Thursday, September 27, 2007

The State of Book Sales -- September, 2007

I always get a kick out of numbers – I have gigabytes of spreadsheets on my machine. So it is natural that I regularly check everything from the analytics on my sites to the Nielsen ratings (both tv and books).

On Wednesdays I make it a point to check the Nielsen Bookscan numbers to see what is selling out there. I think that the Nielsen numbers are actually more representative of what “everybody” is reading than the New York Times.

Which brings me to yesterday's list.

The best selling book last week was Alan Greenspan's THE AGE OF TURBULENCE with sales of over 128,000 copies.

Second and third places go to IF I DID IT by O. J. Simpson and Bill Clinton's GIVING. OJ’s book sold almost 33,000 for a total of 43,000 copies since it was released. Clinton’s book fell off to only 19,000 copies which brings the total copies sold (so far) to just over 100,000.

When asked about the drop in sales for Bill Clinton’s book, Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards said that "when the president is out there talking about the book is when we're seeing the greatest response. He's the key to driving sales . . .” I find it somehow reassuring that even Bill Clinton has to slog through tours and signing to sell his books.

So there it is – the book sales review. I can’t help but wonder what it says about American culture that the top three sellers come from an egghead economist, a wife abusing murderer and an adulterous former president.

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