I actually woke from sleep thinking about this. Funny old world in my funny old brain.
Via Bookslut is the Independent Online’s piece on Richard Chalmers giving away his book as a way of driving word of mouth and the possibility of actual sales due to this word of mouth.
Someone give this man a Creative Commons license and have Cory talk to him how he got word out on his brilliant book.
My own thoughts on this are go the route of releasing it under a CC license like Cory did, but if your publisher refuses that, then offer a free book to all the bloggers and ask them to review the book on their blog and ping back your own blog when a review is done. Accept all reviews not just positive ones. Make sure there’s a “buy this” link somewhere so you can sell the thing online. Your audience is global online, not country specific.
This could actually work very well for the book market in Ireland. Have local Irish Publishers like Cork University Press offer anyone in the irishblogs world a book with the sole condition that when they’ve finished reading it they review it and put it on their blog. Planet of the Blogs now has about 500 bloggers listed in the Boggersphere. 500 independent reviews of your book, all online would certainly generate traffic and trade.