Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yet another Associated Press story caught my eye.

Yet another Associated Press story caught my eye. It seems that a goodly number of noteworthy writers (Toni Morrison, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ayelet Waldman, and others) consider President-Elect Obama to be "a peer, a thinker, a man of words."

Finally ... a president who is a book person.

I'm good with that.

It's been a long, long time.

The irony of book sales.

Few of us would turn down media attention. Publicity helps sell books, is what we believe, and it's what we know.

Look at Tina Fey. Her "Saturday Night Live" impersonation of Sarah Palin goes viral, and a publisher hands her five million dollars (or, at least, that's the latest figure I've read) to write a book on -- well, something. That's how it works: you get the media's attention, and then you sell books. One plus one equals two. Fey's publisher believes it. Book publicists believe it. Every author and publisher I've ever worked with believes it.

But there's an exception to every rule, and here's an example of how too much exposure -- if it's exactly the wrong type of exposure -- can jinx book sales even before you put your fingers to the keyboard to write your book. It's the case of soon-to-be former president George W. Bush.

According to an Associated Press article I found in the International Herald Tribune, Bush's unpopularity will make it nearly impossible for him to get a decent price for a memoir. The publishing pundits quoted in the article would advise Bush to wait until all the bad publicity he's received over the past eight years fades away before he even thinks about pitching a book.

Not to worry, is my reaction to the story. George W. Bush probably has more on his mind right now than selling a book....