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updated 10/22/2010 12:04:49 PM ET 2010-10-22T16:04:49

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Once upon a time authors promoted their books by reading excerpts in tweed jackets at polite gatherings where wine and cheese were served. But today they’re expected to be social networking whizzes, blasting out tweets and Facebook posts and harnessing the awesome promotional power of the Internet.

Even former presidents.

YouTube viewers can watch George W. Bush promoting his new book "Decision Points" in which he says he wanted to take an "untraditional approach", opting against penning a chronological account of his life and two terms in office. Instead it will comprise reflections on 12 decisions he faced.

“I wanted to give readers a glimpse at the presidency from my perspective,” Bush said in the three-minute clip, which was posted earlier this month by Amazon.com and publisher Crown Books. The book publisher's promotional site for the book also links to the former president's Facebook page and a Twitter feed.

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Some of the topics include his reasons for entering politics, the difficulty of the decision he made to run for president, and some of his early Oval Office choices, including his controversial policy on stem-cell research.

Bush said that the book opens with his retelling of his decision to stop drinking at age 40 and the role "faith" played in that decision. Later chapters will focus on the "horrors and heroism" of Sept. 11, 2001; the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina; the decision to wage wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the financial crisis facing America when Barack Obama took office.

"I reflect on what I got right, what I got wrong, and what I'd do differently if I had the chance," the former president said in the video.

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Bush will sit down with TODAY's Matt Lauer for a prime-time special airing Nov. 8 and will appear live on TODAY Nov. 10.

The book, which will be released Nov. 9, will have a print run of 1.5 million copies — the same number given six years ago for Bill Clinton's "My Life."

"Decision Points" is already ranked fourth on Amazon.com's best-seller list for biographies.

The AP contributed to this report.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive

Video: Memoir to revisit Sept. 11 attacks

  1. Closed captioning of: Memoir to revisit Sept. 11 attacks

    >> exactly. here's matt.

    >>> we have not seen very much of president george w. bush since he left office nearly a year-and-a-half ago. partly because he's chosen to stay out of the political spotlight. and because he's been busy writing his new book. this morning we have details as to just what will be in it. nbc 's andrea mitchell has more on that. good morning.

    >> good morning, matt. the book will be called "decision points." even though it will not be out for another six months, here's a look at the cover . the publisher says it will be a strikingly candid account of george bush 's eight years in the white house . it is a new george w. bush . the former president here teaming up with bill clinton in haiti.

    >> our mission is to help fill the gaps of human needs.

    >> reporter: once political adversaries, now they are members of an exclusive club. relatively young, active former presidents of the united states . in haiti on a mission for the current president and reflecting on lessons from katrina.

    >> there's an expectation amongst people that things are going to happen quickly. and sometimes it's hard to make things happen quickly.

    >> reporter: he is making speeches around the world and closer to home.

    >> first i'm pleased to report, there is life after the white house . laura and i are happy, healthy and home, right here in the promised land .

    >> reporter: there's the new house in dallas, and the ranch, the proeposed bush library and southern methodist university and "decision points," 14 key moments like the night of the contested election in 2000 .

    >> i'm not conceding anything.

    >> reporter: 9/11, when he had to make important decisions returning to washington aboard air force one. in the situation room when he ordered the invasion of iraq . combating hiv/aids in africa. and his controversial decisions on the financial crisis , afghanistan , and katrina. all in the book, what the publisher describes as intimate, unprecedented details on the young george bush 's decision to quit drinking. his discovery of faith, and his relationship with his family. unlike dick cheney , the former president is not attacking his successor, although he has told other republicans he does not disagree with cheney's decision to speak out.

    >> the bush family has a strong sense of propriety about these kinds of things. his father was not critical of bill clinton . quite the opposite. he cooperated with him in every way that he could and of course post-presidency in many, many ways. i think that president george w. bush has the same sense that's just inappropriate for a former president to go down that path.

    >> the former president said he does not mitt the spotlight and is enjoying his requirement from politics, but there will be plenty of attention come november when he publishes his version of his life and, of course, the bush presidency . matt?

    >> andrea mitchell in washington this morning, thank you very much. i agree with andrea. because he has chosen to stay so far out of the spotlight, and not -- has not spoken out on some of the issues right now, i think a lot of people are going to be

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