Giveaway: Liars and Outliers Galleys

My box of galley copies arrived in the mail yesterday. They're filled with uncorrected typos, but otherwise look great. Wiley printed about 500 of them, and they're mostly going to journalists and book reviewers, with some going to different wholesale and retail outlets. I have 20 copies to give away to readers of my blog and Crypto-Gram.

Earlier this month, I asked readers to suggest methods of distribution. There were a lot of good suggestions, but one stood out:

The best way to achieve that may be by letting people hand it personally to an 'opinion leader.' Their argument for which 'opinion leader' they think is most important *and* needs to read this the most (could be someone who talks out of his ass on the subject) gives you a good selection criterium, as well as giving some people and excuse to visit an 'opinion leader.'

So that's the plan. If you want a book, you have to promise to give a book to someone else. This someone should be a person who doesn't otherwise know about me, and wouldn't otherwise know about my book. This should be someone who would enjoy my book, and who would be likely to spread the word to others. Maybe it's the CEO of the company you work for. Maybe it's someone in politics. Maybe it's just someone who influences the thinking of a lot of people. It shouldn't be someone who would just dismiss my book out of hand, or not bother reading it because he already knows what he thinks. It should be someone who will read the book, think about it, and tell others about it.

Sometime between now and Christmas Day, send an e-mail whose subject matches the subject line of this post to schneier@schneier.com. Tell me who you're going to give the book to and why. I'll randomly choose ten people from those e-mails and ask them for their physical addresses. (This way, only winners have to mail me their addresses.) I'll send each of the winners two copies of the galley: one for the winner, and the other for the winner's thought leader. If Wiley sends me more galleys to give away, I will simply choose more winners.

Of course, I have no way of verifying that the winners actually comply. Someone could keep one copy of the galley and auction the other on eBay. I can't stop that, but I will be cross if it happens. And I will number the galleys, so if I do ever see the book, I will know who did it.

Thank you to reader Jur, who suggested this method of distributing galley copies of my readers in response to my request. Jur, email me with your address and I will send you a copy of the galley.

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 6:09 AM • 38 Comments

Comments

Ethan Lee VitaDecember 22, 2011 8:10 AM

What if we knew multiple people who influence opinions? Should we send one email per person we'd give it to and give it to the person based on the email you chose? Or would that be considered gaming the process? Sent one email with who I thought would be best; awaiting your reply. :)

jggimiDecember 22, 2011 8:11 AM

@Bruce, you wrote:

"Tell me who you're going to give the book to and why. I'll randomly choose ten people from those e-mails..."

It shouldn't be completely random. It should be your judgement call as to the thought leaders and talking heads that we can reach whom you think it may be valuable to share your ideas with. Even with a large volume of responses, you should make some judgements. E.g.: if you get a thousand Email responses, cull the top 100 as "finalists" and then randomly select the winners from the smaller set.

AdamDecember 22, 2011 8:35 AM

The book you will be giving the influential people who don't know about Bruce Schneier, will that be one of the typo-ridden uncorrected ones, or the smooth final version?

How good an impression will a book full of typos give these people?

Bruce SchneierDecember 22, 2011 8:47 AM

"What if we knew multiple people who influence opinions? Should we send one email per person we'd give it to and give it to the person based on the email you chose? Or would that be considered gaming the process?"

Pick the best. I'll delete the entries of anyone who sends me multiple emails.

Bruce SchneierDecember 22, 2011 8:49 AM

"The book you will be giving the influential people who don't know about Bruce Schneier, will that be one of the typo-ridden uncorrected ones, or the smooth final version?"

It will be the uncorrected galley.

"How good an impression will a book full of typos give these people?"

You make a good point, and one that I thought about. One, it's really not that typo-ridden, although the final is definitely better. Two, the point of a pre-publication galley is to get the book in the hands of people who will usefully read it before the publication date.

Bruce SchneierDecember 22, 2011 8:50 AM

"It shouldn't be completely random. It should be your judgement call as to the thought leaders and talking heads that we can reach whom you think it may be valuable to share your ideas with. Even with a large volume of responses, you should make some judgements."

I thought about that, too. If I tell people I will choose the "best" thought leaders, then I incent people to lie or exaggerate. If I choose randomly, people are more likely to be honest.

John N.December 22, 2011 8:53 AM

Adam wrote:

"The book you will be giving the influential people who don't know about Bruce Schneier, will that be one of the typo-ridden uncorrected ones, or the smooth final version?

How good an impression will a book full of typos give these people?"

What about giving the galley to a person who makes a commitment to buy a copy of the pretty, final version and give it to an appropriately influential person?

No OneDecember 22, 2011 10:06 AM

@John N: It's possible that the influential person, if they read the galley, could improve first-day sales of the book. Giving them a production run after it hits the shelves is less useful in that context.

I had two good ideas. One I think would have given a more entertaining result, but I sent in my suggestion for the one I thought would be more influential.

LukeDecember 22, 2011 10:15 AM

"Of course, I have no way of verifying that the winners actually comply. Someone could keep one copy of the galley and auction the other on eBay. I can't stop that, but I will be cross if it happens. And I will number the galleys, so if I do ever see the book, I will know who did it."

So we can assume there will be a section of the book on the usefulness of public shame to enforce societal norms? :)

ewanDecember 22, 2011 11:24 AM

"And I will number the galleys, so if I do ever see the book, I will know who did it."

Not quite - you won't know if the winner sold it on ebay, or if they did exactly what they said they would, and then the thought leader they gave it to sold it on ebay.

Not really anonymousDecember 22, 2011 11:25 AM

Presumably besides the obvious numbering, there will be secret numbering so that people who auction their copy off won't be able to just tear off the number to avoid discovery. Maybe there should be a contest to see who can figure out how the copies are secretly numbered.

SeiranDecember 22, 2011 11:47 AM

"And I will number the galleys, so if I do ever see the book, I will know who did it."
-Bruce

"So we can assume there will be a section of the book on the usefulness of public shame to enforce societal norms? :)"
-Luke

More like game theory. If this game is repeatable, assuming Bruce uses this method again, the recipient of the prior book is significantly less likely to receive one again.

Overt indicators that something is attributable are good for deterring socially-condemned behavior. It isn't good for traitor tracing, though, if it can be effectively masked without diminishing the information's value for unapproved usage (resale).

Knowing Bruce, of course, he's probably numbering it on a random page in the book, and not just with any old UV ink, but custom wavelength luminous ink that responds only to far UV spectrum :).

It also doesn't help against those who just don't care about the social/legal implications that befall them, e.g. posting all sorts of negative remarks under their real name on social-network sites, uploading name-personalized role play gaming ebooks on mediafire, etc. Plenty of people do shameful things ("shameful" as most people would perceive it) in real-life in full public view with nametags on, and they don't care.

I'm sure this is all in the book section on public shame you refer to :).

CuriousDecember 22, 2011 12:45 PM

Not sure how helpful the following is, but I know that Greg Mitchell at The Nation has printed a couple of books with "Blurb".

The couple of books I bought from him was sent to my country in Europe from USA in a small package into my mailbox. This were paperpack books and not hardbacks.

bcsDecember 22, 2011 12:47 PM

To bad I don't personally know the director of the TSA. OTOH that might be a good thing for my continued non-incineration.

Alex RoothamDecember 22, 2011 1:32 PM

I would like to give this book to Kim Jung Un. I can think of no one else who has quite so much influence over millions of people's opinions. If I win, I'll find a creative way of meeting Mr. Kim.

BobDecember 22, 2011 2:27 PM

"I'll randomly choose ten people from those e-mails.."

This is silly. You ask for a great idea about how to distribute the books and then you just do a random selection. It doesn't matter what anyone actually says. Might as well have just said you were going to do it randomly to begin with.

JMendeDecember 22, 2011 4:12 PM

You know, walk into any small college (Northwest Missouri State) computer science, math or MIS classrooms and give them the books.

HarryDecember 22, 2011 6:54 PM

I wish there were a good way to stop someone from submitting from multiple email addresses. (Mine has been sent already, adhering to the 'one per customer' rule.)

SzDecember 22, 2011 11:24 PM

There's no squid story up yet to throw this link onto, but I hope Bruce won't mind. Not sure anyone will still read the week-old one?

Anyhow, take a look at this toy security checkpoint. Be sure to read the top-rated review for it, or you're missing out!

http://www.amazon.com/...

mad dogDecember 22, 2011 11:27 PM

Nice offer Mr. Bruce. Thanks

Sad part is, anybody I know who I think is influential I have already torqued off. Or outlived. :-)

Good luck with your book.

Can't wait to read it.

All the best.

NZDecember 23, 2011 1:44 AM

@Not really anonymous
"Maybe there should be a contest to see who can figure out how the copies are secretly numbered."
And the winners will receive non-marked copies.

Bruce SchneierDecember 23, 2011 10:34 AM

"This is silly. You ask for a great idea about how to distribute the books and then you just do a random selection. It doesn't matter what anyone actually says. Might as well have just said you were going to do it randomly to begin with."

What's your better solution, given that I have no way of verifying anything anyone says?

Bruce SchneierDecember 23, 2011 10:35 AM

"What about giving the galley to a person who makes a commitment to buy a copy of the pretty, final version and give it to an appropriately influential person?"

Given that I can't verify that commitment, this seems better.

merkelcellcancerDecember 23, 2011 12:45 PM

Bruce, many of us are well known, have either posted over the years or communicated with you. Photos, well known web sites, associated research by published researchers and physicians. Some of the best geeks never try to hide.

VlesDecember 23, 2011 1:54 PM

>What's your better solution, given that I have no way of verifying anything anyone says?

I can't answer for Bob, but how about we all put forward two people (don't include yourself) and we do an old fashioned tally of votes? Sounds democratic to me...
I propose RSH and tommy. :o)

I also like the idea of donating to an IT department of a non-for profit company. I know this company grows its own library and is the best Australian company I worked for. They are also currently looking for a CIO...

Andrew PhilipsDecember 23, 2011 3:34 PM

Boy, you guys are whiners. I already sent an email with my address pretending to be jur. I have (at most) a 50/50 chance of getting that reward galley...

JurDecember 24, 2011 5:41 AM

of course I'm very happy my idea was picked and to receive a copy of the book. One notch up my vanity chart.

Andrew, you are welcome to a copy because that would be in keeping with the theme of the But I think Bruce can check my email address from the forum posting. So unless you.ve hacked my account (maybe i should check), your chances are slim.

I will use my galley copy like the others are intended and buy my own copy.

meDecember 25, 2011 5:23 PM

Dag nabbit, sorry I missed this but it's still nice to read about even being offered :)

I hope to buy one. I love reading books I don't have a hope in the world of understanding because they never go stale on repeated reading.

Natanael LDecember 25, 2011 5:49 PM

I think my suggestions are good. Yes, "suggestions", I put several ones in one email (three suggestions, keeping them secret here for now, just Schneier knows who I suggested :).

jacobDecember 28, 2011 12:50 PM

Bruce, I nominate someone outside the system. Clive. The old man adds a lot to the discussion every single time. Just my thoughts.
BTW It's outside scope, but Paul Christoforo is really giving everyone a case study for bad customer relations...

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