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Video: Wowing the Crowd with Commodore’s Song at the Book Revue

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I open readings with a song I wrote about the Commodore and writing this book.  It always gets a great response!  Check out the YouTube video–it’s short.  Jacobsen Playing Commodore Song at Book Revue


Chris Matthews and the Hardball Approach to Book PR

Chris Matthews ended his broadcast on October 31 by asking his viewers to 1) buy his latest book (yet another adoring love letter to JFK) and 2) to read it.   A basic premise of his book is that JFK asked the American people to follow him.  During his show, he blathered on about how President Obama should be asking more of the American people.  And then, taking his own advice— and with his Cheshire cat grin— he flat-out asked his viewers to not only buy his book but to read it!

I was at the gym and almost fell off the treadmill (the only time I watch talking heads like Matthews).  I was struck by Matthews’ chutzpah.  Evidently it’s not enough for him to simply mention his book on his show or to have one of his guests drop the name of the book for him.  Or, as Tom Brokaw does, go on someone else’s show and have them do the plugging.

That Matthews felt he had to end his show by asking his viewers to buy and read his latest book was, for this brand new author, demoralizing.  Is it so hard to sell books these days that even a brand name author like Chris Matthews has to end his show with a plea?  Where does that leave the rest of us authors, especially us newbies?

On the drive home I thought, Why don’t I take Chris Matthews’ advice and ask him to buy my book.  So this morning I sent an email to MSNBC asking Chris Matthews to please buy AND READ my new book, A Commodore of Errors.

I’ll let you know if I get a response.  Stay tuned.


Photo by David Shankbone under Creative Commons license.


1985 Graduate, Merchant Marine Academy

1985 Graduate, Merchant Marine Academy

a missed bunk check almost got him tossed, but four years later he graduated …


A Rubber Key and the Table Captain’s Meal

Captain John G. JacobsenI was a Table Captain my senior year at the Merchant Marine Academy.  For the uninitiated, the job of the Table Captain is to sit at the head of the dining table and keep the plebes in line.  My classmate John Laubenstein sat to my right every single lunch and dinner of senior year.  The rest of the table was taken up by plebes.  My table was popular among the plebes.  The deal was they could do/say anything they wanted during meal hour— there were absolutely no rules at my table.  The only thing I asked was that they wait on Laubs and me hand-and-foot.  One Monday at lunch Laubs is telling me about his weekend.  He got crazy drunk.  No surprise there.  He also met a girl at the mixer and brought her back to his room.  Turns out he was too drunk to perform.  When he told me it was like trying to open a lock with a rubber key, I laughed so hard I hurt my back.  When I was writing the scene with Putzie and Mitzi in the back of the dry cleaners, the line came to me out of the blue.  I said a silent prayer to John Laubenstein and kept writing.


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