Pni_cover_250pxThere are a lot of ideas for how to launch a book online. As I head toward launching* Personality Not Included this Friday, I’ve looked at most of them. Some authors create a group and ask all their contacts to all hit an online bookstore like Amazon at one time to create a surge in sales.  Others coordinate big launch events in the real world and aim to use those to propel interest in their book. Bigger books might buy advertising to announce a launch and, of course, there is the old PR method of blasting lots of press releases at people who may or may not be interested in the book. There is one big problem with all these approaches: none of them are very conversational.

A conversation does not start instantly with a big spike and then trail off. A really good conversation builds momentum steadily and eventually turns into something more powerful. So my aim today is not to create a short term spike, but to start a conversation about the central idea of the book – which is that personality matters, and continue it over the next few weeks and months. To jumpstart this conversation, I’m asking for your help – and offering you something in return.

My idea is simple: if you send me five questions that you want to know about the book or personality, I’ll write you a response on Friday that you can publish on your blog. Let’s call these virtual interviews (ie – interviews by email). You choose whether to post the interview on your blog or not after you get my responses, but I am essentially offering for ANY BLOGGER to send me interview questions and I will respond with answers that are NOT cut and pasted, but specific to your questions. I will send all my responses to you on Friday in the order that I get your questions, and I will link to all the posted interviews on Friday.  On Monday, I’ll be running a competition on my blog to let readers vote on the Best Interview. The winner will get a signed copy of my book and a gift certificate for $100 from Amazon. Here are a few reasons you may want to do it:

1. For relatively little effort, you’ll get a customized post by me that you can use exclusively on your blog
2. Your blog will be featured in my follow up post compiling all the interviews (getting you more visibility)
3. You have a chance to win a signed copy of my new book and a gift certificate for from if your post is voted "Best Interview" by the readers of my blog.

That’s about it. I’ll be answering review questions in the order that I get them, so please send me yours soon at rohitaustralia [at] gmail [dot] com and I will add you to the list. If you don’t have a blog, you can still ask questions by leaving a comment on this post – there will be a prize for best question from the comments too. For the latest news about the book launch and access to exclusive content which you can’t get anywhere else, be sure to join my Facebook group for the book if you haven’t already and also follow the launch in real time by adding me to your Twitter follow list (Twitter ID – rohitbhargava), or friending me on Facebook (which republished my updates if you are not a Twitter user).

Update (3/26/08): Up to 25 interview requests in less than 24 hours … thanks to all the bloggers for your interest – I’m hoping to make it to 50 request by Friday!

Update (4/1/08): This campaign included a total of 55 great blog interviews from around the world. See a full list of the interviews and read all of them.

* The book bindery date is this Friday, which means the book is complete and printed and they will be shipping out to those who preordered over the weekend or on Monday (so you should have your copy by early next week). The official date when they will be in bookstores across the US and Canada is likely to be around April 14th – and the book will be released internationally about 4-6 weeks after that (across Europe, Asia, Australia). If you have a specific query about your country and when the book will be out, please send me an email and I can let you know.