There’s a new name topping Australia’s bestseller lists and there’s a good chance it’s not a name you know – or even heard of. It’s not Andy Griffiths, it’s not Lee Child, or Liane Moriarty, Bluey or Trent Dalton.
It’s Gary Vaynerchuk, well can you tell, who?
Vaynerchuk is described on his website as a serial investor and entrepreneur who has had several books in the New York Times bestseller lists. He is president of VaynerX, a communications company, and his website states that he “is considered one of the world’s leading minds on the future of culture, relevance and the Internet.”
He is also an ace in promoting his new book, Twelve and a half: leveraging the emotional ingredients necessary for business success. His plan – to offer his millions of social media followers a free NFT (non-fungible token) to anyone who pre-ordered 12 copies of the book – has generated sales of over a million worldwide, over 40 000 in Australia in a four-day period through November 20, and saw the title skyrocket to number one on NielsenBookScan’s list.
Unusual book promotions are not unheard of. The late Bryce Courtenay, a former publicist, was renowned for devising bold approaches to marketing his blockbusters, while British artist Kit Williams included clues to finding a buried golden hare in his 1979 illustrated treasure hunt book, Masquerade. But, as one editor said, if you pre-order a book, you’ll likely get a tote bag.
Giving an NFT is something different. An NFT is a digital asset representing objects such as art, music, game elements, and videos. They are often exchanged for cryptocurrencies, but have encoded data that makes them unique, which means they cannot be traded identically – they are not fungible.
Vaynerchuk’s wheezing was to offer a global incentive for his followers to buy the book in bulk. Those who ordered them within 24 hours until 5:00 p.m. EST on August 28 and confirmed their eligibility with the Vaynerchuk “team” will receive “a precious gift” in their digital wallet by December 16.
Jim Demetriou, CEO of HarperCollins, which publishes Vaynerchuk’s books, said he had never seen a promotion like the one for Twelve and a half. “It’s up there with Harry potter. “