August 28, 2012

SLIDESHOW: Infamous book promotions over the years


Last week, when news broke that Ray Dolin, the author writing a book about the kindness of Americans, was allegedly shot by a random motorist while hitchhiking across the country, people reacted with the remorseful acknowledgement that such a book was probably doomed from the start to suffer such a cruelly ironic fate. But as we know now, the real irony was not that the author was shot by a stranger, but that he actually shot himself, in what authorities are suggesting was a desperate attempt at self-promotion.

Shooting yourself is a desperate act. Full stop. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. But in terms of book publicity, history shows us that many authors have been willing to go to the extreme in order to get noticed. Here’s a look at some of the more fabled attempts made over the years …


Kevin Murphy is the digital media marketing manager of Melville House.