Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sometimes I Know Too Much

Sometimes I know too much. I am not just a writer lost in the world of my characters. I have spent twenty five years selling advertising, immersed in the ways of the media. I understand spin and the manipulation of numbers to create sensation. It can make one cynical.

It is also why I have been so perplexed by the way Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue shot to the top of the bestseller list so quickly. Yes, I understand why she made Barbara Walter's list of the most fascinating people of 2009. Whether you like her or not, who can deny she is an interesting character ?

Still it seemed a little strange to me. I do not personally know anyone who bought or would buy the book. But then I live in New York, hardly what would fall into the category of the "Real America." I didn't want to think what my marketing mind kept suggesting. That perhaps someone might have bought bulk copies to inflate those sales figures.

Yes, those things do occur. Like it or not, those with deep pockets can aide in the sales of almost anything. The result being media spin that the product is the next hot thing.

So I wasn't that surprised when I read that Sarah Palin's very own PAC disclosed that they bought copies to provide to her supporters. According to the LA Times, it is difficult to ascertain how many copies the reported $63,000 got them. It all depends on whether they paid full price at $28.99 or the deep discount of $9.99 offered at Amazon and Walmart.

It doesn't matter. In either case, it certainly wasn't enough to skyrocket the book to that #1 slot at Amazon she held. And it wasn't enough to hold her. Going Rogue is now # 60. But it does get you wondering.


SimplyForties said...

$63,000 on her own book? Pretty telling. One of my friends told me yesterday that someone gave her a copy of the book. They're passing it around with the express rule that they are not to open it, they just have to pass it along to someone else. Like Flat Stanley, they want to see how far it goes.

Unknown said...

Great idea! It will be interesting to see how it travels.