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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg declares 2015 the 'Year of Books' with online reading club

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to shift his “media diet towards reading books” with the launch of a Facebook reading group has had a “seismic” effect on the sales of the first title chosen for consideration.  Mark Zuckerberg’s selection of The End of Power by Moisés Naím sparks ‘seismic change’ in the book’s fortunes, with 18 months’ sales outstripped in days.
The End of Power is an economics title by Moisés Naím, former executive director of the World Bank and Venezuela’s former minister of industry and trade. Claiming that power is shifting towards the individual, it was first published in 2013, and was chosen by Zuckerberg over the weekend as the first book he will pick up as part of a challenge to read something new every two weeks, and discuss it online.
“For the finite market it had reached [until now] it did very well,” said David Steinberger, president of the Perseus Books Group, which publishes The End of Power under the Basic Books imprint. “We certainly couldn’t have anticipated any sort of seismic change in demand, which is what we have seen. It started at the weekend and has accelerated until today.”
Before Zuckerberg’s Facebook announcement – which Steinberger had “no idea” was coming – Naím’s title had sold around 20,000 copies in print, and 5,000 ebooks. “We’ve sold more ebooks in two days than we’d sold in the year-and-a-half before,” said Steinberger. “And I think we’re going to sell many times more. It’s changing by the minute.”
The publisher said there had been a “huge jump” for the book on online bestseller lists. It is currently in 30th place in’s overall bestseller chart, and number one in economics.
“We’ve seen several big spikes in ebook demand, and it was immediately out of stock [in print],” said Steinberger, whose team has worked with the digital platform Constellation to ensure it is now available in print. “It’s in five figures, the number of copies we’ve had to print in the last couple of days … All over the world people have started reading it.”
Zuckerberg announced on 2 January on Facebook that “my challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week – with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies”.
“I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books,” he continued, describing The End of Power as “a book that explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organisations”.
“The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply, and I’m looking forward to reading this book and exploring this in more detail,” he wrote.
The titles will be discussed on Facebook’s “A Year of Books” page, which already has more than 249,000 likes. “I am really shocked to see this many followers on this book club. A few hours ago some friends congratulated me and told me something that made me really happy, all the paperback books (The End of Power) from Amazon have been sold,” wrote Zuckerberg, as discussion kicked off around the title.
“We’ve always felt this is a book which is going to live forever … that will change the way people look at the world,” said Steinberger. “We felt it describes a paradigm of our time.”
Courtesy of

Sharon x

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  1. I guess even the mighty Zuckerberg couldn't miss all the book reviews etc on Facebook anymore!! You can't beat them--join them!


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