but damn, there are days I am glad I went with a commercial publisher – and one of the big ones, at that.  Yesterday, I came home to a small envelope from Palgrave Macmillan in my mailbox.  I had no idea what it was, since I was not expecting anything from them.  I opened it up, and inside was this:



(Incidentally, I have a promo code that instructors can use for a free inspection copy – if you are an instructor of a course that might adopt this text, send me an email and let me know the course you teach, and I can pass the code along.  They will force you to register and they tend to verify courses, though, so don’t bother bluffing . . .)

Obviously, this is the publicity flyer they are circulating to get my book some visibility in academia.  It’s pretty nice – I like it.  But what really struck me was the post-it attached – unsigned, with only one sentence: “1000 copies mailed out March 2011 to courses in Economic Development”.  Uh . . .

Holy crap.

If 1% of the instructors who receive this mailing adopt, I will sell more copies of my book in the first year than most academic titles ever sell.  There is no way I could have done this anywhere near as effectively by myself. And it is a nice reinforcement of the message I’ve been receiving from my publisher and agent that my editor is heavily invested in this book, and is planning a concerted push to get it out there.

Now, friends and colleagues in the blogosphere/twitterverse, I am awaiting your reviews.  No, really . . . I actually want the feedback.  Yes, I would love to see a bunch of glowing reviews show up telling everyone that my book is the be-all, end-all, but I know that it is not – I want to see what people think, where the book works and where it doesn’t.  That is the only way I can shape my message effectively, and shape the next book (yes, one is already lurking) to engage the development/aid community productively.