As many of you know, I recently lived out every publisher’s fantasy. I got to call Glenn Greenwald and tell him that his book, How Would a Patriot Act? would debut this week on the New York Times list.
This ranking, in and of itself, is not what rocks my world. The prestige factor I can take or leave. I am not in book publishing because I want to sit in an ivory tower or a Manhattan skyscraper and pat myself on the back as I decree what you should read. Frankly, I’d just as soon save the trees, and be drinking margaritas on a beach somewhere. “George who?” is what I dream of saying. I’m only publishing books right now because, like Glenn, I felt compelled to use whatever talent and knowledge I could muster to defend my country. And as long as the Congress, courts and media continue to fail miserably at keeping this president accountable to the people of the United States, we must all answer the call to right the course of this nation.
What does excite me about this NYT nod, however, is that Glenn’s ideas will now have a fair shot of being heard—perhaps even a shot at impacting the national debate over just how radical the Bush administration has become, and what we can do to bring the country back from brink of despotism.
We’ve all pulled off an amazing, collaborative feat. Getting a book developed, written, edited, published and distributed in three months was our charge. You all then made it an immediate bestseller. That’s the good news. The bad news? We’re not done yet. The ideas in the book still need to be introduced to more Americans. The new challenge is to keep the book front and center, so that mainstream media outlets are forced to devote space and time to Glenn’s insights and analysis, to allow for a robust public debate on the crisis we all face. If anything is to change, more Americans need to know the objective facts about just how extremist our federal government has become, and what is at stake.
On Sunday, FDL hosted a wonderful book salon about How Would a Patriot Act? and we started to discuss ideas for a citizen-led, collaborative marketing campaign to drive Glenn’s ideas into the national discourse. Jane invited me back to continue the discussion. So, here I am—grateful and inspired. Ideas for this campaign all came out of Sunday’s discussion, and I look forward to your further suggestions and improvements.
The Patriot Campaign
- Blog project to push NYT, WaPo, LATimes, Time, Newsweek and other major dailies and weekly journals to review HWAPA.
- “Inviting” local and regional dailies to review HWAPA as a net-roots project. Would provide a nice feedback loop, because we can keep score of which of the dailies in the U.S. have published a review and which we have to “invite” even more cordially. Note: Many newspapers hire freelancers to write book reviews — the net-roots can call on the journalists among us (former and otherwise) to write reviews of Glenn’s book, which can then be offered to the newspapers. It makes the editors’ jobs that much easier.
- Email campaign to push Olbermann, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Today, Meet the Press, Hard Ball and Oprah to invite Glenn on as a guest, to discuss his transpartisan ideas on what must be done to protect our Constitution.
- Roots Project, perhaps with libertarian group(s), to deliver copies of HWAPA to members of Congress.
- Citizen reviews on book retail and review sites like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Borders, Powell’s, BookSense, BookBrowse, BooksWeLike, etc.
- Donate books to libraries.
Tag! You’re it. Let’s run with this thing. We can make sure Glenn’s ideas get a fair hearing, and pave the way for more new voices and ideas to be heard. WE can tell media what THEY should be covering. And just maybe save our democracy, to boot!