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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kate O'Beirne Sales Tanking on Amazon -- Courtesy FDL Late Nite & Friends

This was more than even I had hoped for. With a large press (Sentinal) behind it, able to command page views and recommends on Amazon aimed at people with wingnutty reading habits, Kate O'Beirne's book Women Who Make the World Worse was #29 in sales when we started four days ago. With positioning like that, which no independent book could in any way command, it should have shot up the charts.

As of today, Kate's book is sinking like a stone. Yesterday it was #51. Today it is #78, solely because people from this site, from Crooks & Liars, from Kos (thanks Rena) and Jesus' General acted in concert for political action. And I want to thank every last ever lovin' one of you who participated from the bottom of my Kate-baiting heart.

Oh am I doing the happy dance.

The right-wing book business is subsidized by wingnut welfare when conservative foundations buy large quantities of books and either give them away or charge a penny apiece, so the "sales numbers" that put them on the New York Times best seller list for example are hopelessly rigged, making them appear much more popular and influential than they actually are.

But let's let the tightie whitie rightie crowd speak for themselves as to how important Amazon is in getting their message out:
Amazon itself is another boon to conservatives, since the Internet giant betrays no ideological bias in selling books...."The rise of Amazon and the chain stores has been tremendously liberating for conservatives, because these stores are very much product-oriented businesses," observes David Horowitz. "The independent bookstores are all controlled by leftists, and they're totalitarians--they will not display conservative books, or if they do, they'll hide them in the back." Says Marji Ross: "We have experienced our books being buried or kept in the back room when a store manager or owner opposed their message." She's a big fan of Amazon and the chains.

Amazon's Reader Reviews feature--where readers can post their opinions on books they've read and rate them--has helped diminish the authority of elite cultural guardians, too, by creating a truly democratic marketplace of ideas. "I don't think there's ever been a similar review medium--a really broad-based consumers' guide for culture," says 2blowhards blogger Michael. "I've read some stuff on Amazon that's been as good as anything I've read in the real press."
The past four days have sent Kate's book spiraling on a downward trajectory in the largest book market in the world. As any marketing guru will tell you, turning it around at this point will be virtually impossible without an enormous infusion of cash.

Good. Make 'em spend. But I doubt they'll think she's worth it.


(graphic thanks to Valley Girl)