"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Practical Plone Preorders

I was looking at Jon Stahl's recently uploaded slide deck for non-profits and noticed his plug for Practical Plone 3. That jogged my memory and I went back to YouTube and tracked down Jon's "Online Social Networks: Can They Power Social Change?" video, a one-hour collection of lightning talks.

Sure enough, presentation #4 was Alex Steffen's and he tells a tale of marketing his organization's book. The video is a little rough and it takes awhile to get to the fourth talk, so I've extracted the audio channel for those who like immediate gratification.

The gist of the matter is that Amazon's algorithm for sales rank includes all pre-orders as part of the first day's total sales. That means a significant number of pre-orders can elevate a book very, very high on the lists. Alex used social networking to organize a pre-order campaign and the result was that the book rolled out with an Amazon sales rank of 500 followed soon after by 38,000(!) copies being ordered.

Of course, this means we should run right over to Amazon and pre-order Practical Plone 3. The only problem is, the book is not yet available on Amazon. We're left with pre-ordering directly from the Publisher, our good friends at Packt.

I'm not sure how Packt-published books make it into Amazon's system, but it seems like a good idea to follow Steffen's example and pile up the pre-orders on Amazon as soon as its available. I'd appreciate hearing from someone closer to the publishing process regarding the feasibility of this strategy and when/if we might see pre-ordering available on Amazon for the new edition of Practical Plone.

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