my answer to all of these questions is a resounding NO, but to some authors more successful than yours truly, these stunts and others have resulted in new books, some of them big hits. HERE is my LA Times piece on a.j. jacobs, self-help skeptic beth lisick and several others who've put out high-concert gimmick books. they're like the bastard spawn of george plimpton's "paper lion."
in the piece i speak to jacobs, whose voice sounds a lot like arnold horshack's, iowa prof robin hemley, whose book "do over!" takes a middle-aged father back to some painful early experiences, and veteran publishing observer sara nelson. why here? why now?
(HERE is a new story i wrote for the louisville paper on jacobs himself.)
now excuse me while i return the igloo where i have chosen to spent all of 2009...
Photo credit: ajjacobs.com