A few days ago, on MarginalRevolution.com, I offered access to a secret blog (over forty posts) to anyone who would pre-order my forthcoming book Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist, due out August 2 from Dutton. The deal, which still stands for all, is that the reader need only write an email to IBoughtTylersBook@gmail.com and tell me they pre-ordered the book. My underlying hypothesis was that blog readers are not always book readers, so why not package a blog with a book? I was surprised by the results:
1. The orders drove the book up to #220 on Amazon.
2. So far no one has leaked the site address, even though hundreds of people (many of them bloggers) have it.
3. Most people sent in proof of purchase, and were keen to have me look at it, even though I did not ask for it.
4. People asked very earnestly whether it was permissible to show the secret blog to their spouse (it is).
5. Some people wrote me long emails, with complex economic arguments, as to why I should give them the blog for free. But they weren't willing to simply lie and get the site address.
6. Some people wrote me long emails with instructions and advice as to how to keep the blog secret for a long time, and possible dangers I might face in maintaining that secrecy.
We'll see how this progresses. No, we can't fund the nuclear umbrella this way, but I am heartened by the honesty and cooperativeness of the blog-reading community.