Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Hype - vs. The Reality

We are breathlessly informed that Michelle Obama has broken all sales records for recent biographies - THREE MILLION sold in the first week!!!!!

The article makes it clear that the number the media are using is NOT correct. The publisher has PRINTED slightly over 3 million copies. Around 1.2 million have been reported as "sold". Based on the number of copies that libraries I've checked have available, I'm assuming that the public has - without their direct consent - contributed to these FABULOUS figures. Cleveland Public Library reports 146 electronic copies. The same library system has 91 audiobooks, and 395 hard cover editions. Large print - 109.

As this book just came out, it would seem that the librarians committed to making sure that they as many copies as possible, even before knowing whether their patrons would buy it.

I'm assuming that most high schools also bought multiple copies of the book. With over 122,000 libraries in the country, even a few copies bought by all of them would jump the book to the top of the lists.

What will REALLY tell whether the book was a true success will be the markdowns and returns, as well as the sales in subsequent weeks. I'm gambling on predicting this, but I'd bet that the following weeks will show SHARP drops in sales, as they front-loaded the orders to push it to the top.

Why am I so sure?

Because Amazon is NOT listing the book at # 1, which, if it WAS actually selling as well as they claimed, it would be.

Check out other indicators:

And, look at these reviews! LOTS of them, almost ALL a FIVE-STAR ranking!!!!

That 8% who hated the book? That's 850 people, who REALLY, REALLY hated it. Do you - like me - think it's possible - scratch that, LIKELY - that the almost 10K who loved the book were driven to write their reviews by Interested Parties?

I wrote an honest review for Amazon:
I read this slightly more than 1/2 way. By that point, I had to push myself to go further. Mrs. Obama's early life was unremarkable and without unusual events, other than the OBVIOUSLY hatefilled looks, comments, and inactions of just about EVERY White person she ever knew. The ONLY reason she could identify for their failing to recognize her OBVIOUS talents and intellect was their White skin.
When I finally gave up on the book was when she mentioned that, "somewhat oddly, both the Democratic front-runner in the primary and the ensuing Republican nominee because embroiled in scandals involving their ex-wives."
ODDLY? Come on, it involved high-level political dirty tricks including UN-SEALING divorce records. It wasn't an accident - it was a purposeful act that used the lowest of the low political actions to get rid of contenders.
I kept reading (I'll never get those hours back), but it was a complete waste of my time.
Don't buy this - Heck, I wouldn't even suggest you borrow it on Kindle Unlimited. Save your money - and your time.


Glen Filthie said...

Oh I did the same thing. I figured that although I loathe liberals, race hustlers and victim politics... I should know something about them before running my mouth. I bought Barkie’s Audacity Of Hope - and inside 10 pages I knew that every single rotten thing I knew about the man was true. He wasn’t fit to shine shoes in a cat house, never mind being president of the US. You don’t need to buy their books to understand these slugs. Their actions and words tell you everything you need to know.

I threw the book in the garbage and vowed that I’d never buy another book from these people.

daniel_day said...

I'm flabbergasted you bought it at all. Most of the people who have any real interest in what she has to say move their lips as they read.

Sam L. said...

I see it at Costco, and will not touch one.