Thursday, October 18, 2001
Headline (who publish American Gods in the UK) ran a strange (but effective) promotional campaign for American Gods. It went like this: they put a band around the book, saying it was as good as Stephen King or your money back, which also dropped the price of the hardback to ten pounds from the official price of seventeen pounds fifty. You had to send back the book and your receipt, and they would reimburse you.

And the response? Well, the book wandered into the top ten bestseller lists in various positions depending on whose lists you look at, and has stayed in the lower reaches of the UK bestseller lists ever since, selling tens of thousands of books.

And in the meantime, a grand total of three letters have been sent asking for their money back (two returning the books as requested in the instructions, the third holding onto it because, while he still wanted to read it again, he just wanted his tenner back).

And then there was a letter from Headline, which arrived here this morning, containing a letter from a reader who enjoyed the book so much he felt bad about only having paid ten pounds for it, so was enclosing a cheque for the additional seven pounds and fifty pence. Headline didn't have the heart to cash his cheque, so sent it on to me asking if I could write a nice note on the back of it to send back to him...