I am so proud of our swing dance community right now I could burst. What began as a random suggestion by my friend Shorty Dave — “Hey wouldn’t it be great if all the lindy hoppers in America bought Frankie’s book on the same day?” — blossomed into an international campaign that shot Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop from 9,342nd place to number seven on the Amazon best-sellers list yesterday! As i write this, the book is still holding at number eight.
All day yesterday there was a palpable sense of excitement on our site Yehoodi.com as people posted on the discussion boards that they had bought a book, or bought two books, or bought five. All day posts from around the country shot back and forth chronicling the progress: “I bought one, it’s at #130!” “I got mine, it’s at #45!”
Cynthia Millman the co-author called me several times as it continued to climb and climb. When it got to the Top 50, I was satisfied that we had done what we aimed to accomplish, which was put Frankie’s book on the best-seller list. “The rest is just gravy,” I told Cynthia, predicting it would go down later in the day.
People were emailing and texting me updates all day as it shot up the charts. I heard stories about swing dances around the country where the organizers had set up laptops near the front desk where people could buy the book that evening. Dancers were sending emails out to their friends, buying books for family, posting the news to their blogs and myspaces. It grew to have a life of its own.
It’s hard to beat the hook: A legendary swing dancer has finally published his autobiography. On his 93rd birthday, let’s all buy his book as the best birthday present of all for the man who gave us all so much. It almost sells itself.
Not to say that there wasn’t work involved:
- We posted the news prominently on yehoodi.com and emailed to our massive list the message of the campaign. (See what we posted below)
- We got the talented web designer Eli Pritykin to donate his services to the authors to build FrankieManning.com into the lovely site it now is.
- Spuds created this sweet promotional video that we cross-posted to blip.tv, youtube and google video.
- Shorty Dave assembled a great “Goodie Bag” of music, free dance venue admission, and discounted swing classes for people that buy the book on May 26.
- My pal Swifty designed fun banners and buttons for posting on other websites.
All-in-all, a tremendous team effort that all played a part in the success of the campaign. I’m so grateful to be working with such a great crew.
Frankie Manning is in France right now, teaching workshops for a few days. But I understand that he’s been kept apprised of the progress and is tremendously pleased. Here’s the message he sent along:
I would like to thank all you guys, you ladies and gentlemen, for buying the book and making this the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and hope that you enjoy reading the book of my life as much as I enjoyed living this life.
That really makes it all worthwhile to read that.
Here’s what we posted to Yehoodi.com.
Mark Your Calendars: Buy Frankie’s Autobiography on May 26
As you should know by now, Frankie Manning’s autobiography, The Ambassador of Lindy Hop, co-written by Cynthia Millman, is hitting the shelves soon. We at Yehoodi are incredibly excited about this important piece of lindy hop history, and we hope you are too. Yehoodi is helping promote the book in two ways: a May 26 “Amazon bestseller” campaign and a June 29 book launch party in New York.
This May 26 is Frankie Manning’s 93rd Birthday, believe it or not. To celebrate, we are asking lindy hoppers and FoF (Friends of Frankie) everywhere to go to Amazon.com and purchase his book. If every swing dancer in America (and around the world) responds to this, we believe we can make the Ambassador of Lindy Hop a best-seller for the day. To make it even sweeter, we are going to offer an amazing “Goodie Bag” of swing stuff for people who buy the book on that day, including exclusive music downloads, discounts at various swing schools and venues, and other neat stuff.
- Here’s how you can participate:
- Remember to order the book from Amazon on May 26
- Send the message below out to your own swing e-mail lists or discussion boards
- Post this banner or button on your website
- Link to this promotional video on to your websites, blogs, myspace pages, and discussion boards
- Offer something special for people in your community who participate, perhaps free entrance to your local dance or discount at your swing school. Go to this thread to sign up to put something in the Goodie Bag!
- Check out the new FrankieManning.com, designed by our pal Eli Pritykin
Hit the “more info” link for a message you can share with your swing community….
[Please share the following message with your swing community]
Dear Friend of Frankie,
Help make Frankie’s book a national bestseller on his birthday!
As you should know by now, Frankie Manning’s autobiography, The Ambassador of Lindy Hop, co-written by Cynthia Millman, is hitting the shelves soon. We are super-excited to finally get to read this important piece of Lindy Hop history.
What better gift to Frankie than seeing his autobiography pop to the top of Amazon.com’s best-seller’s list on May 26, his 93rd birthday?
If you’d like to be part of this international campaign, go to Amazon.com and order Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop on May 26.
If you have already pre-ordered the book, consider ordering another copy as a gift for a friend. If you know of others who might be thinking of getting the book, pass the message along!
More information, including a special Bonus package for those who order the book on May 26, coming soon on the new FrankieManning.com.
The Team at Yehoodi.com