The book that’s going to be the talk of CNY


The launch of the new book by our former Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas called My Story: Justice in the Wilderness has shook the bedrock of Malaysian politics as we know it. And nobody can stop this train!

Anyway, I am not going to talk about what’s right or wrong about the book because I am sure state-driven media can handle that in line with the political leaning of the day. I actually believe the powers of the day could be delighted with this book for reasons best known to them and me. But politics aside, I will declare that I am a fan of the man. 

I am going to talk about how the book has broken the rules of marketing by surrendering itself to the masses and empowering them with the task of marketing. I must admit that the content is riveting to begin with. So let’s just say it is a superior product and has arrived at the right time. A perfect recipe for marketing success. 

The lessons I have learnt from the time before its launch to now is that the book lent itself to a reader-driven promotional drive at zero cost. Technically, the cost really was taken on by the news portals and publishers who built up the excitement prior to launch and slowly trickled out snippets of the stories on a staggered basis. They got hundreds of thousands of readers to their sites (and possibly fortune) while Tan Sri got fame. 

To put it in advertising parlance, the teaser campaign was seductive and the subsequent roll-out of the product was tantalising. Add Word Of Mouth to the mix, and it’s a runaway best-seller as a marketing case study. And they only just got started!

Like every successful ad campaign, the interest and appeal is at an all-time high and ongoing. Mostly thanks to retorts by “Siapa makan cili” folk, police reports and exciting rumours threatening the ban of the book. Free advertising some say. 

I guarantee you the book will the topic of many conversations during CNY, further propelling its virality and popularity. 

If only our COVID messaging can be this contagious! 

I reached out to Mr Chong, the gentleman who owns Gerakbudaya and publisher of the book to write a little more about its success. 

His reply to me is self-explanatory…