An alternative way of distributing a book: rather than going through the normal distribution channels, just give some away. Ask the recipients, if they don’t find the book to their liking, to please pass it on to someone whom they think would like it. And ask them if they do like it to consider purchasing a copy to give to someone else.
In fact, encourage them to give away one to three copies, depending on how much they liked the book.
If the book is well-liked, it will go viral. If it is not it will fizzle out almost immediately. This is a test-case for the Gift Economy, albeit an incomplete one.
This may be the model we use for distributing The World Transformed: the Abridged Edition.
If not, I think I will try it out on a subsequent book.