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Justin Bieber Bombs in Print: Should Publishers Stop Betting on Celebrity Book Deals?

In a post analyzing recent magazine circulation figures, WWD Media revealed that Vanity Fair‘s Justin Bieber cover story tanked at the newsstand. Despite Bieber’s 10 million Twitter followers, his issue could be the worst selling edition of the magazine in 12 years.

The teen heartthrob couldn’t sell copies of other magazines as well: “His October 2010 Teen Vogue cover — presumably tailored for a more ideal demographic for the 17-year-old superstar — sold 121,054 issues, roughly 12 percent below Teen Vogue’s 2010 average, according to ABC data. And it’s not just the monthlies, either. In April 2010, People featured a Bieber cover — “ALL ABOUT JUSTIN BIEBER” shouted the headline — that sold 961,762 copies, which represents a 25 percent dip below average sales and was the third worst seller for the weekly all of last year, according to ABC data.”

These figures might illustrate a larger problem facing both magazine and book publishers– a massively popular teen star online doesn’t necessarily translate to blockbuster sales in bookstores and newsstands. Maybe it’s time for publishers to stop placing expensive bets on The Next Big Internet Celebrity? What do you think?

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