Selling books

It’s one thing for Swift Boat author John Corsi to publish his anti-Obama screed “Obama Nation” and have it meticulously debunked almost before publication; but how does a book like that get so much media attention and rise to #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list? Here’s Tim Rutten at the LA Times:

“The Obama Nation” was written and printed because major American publishing houses have decided that there’s money to be made in funding right-wing boutique imprints modeled after the Washington-based Regnery, which has made a small fortune stoking the hard-right furnace with combustible prose. Corsi’s book is published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, which hired right-wing political operative Mary Matalin to edit the imprint. Random House has a similar imprint in Crown Forum, and Penguin Group USA has Sentinel. Their business model — and this is all about business — is predicated on the existence of an echo chamber of right-wing radio and television shows willing to promote these publishers’ products — however noxious. Beyond that is a network of conservative book clubs and organizations willing to place the sort of advance bulk orders for controversial books that will guarantee them a place on the bestseller lists.

It’s just that sort of order that made “The Obama Nation” No. 1 on Sunday’s New York Times bestseller list, and essentially “laundered” Corsi onto the respectable broadcast media’s guest list.

Is that appalling? The whole LA Times piece is interesting.

Rick Perlstein notes that this technique has a long history

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1 Comment

Filed under economics

One response to “Selling books

  1. donnafairy

    Well, watching the Larry King interview on Rick Perlstein’s website was particularly illuminating. Corsi gets some (he deserves more) of the whuppin’ that he should.

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