LA-based indie publisher We Heard You Like Books hired Press Shop to do publicity for the release of its first book: I Hate the Internet: A Useful Novel Against Men, Money, and the Filth of Instagram by Jarett Kobek. It's a brilliant, laugh-out-loud screed of a novel, but we faced some major challenges in promoting it: little distribution, no sales or marketing team, and the author is the founding–and only–editor at the publishing house, making it pretty much a self-published book. But we didn't let it stop us! We crafted a specialized media outreach strategy and went out pitching. We were able to line up a ton of media, including long Q&As in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Salon, reviews in Zyzzyva and Volume 1 Brooklyn, a piece in Electric Literature, and we successfully pitched Greil Marcus for his legendary Real Life Rock Top 10 column, which appeared in Pitchfork.
And then: we got this almost-self-published book reviewed by Dwight Garner in The New York Times! A rave on the front page of the Arts section.
The New York Times: When the Digital World is Judging Your Every Thought
"[It's] a grainy political and cultural rant, a sustained shriek about power and morality in a new global era. It's a glimpse at a lively mind at full boil...this book has soul as well as nerve... My advice: Log off Twitter for a day. Pick this up instead."
The New York Times review sent the book into the top 500 on Amazon; international rights were snapped up in 6 languages. A widely published review from The Washington Post news syndicate appeared soon after and gave the book another boost. I Hate the Internet went into its second printing, and the author got a contract for his next novel with Viking.
The Guardian: Why I Hate the Internet Found So Many Readers
The Guardian covered the swift success of the book a couple months after publication: "The novel has become a sleeper sensation – a more or less self-published book that landed a favorable review above the fold on the front page of theNew York Times' Arts section (something Kobek believes is a first for a self-published book.)"
A couple of our early media hits:
Los Angeles Review of Books: What to Do If You're a Useless Man, an Interview
A long and wide-ranging interview with Jarett Kobek.
Pitchfork: Greil Marcus's Real Life Rock Top 10
Check out #9!
Electric Literature: Two Writers Congratulate Themselves on Their Genius
Dorthe Nors and Jarett Kobek discuss literary breakthroughs and tech industry assaults on San Francisco
Chelsea Handler is now developing I Hate the Internet into a TNT drama.
By the way, If you haven't read the book yet, you should!