Amazon.com tells me you are in the mood for “An Historic Murder Mystery set in the Internet Bubble”
A friend of mine, Patrick McCusker, recently received an email from Amazon.com that read as follows:
Dear Amazon.com Customer,
We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt also purchased books by Tom Evslin. For this reason, you might like to know that Tom Evslin’s hackoff.com: An Historic Murder Mystery set in the Internet Bubble and Rubble will be released soon. You can pre-order your copy by following the link below.
Larry Lazard, CEO of hackoff.com, takes his company public and watches its stock price soar and collapse. Following a hostile takeover attempt, Lazard is found dead in his office of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Author Tom Evslin, a serial CEO, also took a company public in the Internet bubble and fought off hostile takeover attempts in the subsequent rubble. Unlike Larry, Evslin lived to tell what may be the definitive story of those wild and crazy times. The mystery moves backwards and forwards around the time of Larry’s death. Sex, power, money, farce, and tragedy mix… Read more
Amazon does a lot of mailings of this sort where they look for commonalities in purchasing patterns among customers. I bought some poker books from Amazon.com and they periodically send me new poker titles.
But this is what I find strange. Ever heard of Tom Evslin? Have you read any of Tom Evslin’s prior books?
My guess is the answer to those questions above was “no.” It turns out that this is Tom Evslin’s first book. And he self-published it. And it currently ranks 161,427 in the Amazon.com sales ranks, which means it is probably selling less than 1 copy a day (and that is after the Amazon mailing). One possible reason: you can read it free online. So why is Amazon doing an email blitz? You’d think they would be telling folks to buy Blink or The World is Flat.
I’d love to know the story behind this. Computer gliltch? Marketing experiment gone awry?
Any readers have an explanation?