Denny’s Daily Zinger: The Gates of Hell and Awful Timing

Yesterday, I woke up to a media firestorm.
The front pages of The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer were ablaze with news about former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ new book.

On TV, the babble-heads were babbling madly about it.

This was huge news. Never in memory had a former cabinet official crapped all over the sitting president and vice president who had been his bosses. Paragraph four of The Wall Street Journal account:

“As I [Gates] sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates writes. “For him, it’s all about getting out.”
Julien E. Barnes and Peter Nicholas


What seemed to be unfolding was the high tragedy of a weak-piss president cowed by a bunch of Pentagon money-sucking warmongers looking like Christmas trees in their ribbons and brass.

The Arrant Idiocy of Random House and Amazon
I jumped on my Kindle to order the book. I was salivating.

What greeted me at the Amazon bookstore?

[See the Illustration in the media player at right.]

The book had not yet been published. It was not available for six days!


Takeaways to Consider

  • Never publicize a product that is not available for sale NOW.
  • I urge you to read you to read “Blitzkrieg PR” and do what Marji Ross does.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Reginald Doherty

    In my opinion, Mr. Gates’ bad manners are only exceeded by his bad manners.

  • Jerry

    Why do you think the publisher was behind this? It looks to me like a story by a reporter who was able to get an early copy of the book. They do exist, and sometimes journalists will jump the gun just to get a scoop on everyone else.

  • mikewrite

    Denny, six days isn’t a long wait. Movie trailers promote movies six months out. Promoting something ahead of time is a common practice in our industry. As you said, it gets you salivating.

  • pfwriter

    But, Denny, it WILL be delivered automatically to your Kindle the day it publishes. Think of the anticipation …