Encounter Books: I Think I'm in Love With You and I'm Available on Saturday Night
Encounter Books sponsors our podcasts, so you might think this is paid product placement, but it's absolutely from the heart.
I admire them not just from an ideological point of view, but from a business point of view. And since I'm pro-business, they're the same thing.
First, they sponsor our podcasts, which is intelligent book marketing: It means they're thinking about where, exactly, to find the people who would buy the books they're publishing. Conservative readers, in other words. They're also thinking about new places to find them--and maybe even create them--not just the same old venues.
Second, I mentioned my interest in Gray Lady Down on the podcast. A copy of it showed up on my doorstep days later. It's an excellent book and I'm pleased to have it--thank you, Encounter!--but of particularly keen interest to me was their serious interest in marketing it. (The press release was written by Revere Advisors; I imagine they also deserve credit.)
Not only is it an interesting book, and I do promise to write more about that, it's a beautiful book. The jacket design, the ornaments and the paper quality all meet with my approval, and I'm not promiscuous with my approval where those things are concerned. Nor have I spotted a single typo so far, and these days that's sadly rare.
My interest deepened to infatuation when a few days ago Encounter announced on its Twitter feed that it was holding a contest to give away free copies of its latest broadside, How Obama Embraces Islam's Sharia Agenda, by Andrew McCarthy. No comment as yet on the book's contents, because I haven't yet read it, and you know me, I'm ethical about that sort of thing. But comment aplenty on the great idea of running a contest on Twitter, and the even greater idea of sending me a copy immediately, by FedEx, even though I'm in Istanbul. Above all, the idea of publishing broadsides like this is fantastic--and I don't just say so because it was actually one of my brother's great ideas. We were talking about this five years ago, trying to figure out what to do about the apparently terminal decline of the publishing industry. I remember the conversation well. But we never put it into practice. It went to the graveyard of Great Berlinski Ideas, along with about a billion others. Encounter had the same idea and did something about it, and more power to them.
ENCOUNTER BROADSIDES: a new series of critical pamphlets from Encounter Books. Uniting an 18th-century sense of political urgency and rhetorical wit (think The Federalist Papers, Common Sense) with 21st-century technology and channels of distribution, Encounter Broadsides offer indispensable ammunition for intelligent debate on the critical issues of our time. Written with passion by some of our most authoritative authors, Encounter Broadsides make the case for liberty and the institutions of democratic capitalism at a time when they are under siege from the resurgence of collectivist sentiment. Read them in a sitting and come away knowing the best we can hope for and the worst we must fear. The best defense is a good Broadside.
The pamphlet they sent me is about the size of a restaurant napkin. The piece itself is magazine length, but it's more tempting to read than an article in a magazine--big print, beautiful paper, and honestly, just easy-looking. It costs $5.99, and I figure it will take me about twenty minutes to read it. People will buy these, I'm sure of it, because people are willing to spend $5.99 for a book they might not like. They just aren't willing to take a chance and spend the $25-odd most hardcover books cost, though, and I don't blame them. Most books aren't worth it--not when the economy is bad and the Internet is free.
This photo--of a broadside by Victor Davis Hanson--doesn't quite do justice to the appeallingness of the thing. Go out and look for one in a bookstore; you'll see what I mean. (They did not put me up to saying that.)
Encounter seems like a publishing company with its act together. So, you can see what I'm thinking, I'm sure. They're going places, and I want to go with them.
I'm not going to chase them. It's unladylike. But I have let them know in my feminine way that I would not say no if they asked me out.
Ricochet members: Is there a book you'd like me to write? Suggest the topic, and if Encounter wants to publish it, I'll write it.
I know it's a little unconventional for a writer to flirt with you like this in public, Encounter, but in this publishing climate, we've all got to be unconventional--while remaining, of course, conservative.