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Physical Books are Still Effective Marketing Tools

10.27.2013, Books, Sports, by .

I just received four books from my friend and Random House sales rep Tom Nevins. Tom is a long-time marketing pro at RH.

He was kind enough to send me the following titles:

  • ONE SUMMER (America, 1927) by Bill Bryson – Doubleday.
  • TOP DOWN (A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination) by Jim Lehrer – Random House.
  • LEAGUE OF DENIAL (The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth) by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru – Crown Archetype.
  • THINKING IN NEW BOXES (A New Paradigm for Business Creativity) by Luc de Brabandere and Alan Ivy – Random House.


I will read all four of the books for they are the type of books I like to read. Most of the non-fiction (although Lehrer is Fiction, it appeals to my non-fiction self). These books are the ones that never seem to come up in any of the “daily deals” or the endless emails I get from the 6-7 different platforms I subscribe to. ┬áMost of the email marketing focuses on genre fiction and selling eBooks at 99 cents.

I first read Bill Bryson with the brilliant A WALK IN THE WOODS. That was the story of his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail. His new one, ONE SUMMER, looks like more excellent narrative history from Bryson. Nineteen Twenty-Seven was one of those watershed years in American history.

Jim Lehrer has written 21 novels. I have probably read a dozen of them. I used to watch him on the PBS NewsHour and have always liked his easy-to-read, but torn-from-history novels. He also keeps them short with this one at less than 200 pages.

The next book, LEAGUE OF DENIAL, covers one of the most controversial themes in sports today – the history of how the NFL covered up the severity of head injuries and the long-term effects on the players. The league is stronger and richer than ever, but uses it’s players as disposable parts. I am very much looking forward to reading this one. This is a tie-in to a Frontline special (ESPN was a part of it but pulled out at the last minute).

The final book, THINKING IN NEW BOXES, is a business/psychology book. I read a lot of business titles. Most of them say basically the same thing, but I generally find some bit of wisdom in them. I especially enjoy books such as this one that brings in psychology. The aspect of how we think, act and perceive things is fascinating. I seldom read business books from cover to cover but like to scan and read “out of order.” I have delved into this one and like the perspective. It reminds me a bit of de Bono’s classic concept “Lateral Thinking.”

In this era of digital everything, SEO, blogging and all the various methods to have books “discovered”, there still is value in sending physical books as a part of the overall marketing plan.

Thanks Tom.


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