RUSH: Folks, I have to tell you something about my upcoming book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans. I announced this book on Thursday. The book hits on October 29th. It has been number one on Amazon since. It still is.
I don’t know if this is unprecedented or not. Maybe the announcement of Harry Potter books stays at number one pre-order. This book’s pre-orders are higher than sales of other books. It’s astounding. I want to tell a little story about my first book, The Way Things Ought to Be. The publisher (which was the same one as for this book, Simon & Schuster) threw a book party for me at the famous New York eatery, 21. It was my first time meeting people in the publishing industry that I didn’t know, and they didn’t know me.
I’d been in New York four years, and I was still trying to get my feet wet in that market and city and so forth. So a guy from TIME-LIFE — I wish he could remember his name. He was a very ranking, senior executive. He’d been there in a long time. He was a white-hair guy. He came up to me and asked me how it felt, because at the time of the book party, the sales had already taken off, and it was number one on the New York Times list. That book stayed at number one for 24 weeks.
This guy comes up to me and asks me how I felt about it.
I said, “I’m humbled.”
He said, “You’re WHAT?”
I said, “I’m humbled.”
“You’ve got a book at the top of the Times list and you’re humbled?”
He really was incredulous. I mean, almost just this side of angry incredulous. I said, “Yeah, I’m humbled.”
“What do you mean by that?”
He hadn’t the slightest idea what I was talking about. I said, “Well, this is my first book. This is something I never thought I would do in my entire life, imagining whatever a success track would be, if I ever got on one in radio. I never thought it would include writing a book, and the fact that people are buying it, I’m deeply appreciative. I’m totally humbled by it.” And he did not understand that. I couldn’t make him understand. He thought I was a nut.
I said, “How should I feel?”
He said, “Well, you ought to feel on top of the world, great!”
“I do, but I’m really humbled by it.”
He didn’t understand the idea of appreciating people who were buying it. You know, that should have a big red flag to me. The guy’s, obviously, in the New York publishing world. He’s a leftist in his politics. So that should be a huge learning experience. It wasn’t. I mean, it was at the time. It wasn’t ’til sometime later that I actually realized what that meant in terms of the way those people look at their audiences. Remember, they’re newspeople, and their audiences don’t know what they’re talking about, what they’re doing.
To the TIME-LIFE guy, “News audiences? Let them complain,” and the people in the news business will tell ’em the same thing. It’s the only business where the customer is always wrong. ‘Well, you don’t understand what we do! Well, you’re not quite smart enough to understand.” Well, I am just overwhelmingly humbled by this. I feel the same way about this. It’s inexplicable how we feel here. Now, we did slip to number two at Barnes & Noble but we’ll fix that today.
Now, what else we’ve done here, is we posted a short little video on my Facebook page, a behind-the-scenes video. It’s 40 seconds, a portion of the recording session to do the audio version of the book. A couple of weeks ago I did that, over three consecutive nights, and the video is actually taken from the control room. What you see in the upper-right hand of the video frame is me on a TV monitor via the Dittocam, and the back of the broadcast engineer’s head, Brian Johnson, which is as close to fame as Brian says he wants to get.
So it was taken from the control room. It’s just a little bit behind the scenes, and we’ve got some more that we might post. The audio version is doing phenomenally well in its own catalog in pre-orders. I’ve never done anything like this. You know, the audio version was a real challenge. I still love professional challenges, folks. I still get jazzed by doing something I haven’t done. I mean, I’ve read my other two books, but it’s nothing like this. This is a dramatic reading.
It calls for very many voice inflections, some impersonations, accents, storytelling. It was a real challenge. I had not done it before and I’m really proud of it because, in my mind, it’s some of the best work I’ve done, the audio version of this book. So, anyway, by this time you know the drill, and I can’t tell you the feedback we continue to get from people, the thrill people get. I guess the number one thing we’re hearing is, “It’s about time.” People wanted me to do something beside the radio program.
A lot of them wanted me to do a book, but it just didn’t excite me — and if I’m not excited, I’m not gonna do it. Then Kathryn said, “Look, why don’t you do a book for kids and start squaring history?” That’s something I had not thought of. “You know, it’s not being taught properly. It’s one of your big bugaboos.” So here we go. This is it, the true story of the Pilgrims, the true story of Thanksgiving, although it’s much more in it than the true story of Thanksgiving. I’ve seen some critics pan that.
Our press coverage has been awesome, actually. There’s nothing yet to criticize. Other than me, but there hasn’t been any of that other than some snarky comments on blogs. But the Drive-By Media been pretty fair and accurate in their reporting of the existence of the book, but I really am humbled by it. I don’t find that odd. This guy at TIME-LIFE thought it was odd. You know what I mean, when I say I’m humbled by it? This guy could not understand that. Of all things to fear, that’s the last thing…
He walked away shaking his head, not quite getting it. So I created this vehicle here, folks, that is so much fun. We brought to life the icon from of our iced tea company, TwoIfByTea.com, Rush Revere, who is me dressed up as Paul Revere. He’s got this smart-aleck looking horse that can time travel. Once you do that, you can go anywhere. Rush Revere and the horse, Liberty, can go anywhere in history, and we’re going to.
We can take students with us. We’ve got smartphones, so we can record what happens in history, bring it back to the classroom, and show the students on a projector, using AirPlay technology. Oh, folks, this has been a rush. It’s huge fun, and I couldn’t start the program today without once again telling you how appreciative I am and humbled I am that you have done this in five days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday…
Yep, five days, and I know that it’s going to continue. It’s written for 10- to 13-year-olds. But it’s for everybody, grandparents and parents to give, read with homeschoolers. It’s for everybody, and it is so much fun ’cause it’s just fun to have a chance to correct what’s happening in public education today. Just as the American left (as typified by the president, sadly) doesn’t think much of this country the way it was founded, that’s the way this country is being taught, sadly.
You know it as well as I do. So to have an opportunity to correct that and do the real story of this country — ’cause it’s a great story, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime of the planet story, this country. It really is exceptional, and to have a chance to explain that, and have a shot at these young skulls full of mush with their parents and grandparents. You know, it fills the bill when you ask yourself, “What else can I do?” And for me, this is fabulous. The book is a way of teaching what’s not being taught.
We have an amazing free country here, founded by people that had an unwavering spirit and determination to triumph. They had hardships and they had obstacles that we try to bring to life, that people today don’t have. We have our own, but not the kind they had. Nowhere near it. You have people thinking that exceptional Americans are rare, ordinary people doing extraordinary things is rare. It’s not. It’s not rare. It’s why this country is what it is. It’s people coming from nothing to make the most of their lives.
This is the one place on earth where that can happen, the one place on earth where dreams are promoted and can come true. So that all comes under that umbrella of this book, and I thank you again, I really do, and I wanted to just let you know there’s a little video posted at our Facebook page, and I think that links back to the home page, and it’s also TwoIfByTea.com. If not, it will be. But it’s all over there. It’s a little video of a behind-the-scenes recording session for the audio version.
RUSH: So I checked the e-mail during the break, and there are a couple of more. One says, “Rush, the pre-order success of your book shows how much you’re revered. The audience loves you.” Folks, that’s not what this is about, I don’t think — and this is what I mean by “makes me feel humble.” The greatest thing about this, I think, is that we’re all on a team here. We’re a family. This is Team Rush showing that there are a lot of Americans who still love this country.
People are running out and making this book the number one pre-order on Amazon and all these other places. This is just people wanting to be heard. They have not given up on this one. They don’t buy into what’s happening to this country. This is their way of making a statement. It isn’t about me. It really isn’t. It’s an opportunity. This is America, a vast majority of this country, showing that they still love this country, and that they care about what’s being taught to young people.
That’s what it really means when you get down to it.