[UPDATE: Our goal was reached and exceeded in just 48 hours! The site is no longer accepting donations, but you can visit Acumen's site and donate without getting a book.]
There used to be one hundred people who mattered.
That's true in a lot of industries, but particularly in books.
One hundred people who could make a book a hit. These were key buyers at bookstores, reviewers and editors at newspapers, the person who booked time at Oprah or the Today Show.
So publishers courted these people. If the one hundred loved it, the book launched as a hit. Of course the 100 all get free copies. Lots of free copies.
Today, of course, those one hundred people matter a lot less. And who matters more? You.
You, because you have a network. You blog. You tweet. You talk things up at meetings or recommend things to friends.
And there are a lot more than a hundred of you.
One solution is to give everyone a free copy. Publishers and authors could do this and try to make money doing something else. Another solution is to let the best of this group, the most committed, the most interested… let them stand up and identify themselves.
So, that's what we're experimenting with on Linchpin. For a select group of motivated readers, I want to send you a copy of Linchpin (at my expense) three weeks before anyone else can buy one. My US publisher is not sending free review copies to magazines (the few that are left), newspaper editors, TV shows, any of the usual media suspects. Instead, we're allowing people like you to raise their hands and, if they like the book, asking them to tell the world about it in January.
How to choose? I can't afford to buy a book for everyone, so I needed to come up with a filter. Here it is: The first 3,000 people who make a donation to the Acumen Fund (at least $30) get one at my expense. The money you pay goes directly to Acumen, you get the fun of making a donation and get a tax deduction before the end of the year, and I figure out which of my readers most want a copy of my book.
If you're excited about getting a first look, I hope you'll [link removed]. And thanks for your support, every day. It means a lot to me.
Please hurry, since once they're gone, I probably won't be able to offer any more.
[UPDATE: After 9 hours we've sold half of the reserved books and raised more than $70,000 for Acumen. Thanks guys. UPDATE 2: After 49 hours, we raised over $108,000. Wow.]