A glowing review at a website billed as "News for Nerds" propelled a critically acclaimed but sales-challenged first novel by North Carolina author Augustus Gump to the top of the Amazon bestseller lists last weekend, creating an unlikely new record on the way.
Gump described himself as "stunned", as "The Management Secrets of T. John Dick" surged to number 2 on the Business list, number 5 on the Fiction list, and number 28 overall. This may be the first time a book has simultaneously reached the top 5 in both the Fiction and Business lists - a rather unlikely combination.
"A lot of people have told me they really enjoyed the book, but to see it take off like this is just amazing," said Gump. "I just sat by my computer and watched it shoot up the listings. It's settled down a bit now, but is still selling very nicely."
The novel, set in a the fictional North Carolina town of Falling Rock, takes us inside the head of marketing executive T. John Dick, whose uniquely incompetent and exasperating management style leads him into a series of embarrassing and occasionally fatal mishaps. It has been compared to Dilbert, as seen through the eyes of the Pointy Haired Boss, with echoes of British comedy which betray the author's Scottish roots.
Despite limited resources, the publisher, Mainland Press, was able to build up a small but devoted following for the book largely through word of mouth and innovative marketing tactics, such as giving away copies to tired looking business travelers at airports. It was one of the novel's fans who submitted the review to the website www.slashdot.org which opened the floodgates.
"We'd had some great reviews before," said Mainland Press Marketing Manager Roman, "but nothing with this kind of effect. The response proves two fundamantal theories of ours:
"Firstly, folks who work in offices really do like to read. This applies especially but not exclsuively to 'nerds.' Secondly, present such a book in an area frequented by these folks and they will buy it. This is true of the real world as well as cyberspace. As the web site review put it,'The Management Secrets....' is a great antidote to the plague of management/motivational airport books. After all, which would you prefer on the flight home after an exhausting business trip, some pompous motivational tome or something to make you laugh at the absurdity of it all?"
In addition to "The Management Secrets of T. John Dick," Augustus Gump is the author of numerous short stories and his humorous articles have appeared in the Charlotte Observer and other regional publications, as well as on nationally syndicated radio. His chief qualification for writing "The Management Secrets of T. John Dick," however, is that he has, in the course of fifteen years in the corporate world, worked for some "world class boneheads."
For more information, visit the publishers website at www.mainlandpress.com and the media kit at www.mainlandpress.com/mainlandpress/gumpmedia.
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