Author promotes ''States of Mind'' on game show--Contestant sees book sales rise after a plug on ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire''

By Clarissa Cruz
April 21, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Move over, Oprah — Reege is stealing your literary thunder. On the April 4 episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Brad Herzog, 31, promoted his cross-country travelogue, States of Mind, during his chatty game-show banter with Regis Philbin. And though Herzog went on to win $64,000, he may be due for more cash: Shortly after the program aired, States jumped from a lowly sales ranking of 122,040 to 50, eventually peaking at No. 7 at press time. (By comparison, Grisham’s latest, The Brethren, is at No. 21.) The book, published in June 1999 by North Carolina house John F. Blair, sold 2,500 copies after the broadcast, almost doubling States‘ sales overnight. (The real surprise here is that it takes so few copies to reach a top slot on Amazon’s list.) ”[It] was a million-dollar plug,” exults Blair’s marketing VP Anne Waters, who admits that until now the book ”did not do that well.”

”It’s been a goofy, surreal experience,” says Herzog, who says his tiny advance covered only the cost of gas for the Winnebago he drove during his travels. ”I went on Millionaire to win some money…. I realized I wanted as many people as possible to read my book, and 30 million was a nice round number.”

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