I sent this offer to my store's email list earlier today. Four hours into the offer, we still have few copies left...
Some guy named Dan Brown seems to have a new book that goes on sale today. It's called The Lost Symbol, and boy is there a lot of desperation out there surrounding this new release. In over twenty years of bookselling, I don't think I've ever seen like this! Folks are falling all over themselves to give the thing away.
It all started with the publisher. Our very nice Random House sales rep contacted us over and over again to get us to take a few copies. I bet we heard more from her about this one title than we did about every other new Fall title combined. (Random House publishes many very fine writers whose work must just sell itself, since we hear so little about those books from them.) If they were spending so much time and energy on The Lost Symbol, they must have been really worried that no one would want it!
I think that stores might have picked up on the publisher's concern because they're doing so very much to get you to buy it from them. Have you been getting all those emails too? The ones from the chain stores and online outlets offering huge discounts on this one title? It just seems weird, doesn't it? These big, big chain stores and even bigger online stores offer thousands of titles yet use so much of their email bandwith to sell you this one title at a price so low that they can't possibly make any money on it. Truly they must be worried that they'll end up stuck with lots and lots of unsold copies.
We did oblige the publisher and take a dozen copies of The Lost Symbol, which will go on sale when we open in a couple of hours at 10:30 a.m. I guess we've caught the bug, and are just as worried as everyone else is that no one will want it. So we'll make this offer, limited to just the 12 copies we have on hand: buy $35 of other books from us in store, your choice, new or used, and we'll give you The Lost Symbol free. If you can't make it in to the store, buy $50 of books from us online or over the phone, and we'll throw The Lost Symbol into the box for no additional charge. As always, we will not add a charge for standard shipping to any address in the US.
We do have lots of other great books in stock right now. It won't be hard for you to find either $35 or $50 worth of books that you really want.
It would be nutty to think that a store like ours could get into a discounting war with all the big guys who are trying to trying so hard to give The Lost Symbol away. But we are just as concerned as they are about being stuck with these things that -- given the signals everyone is sending -- probably no one wants. So we will literally just give it away to the first 12 people, one copy each.
You can shop online beginning now -- www.themysterycompany.com -- or come in to the store starting at 10:30 a.m. If you shop online, be sure to put at least $50 of books into your shopping cart, and just mention "Lost Symbol" in the special instructions box on the checkout form.
(OK, I may be a little sarcastic about the rationale, but I am serious about this offer. Don't hesitate to take advantage of it! Once these 12 copies are gone, we're done.)