon’s #1 New Release in the category of Unemployment for most of that time. I’ve been ridiculed for this by a few of my Facebook “friends,” because many of Amazon’s categories don’t have that many new books. For the record, authors have nothing to do with putting their books in these categories. It’s purely a strategy that all publishers employ, and it’s a good one.
Speaking of Amazon, I’ve been contacted by one reader who informed me that he tried to post a 5-star review of Survival of the Richest, but it never appeared. He actually contacted Amazon customer service, and they gave him the bizarre excuse that “the book has sold a lot of copies, but it only has one review,” as if that was some kind of reasonable explanation. As always, I’d love interested readers to post reviews, but if you encounter this kind of issue, please contact me. I did mention Jeff Bezos quite a bit in the book. My paranoia kicks in here, and I wonder if Amazon has some kind of search feature that looks for those kinds of things.
The Amazon ranking hasn’t been all that impressive, which makes all the more curious the customer service representative’s statement about it selling a lot of copies. The ranking also doesn’t seem to jibe with the really impressive start the book has had in libraries all over the country. I don’t think I’m the only author who checks the status of their books in libraries, and I see lots of copies ordered, a bunch of holds from patrons and a few glowing reviews.
I was thrilled (and frankly surprised) when Salon, one of the biggest web sites in the world, published the entire introduction to the book earlier this month. It didn’t seem to result in much of an uptick in the Amazon ranking, however, which I clearly expected. For those interested, here’s the link to that article: Salon Article- The Rich Are Winning
The response to the book on Facebook and other social media has been a bit disappointing as well. When I posted the link to the Salon article, for instance, I expected a lot of “likes” and comments. However, there were only a handful. Sometimes I wonder about my Facebook “friends.” I haven’t sent out any friend requests for years, and most of the ones I regularly get are from people who tell me they love my writing. Is it petty to wonder why these seeming fans of my work don’t have much interest in “liking” or commenting on my posts?
Skyhorse also wound up passing on my book about bullying and the social hierarchy in schools, tentatively titled Bully Nation, which they had held for nearly a year. I was really amazed at this, and am considering my options. The book is filled with powerful, true stories of what some youngsters have to face every day in our schools. More importantly, it documents how, in virtually every case, the school authorities sided with the bullies and not the victims. I know it’s a hard sell, even though it should have perhaps the biggest audience of all my books. Criticizing the schools isn’t a popular position to take, and in many ways it’s my most controversial book.
I’ve done a few interviews for the new book already, and will be on John B. Wells’ “Caravan to Midnight” show tomorrow night. I’ve sent feelers out to even some mainstream media outlets, because theoretically they ought to be interested in this subject. If you want the book to have a wider platform, contact C-SPAN, NPR and the like, and ask them to have me on to talk about it. Reader support really helps, and I would appreciate anything you can offer.
Although Survival of the Richest is already in many library systems, I would love it if you’d request that your library system (and your college library) add the book to their collection. A sale is a sale, and it doesn’t cost you anything to have your library purchase it. Also, word of mouth is the best kind of advertisement. If you like my work, please mention it to your friends.
Sorry if this seems more like an advertisement than my usual blog entry, but authors have to do most of their own promotion these days. I read every email and message readers send me, and am always gratified to get them. When that support goes beyond that, to posting ratings on Goodreads and reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or elsewhere, I truly, truly appreciate it.
I wanted to update everyone on the status of the new book, and future projects. Hidden History 2: The Prequel is finished as well, but I’d ideally like it to be published after Bully Nation. On the fiction front, I can’t seem to get much traction. Sean Stone, Oliver Stone’s son, loved my novel The Simulators and sent it to the guy who directed Lawnmower Man and several other films. However, when I asked him for an update, it didn’t seem like things were moving. As I’ve discovered more than once, that seems to be the way things work in Hollywood.
Again, thanks for all your support. Please read Survival of the Richest, and if you like it, consider passing the word along to your friends, asking your library system to purchase it, writing reviews, talking about it on social media, or anything else to promote it. I’ll be very grateful if you do.