Updates 29 Oct 2010 05:38 am by David !

Did somebody say STREET TEAM

• If anybody’s going to the Rally to Restore Sanity this weekend, or is in fact going anywhere else at any time, and you want to print out something fun to introduce folks (whether their names be Stewart, Colbert, or anything at all really) to our little book and the story behind it, here is a printable PDF for any use whatsoever

• More media mentions! The Atlantic Wire and The Awl both capitalize on the Glenn Beck angle. (We’ve now got audio of that, below.) A rather more personal write-up at Connective Visions, and a nice interview with contributor Pelotard at the Litopia homepage. Pelotard’s got exactly the right idea: contributors! Solicit your local press! This is your victory too!

• What happens a few days after a bunch of people order books? A bunch of people start receiving books in the mail! We’ve seen tweet after tweet of folks excitedly opening their Amazon boxes to discover our thick, shiny stack of pulp inside. And reading it. And loving it. How cool!!

• We had a Facebook event for the Oct 26 launch date, but that date’s now passed. So we’ve set up a new Facebook page for ongoing participation — some people are posting photos, and David made a little prediction photocomic. Anyone who wants to take pictures, or share their thoughts on the book, or discover prediction slips out in the world (as David did! Scarily!) is urged to do so on the new Facebook page!

• Here’s the Glenn Beck audio from the 27th. It’s possible he’s mentioned us again — or mentioned taking the top spot in general — in the days since, but we haven’t heard from anyone who’s listened to the program. This bit’s about three minutes long, and of course we posted a partial transcript yesterday.

Anyone who knows Roger Ebert or Rachel Maddow, have them drop us a line, willya?

And remember that MOD is still under $10 on Amazon if you’re interested in joining the culture of death! I promise that every new sale is another tiny pea beneath Glenn Beck’s many mattresses.

• We’ve been sending out so many confirmation emails to folks who’ve asked us for the free ebook versions (coming soon!) that Gmail has throttled our outgoing mail. This has slowed us down a bit on responses, but rest assured we are still receiving everything fine. Keep sending in those receipts.

• Speaking of which, anybody who has, in the past, successfully formatted a Kindle .mobi file and would like to help us, please email us. This is hard UPDATE: We’re set for now!

• Finally — David wrote up a thing on Wondermark today about what’s next for MOD:

Machine of Death rose to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for over twenty-four hours. We accomplished everything we set out to do. Agents, publishers, retailers, distributors, well-wishers and the press have been flooding our email inbox. I can’t stress this enough: It worked. We won!

Once we hit #1, I called an agent I’ve worked with in the past — one who’d tried to sell MOD before but just couldn’t find anyone who wanted it — and he sprung instantly into action. Doors that were once closed started positively flying open before us. Although some big publishers have now approached us about buying the rights and doing a new edition of the book, we have declined. That ship has sailed. We are the publisher.

We also realized that we had an opportunity here to gain a level. We could have struck a deal with a publisher, potentially even a lucrative one, that would have been nice in the short term and could probably have led to interesting places. But we have larger goals than just signing a book deal, and we realized we could play the long game here, not just for our benefit — but for the benefit of our friends and colleagues in webcomics as well.

And so in the last few days, using resources offered to us that previously would have been absolutely inconceivable, we have laid the groundwork for a complex but amazing publishing/distribution structure that, in the future, should hopefully allow us to get not just Machine of Death, but also all TopatoCo-published and TopatoCo-partnered books into regular bookstore/retail channels, both in the U.S. and abroad. Ryan, Matt and I are harnessing this amazing rising flood-tide to lift all the boats we can find, all the ropes we managed to grab hold of when the waters hit.

Much has yet to be settled on this front, so I will simply say it remains a carefully considered work-in-progress and I expect to make more important announcements about this in time.

TopatoCo is, of course, the publisher/distribution company that handles merchandise for both Ryan’s Dinosaur Comics and David’s Wondermark, and in the last year or so, TopatoCo’s been publishing great new editions of comics such as A Softer World, Problem Sleuth, Nedroid, Hark! A Vagrant, and most recently Questionable Content. TopatoCo’s business has always been mostly a direct-to-consumer model, but, guys — what we’ve done here has changed everything. We are setting some pretty cool goals for the future, and we absolutely want to drag our friends and colleagues up with us.

International folks, check the shipping prices for MOD on TopatoCo. Don’t know how they’ll compare to Amazon — it’s a heavy book — but it might be more reasonable for some, and if you want any other TopatoCo merchandise as well, you can always request a Flat Rate box and cram it full of T-shirts and everything else, amortizing the cost somewhat!

• Hugs to all and to all a good night

13 Responses to “Did somebody say STREET TEAM”

  1. on 29 Oct 2010 at 9:16 am 1.brad said …

    It would be great if there was an actual link to the book on Amazon. The phrase “MOD is still under $10 on Amazon” would have been a perfect place for it.

  2. on 29 Oct 2010 at 10:34 am 2.Ben Tripp said …

    I applaud your heroic efforts — and your amazing results.

    I have been doing a smaller-scale campaign for my zombie novel Rise Again; it went from about item 3 million to between #3,000 and 4,000, depending on time of day.

    I think the key thing we’re not doing, and which we should do, is to create the common goal. If the purpose is to propel the book up the charts, and it’s a worthwhile cause, people will do that. I’m more or less just imploring them to buy Rise Again because it’s good. There’s no ulterior purpose. Whereas you’ve created a kind of flashmob happening.

    I guess I’ll have to buy the book. Too bad for Glenn!

  3. on 29 Oct 2010 at 10:41 am 3.Devin said …

    Congratulations, guys!

    I do occasionally listen to Beck’s program (I’m a political Conservative) and though I didn’t hear the episode in question, I read the transcript. I sent him an email about the entire “Machine of Death” phenomenon and let him know how disappointed I was that, when confronted with a situation that’s clearly a triumph of capitalism – webcomics guys putting together a project and, through little more than word-of-mouth, attaining the #1 spot on Amazon – he instead jumped to a wrong-headed conclusion and decided to play the Moneyed Bully shaking his fist at those who dared infringe on his perceived territory.

    For what it’s worth, I’m sorry he reacted that way to you guys. It was wrong, and I hope he apologizes.

  4. on 29 Oct 2010 at 10:44 am 4.admin said …

    @Brad – the link is there on the words “joining the culture of death.” Maybe that’s too subtle?

    @Devin – thanks for the note. It’s kind of you to respond and to speak in our defense. We have reached out and said essentially the same to Beck’s staff; I think our against-all-odds story is one that would resonate with his audience.

  5. on 29 Oct 2010 at 2:52 pm 5.vgriff said …

    I can help you with the mobi file. Shoot me a note.

  6. on 29 Oct 2010 at 5:05 pm 6.endblink said …

    Any chance you guys will be selling this through Amazon.ca? I REALLY want this book, but the $12 in S&H is what’s holding me back.

  7. on 29 Oct 2010 at 8:40 pm 7.Some call me Tim said …

    Hey guys, I’m trying to download the PDF flyer. I want to give it to some people and it keeps stalling at a 5% download (literally when I open it).

    Any thoughts? Using FF3.6.11 and an HP TouchSmart.

    Thanks again! My book arrived today!!

  8. on 30 Oct 2010 at 4:27 am 8.Dirk said …

    I have become fascinated with the 1776LibertyBell Twitter account. Whoever writes it is obsessed with Machine of Death’s Amazon ranking as compared to Broke’s, as if competition with that book was all that ever mattered. It’s almost as if that person is convinced Machine of Death was specifically written to undermine Broke’s statistics.

  9. on 30 Oct 2010 at 2:58 pm 9.cmm said …

    I saw an article about this yesterday on Gizmodo or BoingBoing (can’t remember which, sorry) and checked out the description of the book. I promptly bought it because 1) it sounded interesting, 2) the price was great and 3) I love supporting indie projects of high quality.

    While I wouldn’t buy a book just to spite Beck (and by yesterday this no longer mattered anyway), the fact that you did beat him out on release day was certainly some very sweet icing on the cake.

    Got an email a little while ago that my book shipped so I expect it by Tuesday. And as of 6 PM Eastern, y’all are still holding on at #13 at Amazon. Mazel tov!

  10. on 01 Nov 2010 at 10:43 am 10.bigsissy said …

    Maybe LibertyBell IS Glenn Beck…

  11. on 01 Nov 2010 at 11:06 am 11.Stian said …

    Woohoo! Got mine in the mail today! I’m in northern Europe so ordered it as soon as it was on Amazon to get it asap, and missed the “big tuesday”. Still lovely to hear you’re getting much attention. Listened to the Beck sample just to hear him mention the book, although just hearing his voice makes my head hurt…

  12. on 01 Nov 2010 at 11:18 pm 12.Nick said …

    It would be incredible if this gets publishers interested in all of you guys’ comic books!

    Personally TopatoCo works great for me but you deserve to have your books wherever you want them.

    The comics you people make are of such incredible quality they should sit right next to all the Calvin & Hobbes anthologies and Garfield flip-books of this world. (Sorry, I couldn’t think of a second newspaper comic I respected.)

  13. on 06 Nov 2010 at 3:51 am 13.Mohammad Lagerberg said …

    Brilliant and well deserved! Enjoy the moment and the prize!