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CROSSING THE RUBICON
BOOK UPDATES AND EVENTS
UPDATE Oct 26, 2004 -- We are pleased to report that Mike Ruppert and FTW are in the process of speedily resolving any difficulties with book printing and distribution. The quick response of FTW subscribers and supporters of "Crossing the Rubicon" to recent problems has made it clear that this book is in big demand and that our voices have a collective strength. We will keep you posted as details of the second printing become available and as we work to make sure that books are printed and shipped in a timely manner. Thanks to those of you who contacted New Society on Rubicon's behalf. At this point we think we have been effective and that the publisher and distributors understand the importance of the book. Helpful information from FTW subscribers now includes data on the availability and any information on back orders for the Rubicon in your specific area. Please title your messages "Rubicon availability in___________" and fill in the name of your city or town. Thank you!
What's Happening to Slow a Bestseller?
- First printing Sold Out, Back Orders Clog Bookstores, FTW Has Only North American Copies Available
- Publishing Delays
- What Happened to the Amazon.com Reviews?
- Big Success in Santa Cruz
- Mike to Montana, New York, and North Carolina – Subscribers Welcome in Kalispell
Michael C. Ruppert
October 25 2004 0900 PDT (FTW): -- On Friday, October 23rd, I was notified by New Society Publishers and by Amazon's corporate director of public relations that the entire first printing of Crossing the Rubicon had sold out. At present the FTW website, www.fromthewilderness.com is the only retail outlet with books anywhere in the country until there is a second printing. (We have plenty and are shipping within 24 hours.) New Society, the book's (Canadian) publishers are being vague as to when they will order a second printing or what its size will be. Equally worrisome has been the fact that Amazon (whose bestseller list is an entrée to the New York Times' list) has changed its web site to indicate that the book has not yet been released and has removed some 29 reviews, 26 of which were 5-star and gratifyingly positive. As a result Rubicon's Amazon sales rankings have dropped to around 200, still surprisingly good (see below).
Given that there are some major media appearances pending for me on our current book tour, the last thing we needed was for people to think the book was not released and to miss the reviews; especially with some major national radio appearances in the immediate offing. I should note here that the publisher is not paying for any part of our tour or promotion effort. These expenses: for travel, promotion and public appearances - as we had anticipated - are coming solely out of FTW's pockets and the pockets of subscribers and supporters who want to help get the message out. The publisher has provided only a few print ads in several magazines, ironically including The Nation, which published an attack on my work by David Corn in 2002.
I noticed the changes in the Amazon site before anyone else did. It took me about five minutes to locate the number for Amazon's corporate headquarters near Seattle and then place a call to their corporate PR staff asking what had happened. In just a little over an hour I received a call back from Amazon's corporate director of Public Relations, Patty Smith. Smith was very forthright and understood completely why I was concerned that a new book which was selling so well would suddenly have reviews disappear and be listed as "not-yet released."
"We're sold out," said Smith. "And so is the distributor." Smith advised that Amazon's computer systems, when both they and their distributor are sold out, revert to the last available documentation on the book which indicated a release date of October 30th. "When that happens," said Smith, "our computers drop the reviews because they shouldn't be there for a book that is not released." After I told Smith that we had major media appearances scheduled and that this needed to be changed she was most cooperative saying, "We're in the business of selling books and I will personally see to correcting this."
She hoped to have it fixed within 24 hours of our conversation. Apparently that effort has only been partially successful because regular checks of the Amazon site show reviews only about a third of the time as of this writing and every visit still says the book has not been released. This change at Amazon has, of course, dropped us down to around 200 on their sales ranking after we have been as high as 38 out of about 500,000 titles which they track.
"It's obvious that your publisher was totally unprepared for a likely best-seller as this is," was one of Smith's last observations. She left me with direct contact information and even asked for an autographed copy of the book but only "after Amazon had cleaned up its end."
A SMALL SECOND PRINTING - WHY? - The Book Has Heavy Back Orders
I was advised last Friday by Judith Plant of New Society Publishers that they are contemplating ordering a second printing of only 10,000 copies. The first printing was 30,000.
Since the book's release we have been receiving reports that many bookstores around the country sold out as soon as the book arrived and had placed large back orders. This is especially true for the Washington, D.C. area where an FTW subscriber reported that five major books stores had sold out and had placed back orders. We stopped by one book store in Santa Cruz California where a clerk brought up a computer screen and showed us more than 400 back orders from one of their stores and more than 200 from a second store.
My question to New Society was simple. Why would you only print 10,000 additional copies when they may not even cover your back orders?
When New Society gives us an answer, we'll let you know.
What has become apparent is that the only thing standing in the way of Rubicon becoming a nationwide bestseller is the publisher and the availability of books. If books had been printed, shipped and placed on shelves we might have reached the New York Times list by now. There are many possible explanations (or combinations thereof) for this and we are not jumping to any conclusions. New Society did an incredible job of editing, formatting, laying out the book and getting it into print in almost record time in the middle of a season. The cover they produced is awesome. But the facts are the facts. We encourage FTW subscribers to contact New Society and urge a minimum second printing of 30,000 books. All New Society can do is make money - as Catherine Austin Fitts might say. This is the process of "incentivizing the pro-social behavior": do the right thing and get rewarded.
Rubicon is still a new book and is far from peaking. Please bear in mind also that our media reviews are just beginning and are expected to increase in tempo and influence.
If we are being a bit vague about our plans there are many reasons for this. Similar books have had media campaigns sabotaged when too much was announced too soon. We'd prefer to move quietly and surprise everyone with good news. But there's quite a bit we can tell you.
PROMOTING THE BOOK - SANTA CRUZ AND NEXT STOPS
More than 200 people attended my first book signing in Santa Cruz on Oct. 20th, the same night that the Boston Red Sox won their miracle in four straight to go to the World Series. It was a wildly enthusiastic crowd and many in attendance were people who had bought the books from FTW three weeks ago and were coming to buy four, six, or in one instance a full case of additional copies. They couldn't get the books anywhere else.
FTW has learned a lot about guerilla marketing.
The photo below shows me autographing a book with an audience member leaning on his five new copies. I was and I remain grateful and even a bit awed at people's reactions to the book. I have to stress that this is not really my book. It is the product of some 25-30 incredible investigators and human beings whom I praise and thank wholeheartedly throughout the text. We did it!
Next stop is Montana, where on Tuesday, Oct. 26th I will attend a town hall meeting to talk about Rubicon in Kalispell. Attached here is a flyer for the event.
Our host is FTW subscriber and good friend Harry Blazer, who has stood up to some pretty fierce conservative Republican opposition in the area to make this event happen. He has done an incredible job to bring his neighbors some good information. And I have been told we might not be safe there.
If Harry's good enough to put this on and take the risks then I'm going to stand with him.
After that it's New York where a major national magazine has asked to interview me, and hopefully an appearance on one of the nation's largest radio "talk" shows.
Next stop is Raleigh-Durham North Carolina, where I will be taping a segment on Rubicon for airing on Nov. 7th (the earliest slot available). That's right outside the headquarters of Fort Bragg and U.S. Army Special Forces.
I am also going to be speaking at UCLA in November. Details will be announced.
There are other things in the works too, so this is far from over. FTW subscribers and those who want to see Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil more widely distributed, take heart. There's a lot you can do also.
Just recently I sent out a message to my staff and key advisors and activists. Here's what I said:
Ladies and Gentlemen: We have acquired the power. We need to adjust our thinking caps and realize that we are no longer beggars but players who just got a seat at the table. We must act that way! We have earned this opportunity and now it is ours to take; not for our good but to fulfill that compassion which has bound us all together so tightly.
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