Two words: Thank you! Two more: You rock! Excuse me if I gush, but the response to my little experiment was, quite literally overwhelming. I haven't counted up the number of requests for review copies of Crowdsourcing, but it easily exceeds 150. And I have good news! My US publisher, Crown Business, was so impressed by the reaction that they've agreed to donate additional books to make sure that everyone who has requested a copy will receive one. So keep those requests coming! And to salt the mine, I'll also endeavor to sign each and every copy.
In the meantime, this has made fulfillment a bit of a challenge. It's one thing to throw a few dozen books into envelopes and toss them in the mail bin. It's quite another to sort through a few hundred requests. I'd hoped to send out the books today, but it looks like they'll be going out early next week instead. Rest assured, however, they'll be on their way soon.
Most importantly (for my purposes, at least), I think we now have a solid basis to judge the efficacy of this little experiment. I've received book reviews in some major publications, including the London Times, the Financial Times, the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer and, to my great delight, a very positive notice in this week's issue of Business Week. The reviews certainly helped sales, but none drove the kind of spike that publishers like to see. The question that will presumably be answered in the coming month is whether this grassroots approach—leveraging the long tail of reviewers—will have a greater or lesser impact than the mass media.