Machine of Death is an anthology of speculative short stories about people who know how (but not when) they are going to die. The authors got clever and asked everyone who was planning to buy the book to do so on the day it was released, Oct. 26, so they could place high on the Amazon sales charts.

“When we picked a release date, we tried to aim for a day far from other major book releases,” the authors explain on their blog. In that, they failed spectacularly: A number of potential best-sellers came out that day, including Keith Richards’s autobiography, a new Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and Glenn Beck’s latest book, Broke. Nonetheless, the power of the internet is such that Machine of Death took the No. 1 spot on Amazon for that day.

(Glenn Beck was not amused.)

It was cool watching this happen as I’m a fan of Wonder Mark (one of the author’s websites) and have been watching this come together. It’s worth noting that the creators passed the book around to a number of publishers, all of whom said it was unmarketable.

Behold, the power of the internet.

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