“Becoming” is Becoming Historic

Yes, that title is awful. Sue me.

I remember reading at the end of last year about the top selling books of the year. I’d have to go back and check, but there were maybe five that reached the one million threshold.

Michelle Obama’s memoir is said to be on pace to sell 10 million copies, which would be the bestselling memoir ever.

And President Obama’s memoir is still on the way! 🤑

Amazon is in Some Hot Water

Amazon is in hot water right now. The website has Holocaust denial books listed for sale.

This is difficult for me to defend at all. Some might say free speech. Others might say history. But is it okay to sale a book most likely branding itself as fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth?

I’m not sure where this falls on the list of issues facing the company, but it’s mist definitely an issue. I’d argue Holocaust denial is one of the most dangerous things we encounter as humans. Why? Because it opens the door to repeat history. To repeat a major aspect of the worst armed conflict the world has ever known.

I have a wristband I bought at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last year when I visited DC. It says “What you do matters.” Take note, Amazon. Because what you do matters.

I’ve worn that wristband everyday since I bought it. To remind myself that my voice and actions are important to ensure that we never go back to our worst days as humans.

Why Does Wal Mart Sell Books?

Serious question. I can name one person off the top of my head who I know buys books fairly regularly from Wal Mart. I’ve definitely done my share of browsing the books at Wal Mart, but my memory tells me I’ve never actually bought a book from there. I usually just look to see if I know which books they’ll have in stock without even thinking about it.

If I set up my tripod near the books and threw Harry’s invisibility cloak over the top of it I’d see just how few people actually stop to take a look at them. I own something like 250 books. But when I think of Wal Mart I think of groceries, essentials, and TVs.

I’ve bought books from Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon, Half Price Books, Murder by the Book in Houston, and the Wal Mart website. We have so many options at this point that I just don’t see any benefit for a grocery store to sell such a limited number of books. They sell mega bestselling new releases and ultra popular older ones. The problem is that just about anyone who’d be interested in buying these particular books has bought them elsewhere.

Also, Target does a MUCH better job with their books than Wal Mart does. Better titles and better selection in every store I’ve been in. But still, I haven’t bought from there either.

My question still stands. Why does Wal Mart sell books? 

Autographed Books? Think Again

One of the things that all major presidential (and also some Congressional) candidates do is write books. Lots of memoirs and autobiographies. This year was no different. Both Trump and Hillary have published multiple books. When you have millions of supporters, selling autographed books at a significant markup seems like a good move, right? Right. Unless it comes out that you never signed them in the first place.

I’ve seen authors in warehouses full of books signing away. Literally thousands of them. Donald Trump was thought to have done the same and sold the books through his campaign. Except he didn’t. He never actually signed the “autographed” books he was selling to his followers. A machine did. 😂

Welp.

Another Dr. Seuss Book is out Today

Dr. Seuss died in 1991. Seven new books have been published under his name since his death. The difference between this situation and what’s going on with Harper Lee is there is no controversy surrounding the release of his books after his death. It probably helps that he’s probably more popular now than he was during his lifetime.

What Pet Should I Get? is his newest book to be released posthumously. If you’re questioning my above statement about his popularity, then let me tell you a fun fact. This new book is currently the top selling book on Amazon. That’s right. It’s outselling Go Set a Watchman.

The main reason I’m writing this today is to talk about his popularity rather than his new book. Is there anyone in America who doesn’t at least know his name? I’ve stated on here several times that I’ve never actually read one of his books, but I could probably name 5+ just off the top of my head. And I’m not the only one. I read from a reputable source that he’s sold more than 450 million books since his death. I mean, holy shit. Wow. That number is simply ridiculous. I’m not sure there’s another author out there who could sell that many books in the first 25 years after his or her death. And there will be even more books forthcoming.

What I want to ask y’all is why you think he’s managed to remain so popular in the two and a half decades since his death. Sure there are some authors who will always sell books no matter how long it’s been since their death, but he’s basically outselling all living authors right now besides the handful of mega bestsellers! How? Someone enlighten me because I’m really curious.

You can view the Amazon product page for the new book here.


On this day in 2014 I published United Way’s Reading Together Program.

 

Amazon Publishing set to Expand in 2016

Remember when Amazon first launched its publishing business and it was touted as a terrible move by industry analysts because of how difficult it would be to get retailers to sell the books? Well I’m imagining everyone at Amazon laughing right about now.

As you know, the books Amazon publishes are sold on Amazon and basically nowhere else. You can’t walk into your neighborhood Barnes and Noble store and find them. You typically can’t walk into your favorite indie bookstore and find them. Why? Because they refuse to carry Amazon titles. Which comes as no surprise to anyone. But that hasn’t stopped the company from making its mark on the publishing industry in just a few short years. This year Amazon Publishing will release 1,200 new titles. Next year that number will climb to 2,000. And I imagine it won’t stop there. 2,000 books is a small drop in the publishing bucket, but I bet many within the industry fully expected Amazon’s leap into publishing to fail, for whatever reason. It hasn’t. And is likely here to stay a little while.

Have you read a book released by one of Amazon’s many publishing imprints? You may not even know it.


On this day in 2014 I published And the Edgar Award Goes to….

 

The Mysterious Case of the Literary Litterbug

Yes, this is a real thing.

In Colorado over the last couple of months a strange thing has been happening. Someone has been dumping books along the side of the highway. And not just one book here and one book there, the person has dumped more than 600 of them. That can become quite the inconvenience for everyone involved, mostly drivers.

But the case has been solved. On Thursday a state trooper witnessed the Literary Litterbug in action and threw the book at him for his crimes (like my pun?). He was charged with six counts of littering and released. The book bandit acquired thousands of books when an area used bookstore went out of business a few years ago. He was able to sell them online but ultimately couldn’t compete with larger, more refined book-selling operations. So instead of donating or just hanging on to the books he decided to start dumping them on his way to work.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be dumping your books on the side of the highway. Send them to me and I’ll take care of them.


On this day in 2014 I published And the Most Banned Book of 2013 is….