Books | November 15, 2021 3:03 pm

How Did Gary Vaynerchuk Sell a Million Books in 24 Hours? NFTs.

Vaynerchuk's new book "Twelve and a Half" racked up the preorders

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in a black suit with a white shirt and purple tie standing in front of a neon sign that says "Pencils of Promise"
Gary Vaynerchuk attends the 2019 Pencils of Promise Gala in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for for Pencils Of Promise

For almost any writer, it can be difficult to find an audience for the book you’ve written. If you’re a celebrity with a memoir, that’s one thing; if you’re a politician with a network in place, that’s another. And then there’s what entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk did in order to promote his forthcoming book Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success. Here’s a hint: NFTs are involved.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that this isn’t Vaynerchuk’s first book, and he already has the distinction of being a New York Times bestselling author. But for someone whose work centers around business acumen and marketing, it makes sense that he would look into trying something new with his latest release — especially with in-person events still relatively scarce compared to pre-pandemic times.

At The Wall Street Journal, Ellen Gamerman delves into Vaynerchuk’s unconventional strategy for promoting Twelve and a Half. Gamerman notes that the book racked up over a million preorders in one day, which made for “one of the industry’s biggest advance orders for a single title in a 24-hour period.”

What was responsible for this? Vaynerchuk made an enticing offer: for every dozen copies of the book you purchased in a specific 24-hour span, you’d get an NFT. This builds on a project that he debuted earlier this year, an NFT collection called VeeFriends. Five pieces of original art from it recently sold for $1.2 million, and the NFTs themselves had a successful launchThe Wall Street Journal notes that the collection is now valued at over $500 million. It’s not hard to see why NFT enthusiasts might be enticed by the prospect of access to something similar.

The number of presales for Twelve and a Half caused its release date to be pushed back by two weeks, factoring into the ongoing delays in much of the publishing industry. It’s a logistical challenge multiple times over, but people seem to be eager to embrace this approach. The Wall Street Journal writes that the average person who took advantage of this NFT preorder offer bought 36 books. One of the people interviewed ordered quite a bit more: 1,008.