Last week, Louisville author Patrick Wensink shared an unusually polite cease and desist letter from Jack Daniel's, asking him to change the cover design of his novel, Broken Piano for President, which mimicked the classic whiskey label. In the letter, Jack Daniel's attorney Christy Susman acknowledges that this is a common occurrence "given the brand's popularity". They ask Wensink to change the cover design, and state that Jack Daniel's "would be willing to contribute a reasonable amount towards the cost of doing so."
Wensink's blog post states that the cover art will change, but Lazy Fascist will turn down the money.
So now the letter has gone viral and Broken Piano for President has risen to #6 on Amazon's bestseller list. Powell's has sold out. For an independent publisher the level of publicity is astonishing. Lazy Fascist has links to all the major news organizations that have carried the story so far, including Portland cheerleader the New York Times. Patrick Wensink will be appearing on Yahoo's Trending Now talk show as well.
Lazy Fascist's print on demand business model means they'll have no problems filling the orders. Customers will be notified when the cover art changes. Editor Cameron Pierce says a new edition, with new cover art, will be ready by the end of August.