According to this post on The Big Picture, James Taylor, after fulfilling his obligation to Columbia Records with his last major release cut a new album called "James Taylor: A Christmas Album." He then went and secured exclusive distribution rights with Hallmark Cards and set the price of the album at $10.95 or $6.95 with the purchase of 3 greeting cards.
No advertising and almost zero press yielded total sales of over 1 million copies in less than 2 months (that's platinum status, by the way).
Not surprisingly, Hallmark is considering deals with other artists for other card-purchase-heavy holidays and seasons.
Another blow for the record companies, but a win for consumers.