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"Mouse Tales" Update

Jim Hill

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"Mouse Tales" Update

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When you see results like this, it's pretty obvious that the system can be manipulated ...

Oh, I'm sorry. Did you think that I was talking about the Michael Jackson verdict?

Oh, hell no. I'm talking about how ridiculously well the golden anniversary edition of David Koenig's "Mouse Tales" is doing on Amazon.com right now.

For those of you who don't know what's going on yet, let me quickly bring you up to speed: David is the author of "Mouse Tales: A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland." Originally published back in July 1994, this unauthorized history of the "Happiest Place on Earth" has been delighting Disneyana fans for more than a decade now.

Recently, in honor of Disneyland's 50th anniversary, Koenig decided to create a special golden edition of "Mouse Tales." A significantly enhanced version of this Bonaventure Press release which features:

? A greatly expanded and thoroughly updated version of David's book which features scores of crazy new anecdotes.
? An entirely new chapter?"When the Magic Began"?reliving the first few months of Walt's Magic Kingdom, as told by the park's pioneers.
? A large fold-out aerial photograph of Disneyland during its opening week in 1955.
? "A Walk in the Park: A Guided Tour of Disneyland in 1955," a 60-minute audio CD featuring "Mouse Tales" author David Koenig recreating a trip to the Disneyland of a half-century ago.

But while he was prepping this brand-new edition of his unauthorized history of Disneyland, Koenig had kind of a crazy thought: Wouldn't it cool if the golden anniversary edition of "Mouse Tales" could make it onto Amazon.com's best-sellers list?

Unfortunately, when the all-new version of this Bonaventure Press release first went on sale with this on-line retailer back in January of 2005, things initially didn't look all that good. The special anniversary edition of "Mouse Tales" found itself  way down deep in the pile at Amazon.com. As recently as last week, this book was ranked at about 172,000 in that site's listing.

Ah, but that didn't dissuade David from still trying to achieve his dream. Which is why Koenig reached out to yours truly as well as Dave Oneal (You know? The guy who runs the Extinct Attractions Club?) and asked us to take part in a pretty intriguing promotional plan.

David's idea was that Oneal and I should -- over a four day period -- encourage our readers to order copies of the special golden anniversary edition of "Mouse Tales: A Look Behind the Ears at Disneyland" on Amazon.com. And -- as an extra-added incentive to induce these people to order copies of his book through that on-line retailer -- Koenig created a special 6-page article called "30 Golden Goofs for the 50th." Which would only be available to those folks who ordered "Mouse Tales" through Amazon during this special four-day-long campaign.

And David did all of this with just one goal in mind: He wanted his book to make it into Amazon.com's Top 1000.

Well, I am pleased to report that Koenig actually did accomplish his goal. And then some!

Don't believe me? Then let me throw a few stats at you:

  • Monday morning, at around 9 a.m. PST, Amazon.com still had "Mouse Tales" listed at 15,197.
  • As of 1 p.m. PST, the on-liner retailer had Koenig's book listed at 8,694.
  • Suddenly -- as of 1:30 p.m. PST -- "Mouse Tales" jumped to a ranking of 272.

And -- over the next few hours -- this book's ranking at Amazon.com continued to climb. First 222, then 168, then 151. At one point late last night, it has been reported that the golden anniversary edition of "Mouse Tales: A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland" was actually ranked at 123 on Amazon.com's best sellers list!

And -- over on this on-line retailer's business books listing -- Koenig's unauthorized history of "The Happiest Place on Earth" actually made it up into Amazon.com's Top 20!

And all of this because JHM readers and the nice folks who subscribe to the Extinct Attractions Club answered the call. These people actually stepped up to the plate when David, Dave and I put out the word ... Which resulted in "Mouse Tales" doing so well on Amazon.com yesterday & today (As I write this story, Koenig's book is currently hovering around 225 on that website's best-sellers list).

Obviously, David wants me to thank you all for doing your part to make his dream come true. But he also wants me to remind you that there are still 1 1/2 days left in this promotion. So -- if you'd like to help make a little on-line history (Not to mention making yourself eligible for recieving a copy of Koenig's "30 Golden Goofs for the 50th" article) -- you'd best order your copy of the special golden anniversary edition of "Mouse Tales: A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland" through Amazon over the next few days.

Beyond that ... Given what just happened over at Amazon.com, one has to wonder: If two relatively small websites can have this large an impact (even temporarily) on where a particular book is positioned on that on-line retailer's best-sellers list, one wonders what the really-for-real publishing houses do to help spur their own books further up in Amazon.com's Top 1000, 100 and/or 10 listings.

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