Palast Thinks Outside the Bookstore, On Tour

By Rachel Deahl, Publisher’s Weekly

Author Greg Palast managed to put his first book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on the
bestsellers lists thanks in part to a an imaginative tour that took him away from the traditional
venue stopes: bookstores. At packed speaking engagements in churches, movie theaters and
other venues, Palast was able to draw audiences sympathetic to his left-leaning message. That
effort is being repeated once again for the author’s latest: Armed Madhouse (Dutton). For the
book, which goes on sale tomorrow, Palast is hitting the road (also tomorrow) on a 17-city tour,
looking to work the same magic. With scheduled radio appearances on Air America, a number
of XM radio shows and some other local programs, Palast will again be avoiding the traditional
author venues (along with the more mainstream press outlets).
Bookstores won’t be excluded from Palast’s tour entirely though; a number of local
independents will be involved. Powell’s, for example, will be selling copies of the book, at
Palast’s appearance in Portland, Ore., at the First Unitarian Church. Other sponsors for each
stop range from the Native American Lawyers student organization to RainbowPUSH, making
the tour look and sound more like a political event than anything else. And that’s likely no
mistake. Palast, who maintains a popular blog at www.gregpalast.com, has clearly recognized
that even small platforms can grow when you tap your friends.