Friday, October 19, 2007

One Way To Get People To Come To Your Booksigning

An item from yesterday's Pub Lunch, the free email update on the book business put out by Publishers Weekly: Learning Annex president Bill Zanker paid people to line up outside the BN store on Fifth Avenue and 46th Street in New York for a signing by Donald Trump of their joint book THINK BIG AND KICK ASS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE. Zanker dispensed $100 each to the first 100 people in line, $50 each to the next 100, and $10 each to the next 1,000 or so people.

Do the math. That's $25,000! Just to get people to stand in line for your booksigning? I wonder, did they buy the book, or did they just stand in line? And what is the purpose of this? So they could get a picture of that long line stretching around the block?

And if you're a writer, check out Steve Malley's posts this week. The most recent is a brilliant examination of lazy and effective ways of expressing character emotion, while the one below that is on structure. Insightful stuff!


Lisa said...

That seems like a risky move and a big expense to me too. I get the impression that book signings aren't high on publishers' lists of moneymaking activities and judging by the ones I've attended, I'd have to agree. Maybe they wanted to get a photo of the line to use in some kind of ad or press release to indicate the popularity of the book?

Charles Gramlich said...

Like hiring extras for a movie. I'm thinking of paying people to ban my book. I think that would get it some attention.

Steve Malley said...

That line, and the money spent on it, played on the six o'clock new last night: here in New Zealand.

I loathe Trump, but the man has a bone-deep understanding of vulgar spectacle. His whole persona is a tribute to venality and excess.

Charles has the right idea!

Robert said...

Bill Zanker is an amazing person. I have met him and he is as schrewd as D Trump. 25K to do this is an amazing way for him to get millions of dollars of publicity. He buit the Learning Annex , where a lot of my friends speak, and risk means nothing to Bill.

Bill, that was one smart hell of a move

Robert Paisola
Western Capital

Angie said...

From what I read elsewhere, a lot of people just stood in line to get their money, then took off without bothering to go into the store, much less buy the book.

That wasn't the point, though. As was said above, Trump and Zanker did it for the publicity and it worked. Whether or not any of those people actually bought their book was irrelevant. They wanted people talking, reporting and blogging, "OMG did you hear what they did?!" and, well, here we are. :)


Anonymous said...

Just Curious...
If Ol' Billy Boy the Zanksta included a chapter on how to lie, cheat and swindle your loyal investors & employees on the way to the Big Time?

And how to save a few more lousy bucks by remaining illegally uninsured by state mandated worker's compensation insurance?