Hachette turns to Twitter to sell books

Hachette is selling three of its titles, including Amanda Palmer's new book 'The Art of Asking,' using buy buttons on Twitter.

Eric Thayer/Reuters
The Twitter logo is pictured.

Publisher Hachette wonders if you might be inspired to buy a book while browsing through Twitter.

Earlier this year, Twitter added a “buy” button option. Now, according to Businessweek, Hachette is using it to promote three of their titles: “You Are Here” by astronaut Chris Hadfield, the book “The Onion Magazine” from writers from The Onion, and Amanda Palmer’s new title “The Art of Asking.” If you buy one of these books through Twitter, you get an extra item – for example, a copy of Palmer’s book would come with a manuscript page that she signed. There will only be a certain amount of these titles sold on Twitter.

As pointed out by The New York Times, these writers (or group of writers, in the case of The Onion) all have large followings on Twitter. Hadfield, for example, is currently followed by 1.2 million Twitter users.

Hachette is working with the company Gumroad to make the promotion happen.

According to the NYT, the titles are being sold at list price.

A Hachette spokesperson said the publisher plans to sell more books through Twitter.

Hachette was involved in a months-long battle with Amazon over pricing during which Amazon delayed shipment of Hachette titles. It seems likely that the publisher is looking for a way to reach consumers more directly.

Palmer too has expressed enthusiasm for finding another path for sales. addressed this

"I’m not a fan of the idea that Amazon has a stranglehold on any one industry," she said in an interview with Businessweek.. "Giving people an alternative to Amazon is rewarding."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.