Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Does America crave gossip more than content? What's on our bookshelves? Rielle Hunter's newly released ebook.
Does the average American reader like reading tell-all books and contraversial memoirs? You decide.
On October 15th, the Amazon sales rank of What Really Happened was 4, 125. If you don't know how that works, the lower the number, the higher the rank. My primary goal is to share news, recent releases, and snippets of publishing industry topics, so my personal opinions aren't the focus. If you're not familiar with the story, I feel compelled to only repeat that the combination of a political scandal, a now deceased wife's cancer diagnosis, and an innocent child who was concieved by a mistress makes for an explosive book cocktail. Now, we're here:
"Washington Post (@washingtonpost) tweeted at 11:49 AM on Tue, Oct 15, 2013: Rielle Hunter: "My publisher came up with the idea of me going through my Book and annotating all of my regrets" http://t.co/joN3h3NNsP (https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/390142354570899456)"
Despite the comments that were posted on Amazon, and remarks about her apology that are flying around on Twitter, it's obvious that some readers are indeed buying and downloading the revised book.
As an author myself, I find this occurence to be rather interesting. I know what it's like to be traditionally and self-published. To get experience, I wasn't able to publish my heart's true desire. Some other very talented writers are finding themselves without book deals. Many of them have a respectable track record, but sometimes your most poignant book may land in the dreaded slush pile. I've heard people remark that literary fiction should make a more robust return, but will a large number of readers buy it enough to appease publishers, and help them to recoup their return on investments? Many writers struggle with this question and problem. When I consider the onslaught of tell-all books that shot to the top of book lists, my guess is that curiosity must inspire sales. When it comes to publishing, inspiring stories may sell intermittently, but gossip and/or scandals seem to fly off of the shelves. Also, celebrity books typically sell better, when it comes to inspirational titles or memoirs. Celebrities have built in fan bases. True fans will usually want to support their endeavors. That's simply a perk of being well known. When an author is associated with a well known figure, the draw is sharing private, unknown information about someone known, in a behind the scenes manner.
As of 7:25 AM, the Amazon rank is 1, _96. (Can you guess the missing number?) Rielle's book is selling well at the moment. The rank is still improving, although no one can predict how long the climb will last. In today's time, numbers count. No matter what people say about the book's content, the primary goal is being achieved, at least for the moment. When a project is deemed highly successful, the author's marketplace worth increases, too. If a book becomes a New York Times best-selling book, business and financial opportunities usually multiply.
Books and music possess common strands of artistic responsibility. I was in a forum and heard MC Lyte remark that a sale is a vote for an artist. Maybe the publishing model is headed in the same direction. Hence, the boom of self published books and indie authors. The stigma of self publishing is leaving, but I'm not sure it's happening fast enough. That's a topic for another day.