And Now, This Morning’s Undignified Begging.

(Sigh) Here is the shameless begging that begins today’s Jolt . . . but, as a reader pointed out, it’s more fun, and less cringe-inducing, to just talk about how much fun the book is than to say, “Hey, please give me money, transferred through a bookseller and publisher.”

We Begin the Morning with Some Undignified Begging

Let’s begin by noting the awkward situation of asking others to buy your book when National Review is beginning its spring webathon asking for donations.

Secondly, I hate asking people for help. I particularly hate asking readers for help, because all of you are already kind enough to give me your time and attention every morning. You have a lot of choices in this media landscape that is more crowded than the sets of Soylent Green, and everybody and their brother has a morning newsletter. I hope that most mornings I can give you something a little bit different, funny, thought-provoking, and enjoyable to read.

Above: The 2014 Political-Newsletter Writer Convention;

during my keynote address, I screamed like a madman,

“E-mail subscribers are people! They’re peeeeeeeeople!”

But I have been told, directly, from on high, that the difference between my book being perceived as a high-selling success or a low-selling failure largely depends upon my willingness to be shameless in the coming weeks.

Sigh. Here we go.

My publisher recently shared with me the number of pre-orders of my book on so far. The publisher is satisfied, but I’m not so much. I know that there are [FIGURE PARTIALLY REDACTED BY NR E-MAIL ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT] hundred thousand of you who get this newsletter, and that the number of people who have pre-ordered a copy is . . . a significantly smaller number. (“They’re directly comparable, just like the numbers in Jill Abramson’s salary and the numbers in her predecessor’s salary!” — Pinch Sulzberger.)

If you’re among those who have pre-ordered already, thank you. If you haven’t . . . now would be a good time.

I realize I had talked about the official publication day, June 3, being the big “Everybody Buy My Book on Amazon and Let’s See How High We Can Get in the Amazon Rankings” day. I’ll still probably do that — I know some folks who will be ordering multiple copies for their friends that day — but I realize some folks may want to get theirs as soon as it arrives. Or you may be busy that day.

As noted before, buying my book is probably the one of the least expensive favors you can do for me: only a $13 cover price, $9.94 on Amazon, $9.99 on Nook, and $9.99 on Kindle. It’s aimed to be a good, quick, fun beach read.

If you’re looking for a sense of what the book is like, check out the website of the fake-but-accurate U.S. Department of Agriculture Agency of Invasive Species, found at The stuff that’s on the site hints at the world depicted within the book, but is not (other than the complimentary chapter) in the book. Think of the web site as the DVD extras!

In fact, order the book, and I’ll do a Q-and-A with any e-mailed questions. I only have one e-mail address, the one at the top (or is it bottom?) of this message,

And once again, 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.

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