Slate had an interesting article the other day about the practice of publishers selling books into booksellers blind.
Christopher Ciccone’s new celebrity tell-all, Life With My Sister Madonna, hit store shelves on Tuesday. News reports say that his publisher, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, sold the book (co-written with Wendy Leigh) “blind” to retailers, meaning they purchased the book without knowing the author, the subject matter, or whether it would create a gossip maelstrom.
The article goes on to say how sometimes this process can backfire, and if the anon tips we’re getting is any indication, it’s looking like Ciccone’s book is on track to tank:
Picked up a copy of Life with My Sister Madonna and I must say the book is terribly written. It only ranks 23 on Amazon right now and the buzz for the book, at least at the retail level has died. What happened and what lessons does this pose for booksellers and publishers. Why aren’t more people interested in the book? First, the writing is flat and second the person telling the story is not loved. People will not spend money on a book that has these two glaring flaws. It just goes to show that hype for a good book translates into sales, but hype for a bad book translates into the remainder bin.
Hmmmm, the book is still remaining high on Amazon, having slipped to #37 but that’s some good staying power for one week out of the gate. And while tipster is right that most people won’t buy a book that isn’t written well, or by someone who isn’t loved, they will buy a book about Madonna. Newsday points out that even though Ciccone struggles with living under Madonna’s shadow “Madonna’s picture is on the front cover. Christopher is on the back.”
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