Examining the Website of the USDA’s Agency of Invasive Species

by Jim Geraghty

Greeting Morning Jolt readers today . . . 

You Must Check Out the Website of the USDA’s Agency of Invasive Species

Forgive me, dear readers, but the book publication date is about three weeks away and I must turn into a relentless self-promotional machine.

Thankfully, I can direct readers to the website of the subject of the book, the sordid and twisted history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agency of Invasive Species, and its serving as a metaphor for the growth of the federal bureaucracy over the past 30 years. The recently redesigned website for the USDA AIS can be found at TheWeedAgency.com.*

There you can learn more about the agency’s staff, official statements, logo changes through the years, and headquarters:

Hidden somewhere on the site is the book’s first 32 pages.

(Minor detail: My book is a novel, a work of fiction set against the backdrop of recent Washington history, and the USDA Agency of Invasive Species does not, technically, exist.)

If you have already pre-ordered, thank you very much. I have wanted to write fiction for a long time, and I figure each sale gets me closer to the opportunity to do this again. I was asked by the good folks Crown Forum/Random House to take one of the world’s driest, most infuriating topics — the federal bureaucracy, and how it works (or doesn’t work) — and turn it into a fast-moving comic satire in the tradition of Christopher Buckley, P. J. O’Rourke, and Yes, Minister. Either I succeeded, or enough well-known people feel the need to say nice things about me:

“A conservative comic romp through the toughest corridors of federal bureaucracy . . . a fun glimpse into the fake-but-accurate world of bureaucratic infighting.” — Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor and Author of The Outpost

“Jim Geraghty is smart, funny, compelling, entertaining . . . and his book does real damage to liberals if thrown hard enough.” — Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana

The Weed Agency brilliantly captures the absurdity of the real Washington. It is, as they say, funny because it’s true.” — Jonah Goldberg, author of The Tyranny of Clichés

“Geraghty captures the hilarious realities of Washington waste brilliantly. And we all need to laugh at Washington to stop from crying.” — S. E. Cupp, author of Losing Our Religion and CNN Host

“No matter your politics, Jim provides an entertaining look at just how the good intentions of a federal law or regulation can get misused over time to become more of a problem than a solution. Interestingly, lock any two veteran Washington politicians from opposite parties in a room and they’ll admit that some federal agencies need to be reined in. Like anything with Washington these days, sometimes all it takes is a little sunlight to grab their attention.” — Chuck Todd, NBC News

“Jim Geraghty absolutely nails it. You’ll want to believe this book is fiction, but in your heart you know so much of it — too much of it — is all too hilariously real.” — Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Order

If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, and you’re on the fence . . . well, think of this as an easy way to say “thanks” if you’ve liked anything I’ve done for the past few years on this newsletter, or the past ten years blogging at NR (my official ten-year anniversary is Friday). It’s pretty cheap; only $13 cover price, $9.75 on Amazon, $9.99 on Nook, and $7.99 on Kindle.

If you feel like pre-ordering in the near future, I am contemplating asking everyone to order it on the same day — say, the official publication date, June 3. (You may see copies on bookstore shelves before the “official” publication date.) Your kindness in response to NR Publisher Jack Fowler’s imperative to purchase the book already drove it to rank around 1,700 on Amazon a few weeks ago. If everyone bought, say, the morning of June 3, the book could — briefly, at least! — rank even higher:

While Amazon keeps their exact formula for picking the top books under wraps, it is clear that it weighs heavily on how many books you can sell in a short period of time.

In fact, a recent campaign by Seth Godin for his book We Are All Weird was able to hit the #2 spot on Amazon by selling less than 2000 copies of his hardcover in a day.

Another author I worked with was able to generate 500 sales of his book in a single day and this put him in the top 100 on Amazon.

On the other hand, you might forget to order on June 3. So maybe I should urge you to go ahead and make that purchase right now.

Tell you what, since you’re doing me a favor, you pick the time and place that’s most convenient for you. The good news is that all sales up to one week after the official publication date count towards getting on the bestseller lists. So if you buy before June 10, you’re helping me out a lot.

* Right around here, discerning and wise readers said, “Hey, wait a minute, if it’s a federal agency, why doesn’t it have a .gov address?”

** More discerning readers are remembering November has 30 days.

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.