Little, Brown has joined with Regal Cinemas, AEG-TV and Jimmy Buffett's HK Management team to promote the singer's fifth book, A Salty Piece of Land, with a national simulcast set for December 8, about one week after Salty's November 30 launch. As part of the simulcast, Buffett will read book excerpts, participate in an audience q&a and perform with his Beach Band at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans. The event will be simulcast to 53 Regal theaters in 29 states. Though the simulcast was the brainchild of Regal and HK, Little, Brown sees it as an opportunity to bolster book sales and has enlisted 34 independent bookstores to sell the $27.95 hardcover at the theater closest to their store. The 34 theaters at which the booksellers will be selling have a combined maximum capacity of 28,913.

Heather Fain, associate director of publicity at Little, Brown, said the house is sending 100 copies of the event's promotional poster to each store as a customer buying incentive. "We're so glad these stores are willing to gamble with us a little bit and try something different," she said.

Katie Surtees, owner and manager of the Dallas bookstore Shakespeare Beethoven & Co., bought 20 copies of the book for the store and an additional 250 to sell at the Galaxy Theatre in Dallas, which seats 1,016. "It will be exciting to see what happens and to introduce people to our store," she said, adding, "This is a great new way to advertise."

Suzan Steer of Brunswick Bookland in Maine bought 100 copies of the book to sell at a 273-seat capacity Portland theater. "I tripled my initial buy. Jimmy Buffett sells well, and I expected bestseller sales anyway for a novel out just before Christmas," she said. Steer plans to offer the book as a discounted "bestseller" at 20% off both at the event and in the store through Christmas.

One of the most enthusiastic buyers was Jake Reiss, owner of the Alabama Booksmith in Homewood, who purchased 600 copies and said he is "anticipating the biggest event in our history without the author in person." One hundred copies will be stamped with bookplates commemorating the event and sold as limited editions in-store. The remaining 500 will be sold at Birmingham's Trussville Stadium 16, which seats 484. Reiss has sent e-mails promoting the book to approximately 5,000 customers, and reports he's already sold "a few copies."