As most of you are probably aware, last year we wrote a book. Yep, an actual book. We had seen a lot of other blogs put together annuals and we threw our hat into the ring without really thinking too much about what it would involve. As it turned out, it involved an awful lot of work from a lot of really talented people to put together something that was good enough to appear on bookshelves, even though it wasn't actually available in stores (though it was available on Amazon).
From the outset our goals were modest:
- Put together something special that we'd all be proud of; and
- Help promote Amazin' Avenue
I have little doubt that we succeeded in #1. I still think the book is an amazing achievement and, even if I would change some things here and there, on balance it was an impressive volume with contributions from AA writers, other Mets bloggers, and non-Mets baseball writers from near and far. If you didn't see if last year you can still download it for free. Yea, free. Since we wanted to get it in front of as many people as possible, pricing it competitively -- or not at all -- was the easiest way to do that. Even the print version on Amazon was sold at cost -- i.e. it cost us exactly what you paid -- for around $6.
As for #2, while I think we did a good job of promoting the site by way of the book, I also think that the vast majority of its consumers were folks that were already aware of Amazin' Avenue. A lot of people were very generous about linking to the book, but overall I think we were mainly "selling" it to our base and not really expanding the reach of AA all that much.
The book was downloaded for free over 3,000 times and sold a couple hundred copies (including those purchased by us and our families). Those are pretty good numbers considering we didn't have any real coordinated publicity effort behind it.
But that was last year. Much to the chagrin of our wives and girlfriends, a couple of months ago we began laying the groundwork for the 2011 Amazin' Avenue Annual. Last time around we were tight-lipped about the book and its process until it was clear that we'd be able to pull it off, but this year I want to make it a little more transparent and maybe even solicit more feedback from the community as we move along. To that end, we're going to start running a regular series here with updates on the book which will hopefully provide a small window into what goes into writing the AAA.
Check back later today for the first real progress update on the Amazin' Avenue Annual 2011.