Bob Eckstein is not overjoyed about the results of his book tour to promote The History of the Snowman, which involved visits to seven states, ate up well over a thousand miles and sold only 41 books. I assume that last figure represents books physically sold during his speaking engagements, otherwise I’d have to think that appearances on Good Morning America and Martha Stewart’s show are waaaaay overrated as publicity tools.
Not to crow or anything, but my publicity tour for The Last Three Miles covered only two states (three if you count ferry trips from Hoboken to New York City to speak on WNYC and WBAI) but sold a couple hundred books in total: I always made sure to have a carton shipped by the publisher before every appearance.
On the other hand, I didn’t score any big-time television appearances — maybe I should join the crowd outside The Today Show and wave a copy of my book whenever Al Roker wanders into view — and didn’t rate even a mention in People magazine. Maybe it stems from that time I told them to quit bugging me about doing one of their “Sexiest Man Alive” photo shoots: Buzz off, I told them, it’s not like Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt don’t have telephones, you know. Damn — I should have thought about the possible repercussions!
Also, Eckstein got a much bigger advance and print run than I did. So I guess it all evens out.
Besides, that photo of the panel truck with ads for his book gave me an idea. I’m going to hire trucks to drive around Jersey City carrying ads that show Frank Hague: Duh Mare sez yuh better buy this book, if yuh know what’s good for yuh!
That’ll jingle their bells.
ADDENDUM: I checked out out The History of the Snowman online and it looked like such fun that I bought a copy as a present. So make that 42 books sold on tour, Mr. Eckstein.