Greetings from sunny Austin, Texas, where I’m getting ready to wrap up a week-long book tour that began in New York City, then blazed through Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. I’ve been trying to tweet links to various media interviews about Spam Nation over the past week, but wanted to offer a more comprehensive account and to share some highlights of the tour.
For three days starting last Sunday, I was in New York City — doing a series of back-to-back television and radio interviews. Prior to leaving for New York, I taped television interviews with Jeffrey Brown at the PBS NewsHour; the first segment delves into some of the points touched on in the book, and the second piece is titled “Why it’s harder than you think to go ‘off the grid’.”
On Monday, I was fortunate to once again be a guest on Terri Gross‘s show Fresh Air, which you can hear at this link. Tuesday morning began with a five-minute appearance on CBS This Morning, which included a sit-down with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell. Later in the day, I was interviewed by the MarketPlace Tech Report, MSNBC’s The Cycle, as well as the Tavis Smiley show. Wednesday was a mercifully light day, with just two interviews: KGO-AM and the Jim Bohannon Radio Show.
Thursday’s round of media appearances began at around sunrise in the single-digit temperature Chicago suburbs. My driver from the hotel to all of these events took me aback at first. Roxanna was a petite blonde from Romania who could have just as easily been a supermodel. I thought for a moment someone was playing a practical joke when I first heard her “Gud mornink Meester Krebs” in a Eastern European accent upon stepping into her Town Car, but Roxanna was a knowledgeable driver who got us everywhere on time and didn’t take any crap from anyone on the road.
The first of those interviews was a television segment for WGN News and a taped interview with TouchVision, followed by my first interview in front of a studio audience at Windy City Live. The guest who went on right before me was none other than the motivational speaker/life coach Tony Robbins, who is a tough act to follow and was also on the show to promote his new book. At six feet seven inches, Robbins is a larger-than-life guy whose mere presence almost took up half the green room. Anyway Mr. Robbins had quite the security detail, so I took this stealthie of Tony as he was confined to the makeup chair prior to his appearance.
On Thursday afternoon, after an obligatory lunch at the infamous Billy Goat burger joint (the inspiration for the “Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger” Saturday Night Live skit) I visited the Sourcebooks office in Naperville, met many of the folks who worked on Spam Nation, signed a metric ton of books and the company’s author wall.
After an amazing dinner with my sister and the CEO of Sourcebooks, we headed to my first book signing event just down the street. It was a well-attended event with some passionate readers and fans, including quite a few folks from @BurbsecWest with whom I had beers afterwards.
On Friday, I hopped a plane to San Francisco and sat down for taped interviews with USA Today and Bloomberg News. The book signing that night at Books Inc. drew a nice crowd and also was followed by some after-event celebration.
Departed for Seattle the next morning, and sat down for a studio interview with longtime newsman (and general mensch) Herb Weisbaum at KOMO-AM. The signing in Seattle, at Third Place Books, was the largest turnout of all, and included a very inquisitive crowd that bought up all of the copies of Spam Nation that the store had on hand.
If you’re planning to be in Austin tonight — Nov. 24 — consider stopping by B&N Arboretum at 7:00 p.m. and get your copy of Spam Nation signed. I’ll be holding one more signing — 7:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.’s Politics & Prose on Dec. 4.
For those on the fence about buying Spam Nation, Slate and LinkedIn both ran excerpts of the book. Other reviews and interviews are available at Fortune.com, Yahoo News, and CreditCards.com. Also, I was interviewed at length several times over the past month by CBS’s 60 Minutes, which is doing a segment on retail data breaches. That interview could air as early as Nov. 30. On that note, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a lengthy story on Sunday that followed up on some information I first reported a year ago about a Ukrainian man thought to be tied to the Target breach, among others.
Brian, I hope while in Austin you will have some time to spare and chow down on some excellent Texas BBQ at one of the many really outstanding places (Franklin’s or Mueller’s would be at the top of my list), and am glad you didn’t get here until after the storms and deluge of rain all day Saturday….
There’s no way you needed those sunglasses on Lower Michigan while you were at Billy Goat. Were you trying to be covert?
Thanks for coming through Chicago!!!
Great book Brian. I’ll be in Belize on December 4 when you are in Washington otherwise I’d be there to have you sign a copy.
It’s selling really well on Amazon right now — congrats!
Brian, thanks for coming to Seattle and especially enjoyed the audience interaction of the Q&A of your book and your experiences. I learned a lot and had fun. Plus my arm is now famous in your photo at Third Place Books signing.
Are you sure Roxanna was Romanian and not Russian? Putin has spies everywhere. Sounds like a set up!
She was my favorite part of the story. Isn’t Politics and Prose also featured on one of the Anthony Bourdain travel shows?
Nice looking woman. I mean book 😉
I can only hear about events from afar unfortunately but glad to hear it is all going well.
Thanks for the updates, Brian. That’s a great whirlwind tour! Have your book, looking forward to reading it.
Looks like you’re having a good time. It’s fortunate so many people seem to be getting your message.
Hope to make it to Politics & Prose on the 4th, although I will have finished reading my copy by then.
You deserve all the attention. The book is not only a very interesting “read”, it’s a great “listen”, as I drive to and from work, especially with the performer reading the book delves into a Russian accent when appropriate.
You need to come down to Sunny Florida
Sorry I missed your appearance at Third Place Books. I’m not surprised it “was the largest turnout of all.” We love our books in Seattle. That and we have Microsoft and a lot of other SW & high-tech in the area.
Has the Hormel corporation had their hand out for royalties yet?
(Is “Spam Nation” a play on “damnation”?)
Loving the book so far(and the binary)…congratulations!
How many spams can a spammer spam if a spammer can spam spams?
slishkom mnogo sekretov.
Oh you crazy Krebs!
spam spelled backwards is maps
Brian maps spam
Do the criminals spam spam maps in an effort to evade detection?
Next up : maps of spam of spam maps
Great play-by-play. I’m so mad I couldn’t make it to the Naperville event. Stupid new job!!!
New screen pops up for CBS News video, but I cannot get it to play.
Since the screen is completely black around the picture I cannot see if the problem is because of NoScript.
you are AWESOME! I just purchased your audio book version and will be listening to it while I drive to vacation in Vermont.
I quote you to my bosses at work all the time, you deserve a lot of credit for your service to the community, and the risks you take on behalf of excellent journalistic achievement.
Namo Ah-Mi-Toh-Fo, may the Buddha bless you and your family.
It was great to meet you last night in Austin. I’m only a few pages into the book, but it’s off to a great start!
Ahh, Chicago. Did you get a chance at any legit deep dish pizza? I’m telling everyone, Unos or Gino’s, or Malnatti’s is some great stuff. Packs a calorie punch big enough to fatten a rhinoceros, but still good stuff.
Ginos, Malnatis, Giordanos, or Edwardos. I love Edwardos deep dish spinach. I’ve been pining for it ever since I left town.
I eagerly await your trip to Politics an Prose on the 4th! I hope the rest of the tour goes well !
Congratz, and good luck with your claim 4 fame
Hi Brian, great to see your book is getting out there. I received my pre-order copy which I thought would have been signed since I purchased within the timeframe but you sig is nowhere to be found!
You owe me a sig the next time you’re speaking near me. 🙂
Ray, ran out of the bookplates. Having to sign a few thousand more. We’ll get them out. Thanks for your patience.
I have nearly finished reading the book. And as I was reading, I was thinking to myself that it has been a long time since I got one of those spam messages for online pharmacies or cheap software, and I started to wonder why it was that I never see any of them any more (not that I am complaining).
And now I have finished that chapter, and I can see how that happened. My plan for the day is to finish the last chapters..
I am hoping for a follow-on book some day down the road, where Brian goes into the sorts of things that the criminals are up to these days..
Hi Brian, Not to pick nits but is there a reason you named every place but that of the first booksigning’s store in Illinois?