The launch for SAVAGE SON had been carefully planned over the past year. A multi-city book tour was about to start with a speech and book signing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. There were private signings at the NRA’s Hunters’ Leadership Forum and a Sig Sauer Legion event with legends from the special operations community. And, there were the multiple independent bookstore signings scheduled along with the associated local media to promote the in-store events. A SAVAGE SON video was set to play on the huge screens in Times Square; it is playing there right now with no one to see it, through you can watch it on my website and social media platforms. The novel was carefully arranged on the front tables at Barnes & Nobel where they still sit today with no one walking by. It was also set to display in airport bookstores and newsstands across the country where now even those few who are traveling are hesitant to touch anything unless it is completely necessary.
With a traditional book tour no longer possible and with conventional book marketing tactics almost completely out of play, it was time to not just adapt, but to also evolve. It was essential to launch on time even amongst the uncertainty and to launch in an appropriate way. Fans had been waiting for the novel, people were at home in isolation looking for a good read, and independent bookstores needed assistance. It wasn’t time to postpone and wait for economic conditions to improve in the hopes of falling back on the more traditional means of promoting a book – it was time to launch. As we are fond of saying in special operations circles and is written on the dedication page to SAVAGE SON:
To help independent bookstores I launched a campaign with a limited edition run of signed SAVAGE SON bookplates available only through independent bookstores to help drive business their direction. I shifted all proceeds from my merchandise site to support the Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. I partnered with bookstores and event organizations to conduct interactive virtual book signing events. I reached out to friends from the tactical and outdoor industries on creative “missions” with epic prize packages including gear, equipment, and merchandise from Black Rifle Coffee Company, SIG SAUER, Aimpoint, Thunder Ranch, Sitka, Eagle Industries, Gatorz Eyewear, Winkler Knives, Dynamis Alliance, PSE Archery, GLG Knifeworks, Tomahawk Charitable Solutions, and the Rescue 22 Foundation to show my appreciation to those going the extra mile. I sent gift boxes of SAVAGE SON in limited edition branded packaging to both friends and early supporters with no social media presence as well as to friends who have established followings; receiving an early copy would be an experience they could share. I wrote opinion pieces on preparedness and what our enemies are learning from our nation’s response to COVID-19 that my publicist used as talking points for a marathon secession of local AM radio spots in five to fifteen-minute segments, and I jumped on as many podcasts as possible. And, I shared what I was doing and how I was doing it on my social channels so that anyone interested could follow the journey.
It was a full-on sprint to essentially scrap the vestiges of a traditional tour and shift completely to creatively leverage the new media while doing as much good as possible in the process.