Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tim And The Red Coats

It appears that the so-called "re-invention" of publishing touted by Amazon and 4-Hour Guy Tim Ferriss involves bandying the we new publishing vs them traditionals in his collaboration with Amazon for The 4-Hour Chef.

Another thing about Ferriss's marketing is he's using BitTorrent to distribute the PR package for The 4-Hour Chef. Often associated with online piracy, BitTorrent seems like an unlikely promotional tool, but Ferriss seems confident. And it's one way of helping to refine BitTorrent's image.

The stats thus far have been encouraging. The PR bundle has been d-loaded about 211,000 times and around 85,000 BitTorrent users have checked out the book at Amazon.

Victory means getting on a best-seller list or something, to "send a message to the incumbent world of publishing, to those who want everything to remain in the 1900's." But is he also claiming that his efforts may be somehow stymied by the "old guard" - presumably Barnes & Noble - as an example to other writers pondering a shift to the "new" publishing model?

At least that's what I can infer from that ... unusual post of his.

So Ferriss appears to be implying that he's a victim of what he sees as unjust busines practices from an 'old school' bookstore chain who won't carry books by Amazon, which makes him an underdog of sorts. And who wouldn't support an underdog?

Tim Ferriss @
Oh yes, I would love to buy a book from this guy

Even if you "must take attack using different means" to get your book sold, please don't paint all publishers red with your big broad brush. More than two centuries after the Red Coats left, 'the colonies' is still a work-in-progress. Just like publishing. At least he didn't outright say that publishers hate authors.

Also, his book isn't banned in the way we are more familiar with. For one, it doesn't look like anybody in the White House sees The 4-Hour Chef as a threat to national security. No religious body seems offended by this book. It's just that Barnes & Noble doesn't want anything by Amazon inside its stores, a move which I think will eventually prove futile.

And Timmy Ferriss is no publishing lightweight. He'll be fine, regardless of who he works with on his book project.

While some may decry his "misleading" marketing strategies, Ferriss's decision to jump ship to Amazon does not make him a traitor or disloyal. Writers have every right to go with an agent, distributor or publisher who they feel can give them the best deal. That's how it's been and will be.

One should also remember that publishers, like corporations, do what's best for them first. That will never change, either.


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