Book buzz --via blogs
By David Kirkpatrick

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Weeks before the official publication date of Freakonomics, ecstatic reviews began to appear: "I've been up since three in the morning and have just finished devouring it. It is the logical successor to Guns, Germs, and Steel."

But the critic, Eugene Wei, is no professional. He's just a guy who maintains a blog called The Remains of the Day. Turns out the book's publisher, the William Morrow division of HarperCollins, had sent advance galleys to Wei and 100 or so other bloggers.

This web-based marketing strategy has been a spectacular success, helping to propel Freakonomics to No. 3 on Amazon's list of most-ordered books by late April.

The publisher also hired the firm BzzAgent to run a 12-week guerrilla marketing campaign in chat rooms and elsewhere (and, inevitably, the authors write their own blog at In fact, all this momentum has made one old- fashioned promo tool unnecessary: a book tour. -- David Kirkpatrick