Saturday, May 16, 2015

Finding A Pattern In Book Sales

Two new books have risen to the top of the bestseller list, and the titles demonstrate a clear pattern.

Kim Kardashian is a celebrity, a person famous for doing nothing except being famous. Her book is a collection of pictures that she took of herself, but rather than call her book "Selfies", the publisher decided that "Selfish" was more clever.

Selfish. Self-obsessed. It sounds like a promotion for Peter Schweizer's book "Clinton Cash". If you've seen him being interviewed, you'd realize that selfishness lies at the heart of his premise.

Is there a pattern developing here? Are book buyers intrigued by selfishness in prominent members of our society?

Mr. Schweizer has been doing plenty of book promoting, while Ms. Kardashian has no need to promote her book. Her platform is larger than her hind quarters, and fans of her family's reality series are already well aware of the book. Come to think of it, Mr. Schweizer has a nice little platform, but it was constructed by conservative-leaning media and those who don't much like Hilary Clinton. That's a fairly substantial number of planks right there.

Readers want to know all about the Clintons and their foundation, how they manage to live so lavishly after coming up from nothing, and so the Schweizer book becomes a bestseller. The Kardashian book being a collection of pictures, it's clear that there's no interest in reading among that particular demographic, but a picture is worth thousands of words and provide visual access into the Kardashian world.

Don't you wonder where all the Kardashian Kash comes from? And you're very curious about the source of the Clintons' wealth.

Politics and entertainment are often intertwined. Some will tell you that politics is the celebrity industry for the unattractive, a submission to a level of egotism. You wouldn't say that former President Clinton is a shrinking violet, avoiding the cameras. Kim Kardashian is followed by cameras constantly. Is there any difference?

The difference is, one book's subject is not involved in politics while the other is.

There is something about people with money that intrigues, and that fascination is what drives book sales. "Clinton Cash" outsold "Selfish" by a wide margin, so there is hope for our society.

When a celebrity photo shoot sells more copies than an examination of finances and potential conflicts of interest, you'll know that Armageddon is just around the corner.

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