There’s no doubt Tiger Woods’ win at Bay Hill was big for him personally, but it couldn’t be better timing for Hank Haney, too. Woods’ former coach has a highly publicized book out Tuesday about Woods titled “The Big Miss.”
“Timing is everything, and from a book publicity point of view this is what we call a perfect storm,” said independent book publicist Maryglenn McCombs.
“My sense is the win [Sunday] is going to exponentially increase the book’s sales, marketability and promotion,” said McCombs. “Tiger Woods obviously is a very big name, but as of today he’s a very big name who is front page news.”
As of 5 p.m. ET Monday, pre-sales of "The Big Miss" put the book at No. 14 on Amazon’s best-seller list, up from No. 20 just three hours previously. Haney’s book takes the first and second spot under the Golf and Individual Sports categories with its hardback and Kindle editions. Results reported by Barnes and Noble are similar, with "The Big Miss" ranking at No. 15, up from No. 21 three hours previously.
Eric Kampmann, president of book distribution company Midpoint Trade Books, said the controversial elements of the book also will be beneficial to Haney.
“From a book publishing point of view, [Tiger] winning is going to be wonderful,” he said. “It’s going to create contrast. It’s going to create controversy, whereas before it would have been more monochromatic from a promoting marketing point of view.
“You can’t walk away from the book you’ve written. It’s a little bit on both sides. You can say you only wrote this book because of what he did to himself, and that this guy is a great athlete.”
That’s where the real gold is -- Haney’s ability to talk about Woods.
Shari Wenk, a literary agent who represented Woods’ father, Earl Woods, and co-authored a book with him, said Haney will benefit from being one of the few people who can discuss Tiger candidly as news outlets seek to cover the Bay Hill win.
Haney spent Monday at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., appearing on several shows doing just that.
He discussed Woods' victory, the state of his game, his chances at the Masters and whether he can beat Jack Nicklaus' records. He also addressed the more-controversial sections of the book and why he wrote it: "When you are in a position to observe greatness like I was for six years, you're asked about it all the time," he said. "And I am asked about Tiger all the time, everywhere I go, and I wanted to share it. I wanted to talk about it."
Wenk said Haney is a conduit for people who want to learn about Woods.
“How many people are in a position to talk about him? How many people are close to him? Those close to him are not going to speak to you,” said Wenk.
Haney, on the other hand, has the advantage of having been close to Tiger and being willing to talk. The experts agree that will lead to publicity even beyond what Haney’s publisher had planned.
“I don’t know if Tiger’s win negates the book or proves it right or wrong, but it certainly gives the media the opportunity to tie the book to Tiger’s win,” said Wenk.