Thursday, October 1, 2009

Going Rogue & the New York Bubble

If you've been reading the news lately, you may have heard that one Mrs. Sarah Palin is releasing a book this fall. Going Rogue: An American Life is already #1 on and, set for an initial print run of 1.5 million copies, and it's got everyone I know in New York asking: who the hell is going to buy this?

Now, I pride myself on having a fairly diverse group of friends, but even my conservative compatriots are scratching their heads over this one. It's not like we all think that people who are interested in Sarah Palin are illiterate or hillbillies or anything, but no one I've talked to (in the industry or outside it) seems to be able to name anyone they know who'd really want to read it (or, at least, spend $30 on it—and with the e-book delayed until after Christmas, there won't be a $9.99 version anytime soon).

And then I realized something: all of the people I talked to are currently in New York City, are from New York City, or have otherwise been significantly influenced by New York City, one of the most liberal cities in the United States. Suddenly, it all sort of makes sense.

If you haven't heard, we're notorious for believing civilization ends at the Hudson, and more than one coworker has expressed his opinion to me that acquisition editors are often hampered by the fact that what they think people want to read is really just what they think New Yorkers want to read. We New York folk live in a bubble of sorts, and since the heart, left lung, left kidney, and spleen of publishing are all in NYC, it makes sense that a lot of books will skew in that direction. Thus, if the books we generate favor a New York audience and a New York audience, in general, tends toward liberal politics, there would be some correlation between what's being published and that which is politically left of center (QED).

Despite this, however, we publishing folk (especially those of us in sales) are aware of the broad appeal conservative voices have in the market: just look at recent bestsellers by authors like Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Dick Morris. We might not really get it, but we know from last year's election that there are a lot of people (roughly half the country) who might be interested in reading Sarah Palin's memoirs, and by golly, if we think you'll buy it, we're going to publish it. Done and done.

Now, before I open this up for comments, a necessary disclaimer: PMN is not a political blog and, while open and honest debate are highly encouraged, I realize that political discussions could potentially get out of hand. Therefore, any and all inappropriate comments—especially anonymous ones—will be deleted post-haste.

That said, you tell me: are you going to be buying Going Rogue on November 17th, either for yourself or as a gift? Who do you know who will? Do you think the New York Bubble™ has clouded the collective Jedi mind powers of publishing industry insiders (yours truly included)?


  1. My sister, who lives in the city, will buy at least one copy, and possibly more. She also reads all newspapers, and can see Harper from her house.

  2. When I started reading your blog, my first thought was - you've got to be kidding me! But by the time I finished, and started thinking about it, I realized that I'm intrigued. There was SO much media coverage of Sarah Palin during the elections, much of it very unflattering, that I'm curious to know what HER version of the story is.

  3. The idea that Sarah Palin is as big a deal as the Dan Brown release shocks me.

    Palin may still be well-liked among conservatives, but most Republicans think her future as an elected official is pretty dubious after her bizarre resignation.

    She has a few scandals, but we already know everything worth knowing about the more salacious (Levi and Bristol), and nobody cares much about "Troopergate." So there's not much allure to hearing her side of the story. And, since she still aspires to the presidency, she won't be very candid anyway.

    What's more, as an Beltway outsider, she isn't likely to have much dirt on anyone else. I'm at a loss to imagine what she could possibly have to say.

    I'd much rather read a book by Bush, personally.

  4. i live in Lincoln, NE, and neither i nor anyone i associate with will be purchasing, reading, or gifting this to anyone.

    That said, as long as there is a picture of her on the cover, many of my neighbors, co-workers, and extended family will buy it. why? because sex sells, and the only thing she has going for her is her ability to make the vast majority of men think with the wrong head, and not care about a single word that comes out of her mouth as long as she smiles and winks.

    Direct quote from my 63 year old father regarding her qualifications as i tore her to shreds on platform and policy during the campaign: "Yeah, but she'd be a hell of a lot better to look at than Cheney or Biden." To me, that sums up her appeal in a nutshell. (i personally find her repulsive, because to a select few of us true beauty is still about more than the physical form...)

    Tzalaran (aka: Adam)

  5. I'm a liberal from the highly conservative deep south, and I still don't have a clue who is going to buy Palin's book because none of the conservatives that I know actually read. It will be interesting to see those stats when they're available...

  6. From here in the Heartland (St. Louis) I won't be buying it--but I'm sure I have neighbors who will.

    I don't get it.

  7. I can't stand Sarah Palin, and I have no intention of reading -- let alone buying -- her book. I am a social liberal, originally from NYC.

    I'm quite sure there are many people who adore Palin and are panting at the chance to read her book. All those people who voted the McCain/Palin ticket haven't suddenly changed their political views, after all.

    So, has the NYC bubble clouded the collective mind of publishing? Obviously not, 'cause they can read the (NEW YORK Times) bestseller list and see how successful Malkin and O'Reilly's books are right now. It's a business, and people can see past their own personal views to get a book to market.

    Do, *I* understand why people would want to buy her book? No, because I didn't understand why people liked her or voted for her in the first place. But I know that it will happen.

  8. Liberal from the west coast. I don't know anyone who would buy it for themselves, but everyone I know who works in media will have to buy it. Frankly, I believe that's where the bulk of the sales are. If you have to report on it, or discuss it whether it's newspaper, magazine, web presence or TV, it's a must.

    She'd sell a lot more copies if she'd be open regarding her affair. But I doubt they went that direction.

  9. i don't plan on buying this book, nor do i know anyone who does (i'm in the los angeles area). that said - i think this book's sales will be a political thing - it will probably sell better in more conservative areas of the country as opposed to liberal.

  10. I live on the West Coast (with a brief stint in the Midwest) and on "this side of the country" we wonder at how disconnected New York is at times.

    While many in New York are aghast and confused at how her book is already number one, those of us who live "elsewhere" know why...the values and ideas she put forward in her campaign. What we didn't appreciate is how the media (again, based mainly out of New York) shredded her and her family to bits.

    This book will give her a chance to tell her story, and I for one will be buying.


  11. Your point on New York mind-think is right on. In the great barren wastelands between NYC and LA there are those who worship the woman and yes, they will buy her book...they may not read it, necessarily, but it will look good on their shelves next to their bible and that makes enough of a statement to suit them just fine.

  12. My first thought is, I pity the ghost writer & editor who had to work with her - she rambles so badly, it would take forever to get her to make a point!

    I'm from Iowa and I've never understood why people liked her when there are so many highly qualified, intelligent Republican women they *could* have chosen instead. Likewise, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read a book by someone who comes across as neither intelligent nor qualified.

    But with that said, I’ve got no doubt that the book will do well - however I won’t be buying it.

  13. I believe the "make a statement" comment is right on target. What better way to profess your agreement with the beliefs espoused by Ms. Palin than to have her book proudly displayed on your mantel? The fact that this "memoir" is being written by a "Christian" author, (no heavy intellectual lifting for the ex-Guv; slogans are just fine!,) tells you all you really need to know about the substance of the book. There - I just saved you $30! Fly-over land, MN.

  14. I think her book will be the political equivalent of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History Of Time". Many copies will sell, not so many will be read through.

    If her writing is anything like her extemporaneous gabble, the book will be incomprehensible, incoherent, and inchoate, and as great a waste of "ink" as this sentence.


  15. In addition to the above comment re: making a statement, I think a lot of liberal people will buy this book so that they can read it and feel superior/have a good laugh or even just to feel like they are more informed about "the other half."

    I think it's the wrong way to go about doing that as it will undoubtedly be pretty lowest-common-denominator slogan-filled garbage, but it's getting the publicity and this machine feeds on itself.

    For the record, I work in NYC publishing now, but grew up in a very rural area.

  16. At this point, anyone who vehemently declares themselves as a Sarah Palin type of Christian Republican, I just assume they labor under some kind of massive character flaw and/or mental health issue and generally I try to avoid that type, so no, I don’t know anyone I respect that will buy this thing. However, I suspect that many of the boobs I run into on a daily basis will and for some reason, they will be proud of that fact.

    I just don't get it.

    Also, I live in the northern Midwest.

  17. You must have Jedi mind powers if you can discern the existence of the New York Bubble (TM)! :)

    Clearly, there are a lot of people who agree with Palin's politics and will buy the book - even if they are not visiting this blog or live in NYC - and the capitalists in the book publishing industry, bless their hearts, recognize this and thus will actually print the book.

    I have a related, and more subtle question: If the publishing industry only considers publishing a politically-right-leaning book because of potential book sales, but not on merit, then how many fiction books, that might have political leanings embedded in the story, might similarly be shunned by the publishing industry?

    To wit, is there a political bias in the publishing industry, from your insider viewpoint, that would affect the kinds of books selected for publication (that are not explicitly political)?

  18. I tend to stray away from books "written" by politicians(liberal and conservative)who are still in office or active in politics because, face it, they aren't actually books--they're campaign materials. I prefer books by those who are out of the game and basically don't give a 8&%/ any more.

  19. that you discuss the s.p. book on 'pimp my novel' is significant. no greater opportunity for self-re-fashioning *and* re-writing history, than a book deal for an 'autobiography'. but much of it will certainly be fiction; and the rest the musings of a stupid, shallow person.

    i'm in the midwest, and i don't know anyone who would *admit* to wanting to read this book. i expect that electronic editions will do very well, because one would be able to read them on the train with no one much being the wiser. in suspense to see the remainder piles of print copies at b&n, though...

  20. I'm liberal, grew up in rural Jersey (people displayed confederate flags in my area), went school in PA, and now live in NYC. I wouldn't buy this book for $30, but I might snag it from a $2 used book rack, and grab it from the library--if I thought it would actually be worth the time. The thing is, I don't think she'll say anything new, or expand my understanding of conservatives. This is the same reason I don't read Ann Coulter, O'Reilly, Beck, or whoever from MSNBC might have a book out. None of them put any depth to anything, it's all extended sound bites.

    Ron Paul, him I might read. Ralph Nader, I could see reading.

  21. If I read it, it'll be some irrepressible, idiotic curiosity caused by the slow part of my brain--but I would never pay a penny for her book.

  22. If I were to buy it, it would merely be a curio for me. A curiosity to glimpse into her head. Because I, like so many others, will want to know what the heck she was thinking.

    But also remember that there was and still is quite a large chunk of our population infatuated with her running for VP. I think this and the morbidly curious easily account for her large sales.

  23. As a mostly conservative I have to say:

    A) Sarah Palin was a savvy choice by John McCain for what was obviously a doomed effort against the Obama freight train - savvy from a marketing standpoint if not a political one.

    B) Since she did drum up enormous voter interest she was a potential threat and was dealt with as such (meanly) by the liberal media.

    C) But let's face it: She is a political lightweight. If she is the future of conservatism, then conservatism is doomed.

    I have no desire to read her book. Unlike the other conservative voices you mentioned, I don't think she has much to say.

  24. You folks on the Far Coast crack me up. Most of you really do seem to think the Universe begins and ends with you. As a Conservative on the West Coast, I intend to buy it. Palin's book may provide some insight into the political process that we could all learn from. And just to help offset those who wouldn't buy it simply because they're Liberals, I'll buy two and give one away.

  25. My reading list is already so backlogged with good books, particularly as I try to keep current with what agents are publishing in my genre, that I don't really have time to add much non-fiction outside of research materials.

    That said, I tend to resent these kinds of books. I think the politician as celebrity angle being taken right now is highly detrimental to our democracy as we see a lot of people voting based on cults of appearance or personality. I'd be more likely to read a short book on policy opinions than I would biography or memoir by a political figure. I apply this philosophy to both sides of the aisle and wouldn't read President Obama's books either.

  26. If I'm not mistaken, Sarah Palin has a huge number of FB or Twitter followers. There's your market.

    Of course, the ratings are based on sales to stores, not to readers. The publisher and booksellers are all hoping their gamble pays off, and that readers will buy into the hype.

    Me? Nope, no interest.

  27. I come from a super conservative part of the world. My family is evangelical and conservative. I think Sarah Palin's book will do very well. Her appeal was always based on her personality, not her politics. I know everyone in my family will read it, and most of their churches will as well. I don't like her very much and have no interest in her or her book - but I can recognize that she a devoted following that will eat up anything she wants to put out there.

  28. It might not be just New York City - from what I've read and heard, the Washington Speakers Bureau, which handles a lot of luminaries, such as Joe Torre and Condoleeza Rice (those are the only two names I remember) hasn't had one booking - (or has had very few bookings) for a Palin speaking engagement. Apparently of the opinion that she has nothing relevant to say, on the liberal end, or could potentially bury them, on the conservative end.

    Oh, but you said no politics....a thousand apologies. No I won't buy her book. Um ... I just can't see how she brings anything other than a crippling small-town mindset to gigantic issues. Would she lend insight into the political process? Well, her insight. I leave it at that.

  29. Wow. What a lovely opportunity for folks to put on their "superior" shoes and do a little dance. To Anonymous 12:12, "the great barren wastelands between NYC and LA"???? Really??? I'm with Anonymous 2:36. Something in the salt water must affect coastal thinking. Yes, I DO think NYC is wildly out of touch with the rest of the country. Same for LA. No, I will likely not buy Palin's book, simply because my TBR stack is already several feet high and nonfiction is not my thing. No, I do not have a Bible on my nightstand (the only one in the house is on the reference shelf).

    More and more I'm finding the "thinking" coming out of NYC to be of the Cyborg/hive mentality, and not only that, but the supercilious insults are exhausting. Tell you what. Go grow your own steaks and tofu.

  30. I'm buying the book. And I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    And the very first Anonymous commenter up there totally cracked me up!

  31. I can tell you who will buy it: people in parts of rural Southwestern Ohio. When I canvassed for Obama during the final weeks before the election, some of the 'undecided' in outlying areas told me point blank that they'd like Palin in as VP and yes, if McCain died before he could finish serving out his presidency, they wanted Palin as President because she 1) was not a socialist 2) was their sort of person (read all the class and racist innuendo you wish into this) and 3) she was a believing Christian and knew what was important. Think again, NYC. This woman has definitely got a readership. Trust me.

  32. I'm buying the audiobook version... but only if William Shatner reads it!

    There are people I know who would read it. In fact, my dad might. He's a conservative who didn't like Palin being on the ticket but still might be interested in what she has to say.

    But I agree mostly with the person above who said that the media will be her biggest buyer, a fact that I find hilarious. The media and Palin have such a love-hate relationship. What would they do without each other?

  33. The funniest things were always the unprepared off-the-cuff statements. This book will ahve been edited to death and I bet not half as amusing to read what she has to say as it was to hear her live...

  34. I sure won't be buying it.

    But it will sell well, and lots of those will be bulk sales, bought in large lots by conservative groups to pump up the numbers. It will also be a bestseller in conservative book clubs. (When it turns up on the NYT bestseller list, expect to see the bulk sales symbol next to the listing.) This won't be a grassroots, word-of-mouth bestseller, but rather a politically manufactured bestseller. Still, those ARE sales.

    I suspect that many who buy the book won't actually read the thing. T

  35. I might buy it as a gift for my father. His devotion to her stems, I think, from her favor in the NRA--but either way, she's extraordinarily popular among my father's friends.

  36. From Maass's THE FIRE IN FICTION quoting Scott Westerfield's PRETTIES: ". . . as tenuous as a soap bubble, shivering and empty." I do think NYC often misses the mark.

    Having said that, I don't know of a single soul who will purchase Palin's book. And should I run across one who has, I'm likely to give them a wide berth in the future.

    Peg, who lives waaaaay west of the Hudson. (Colorado)

  37. I won't buy this book because I believe Sarah Palin is an idiot. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is a conservative. I don't feel the need to lower my IQ with her inane ramblings.

    My personal politics go down the center, with a current leaning to the left. I'm leaning to the left because at the moment it seems like some of them might have an idea or two. A lonely little thought.

    If Sarah Palin had a thought, an idea of how to make things better, I might read the book. But she doesn't. Because she can't. Because she is incapable of a new thought.

    So no, I won't buy her book.

    If it matters I live in the St. Louis area now but I grew up in Northeastern Lower Michigan. To get much more isolated than where I grew up one would have to move to Alaska.

  38. But she can see Russia from her house!

    Who wouldn't want to buy her book. Well actually I don't know anyone.

  39. I', not going to buy it, and if it were given to me for free I doubt I would invest the time to read it. I'm familiar enough with Sarah Palin to feel confident that she will not enlighten or entertain me with her memoir.

    If she wrote a novel I would consider it, though. You betcha [wink].

  40. I don't read a lot of memoirs, but I'd be a lot more likely to read Palin than Ted Kennedy. It'd be shorter, for one thing. I find fiction more interesting and believable.

  41. Not buying the book, kind of horrified it's #1, and I live in MN, raised in WI, not NYC.

  42. I'll buy it. Her common sense as an "outsider" is refreshing compared to the doublespeak of the Washington and NYC insiders. Some of the world's gigantic issues could use a dose of "small-town mindset." Maybe I'll even mail a copy to Obama, since he doesn't seem to be aware of anything going on outside of the bubble.

  43. I honestly don't think Sarah Palin's politics will have that much to do with the sale of her books. Given they will likely be bought by people who share similar political views, but more notably they will be bought by people who by memoirs by politicians.

    There is a relatively small group of people who read 50+ books a year. Many of those people live in NYC, but a lot more live in other places. These people buy the vast majority of all books sold. Then there are the people who buy 0-2 books a year - the vast majority of the American population.

    Those are the people who are going to buy Sarah Palin's book. Or more notably, the brother-in-law of those people are going to buy Sarah Palin's book and then give it to those people for Christmas.

    My guess is that less than half of the people who buy or receive Palin's book will actually read it. Not because it will be bad, but because it will look nice on the coffee tables of the people who never read.

  44. I live in Iowa, am politically a middle-of-the-roader, and will definitely not be purchasing this book. However, I do know people who will. I don't get it - and haven't ever since she appeared on the scene!

  45. Sarah Palin represents far more than the "Christian, Bible-thumping Right," and any who so label her vastly underestimate her influence.

    She may be Christian and a Republican, but she is also a woman who is still married to the father of her children, of which there are five - one with Downs Syndrome, was the wildly popular Governor of the State of Alaska who rose to metoric prominance after taking on the oil industry, and became the focus of the 2008 Presidential election because, of all of the above.

    She is not perfect, but I for one would read her book if it detailed what really went on behind the scences in the McCain campaign. She is an interesting, highly publicized character who has a story to tell.

    Her book will be a huge bestseller.

  46. While I won't be buying her book, I'm pretty sure that at least half the women in my bookclub and most of the women in my neighborhood will. I live in a very conservative, Republican suburb and there are Palin bumper stickers still covering the SUV's and minivans here. While I'm not a member of any political party, I would call myself a liberal and none of my liberal leaning friends are interested in the book. I'm a little tired of people not writing their own books anyway - this includes people from both sides of the political aisle. In her case, I understand why a professional writer is involved but I won't go there...:)

  47. I live in the Bible Belt and come from a long line of ultra-conservatives. While I, for one, have no interest whatsoever in reading Mrs. Palin's memoir, I can assure you that I am related to at least ten people who will be buying it on release day and espousing it as gospel shortly thereafter.

    Granted, most of these relatives only even considered voting for McCain once he added Mrs. Palin to the ticket--McCain was far too liberal for their tastes.

  48. I don't think I could be paid enough to read Palin's book, but, as a person currently living in Alabama, I think it's fair to say she has many, many fans and the book should do well. The bumper stickers around here all say Palin 2012.

    As for the publishing biz being stuck in a New York bubble, I'd say that's accurate. I had a book come out with a major house a few years back. I suggested a few reading venues in Miami (where the book is set and where I'm originally from) to my in-house publicist, and she said, "Really? You want to do more than one reading there? Isn't one enough?" I don't think she understood what a big city Miami is. It's not New York, after all.

  49. OK haven't read the comments (yet) but I'm a right-leaning moderate living in a progressive-yet-Bible-Belt city where local conservatives had "Sarah Palin for Vice President 2008" bumper stickers. I kid you not; no mention of, y'know, the person actually running for president on the same ticket. Also, there's a woman in my hometown who recently won a charity auction by paying several THOUSAND dollars to have dinner with Sarah Palin.

    I won't be buying Palin's book, (that brand of conservativism is why I feel like the Republican party abandoned me) but I know a zillion people who think she's the next Ronald Reagan.

  50. I live in Tennessee, where I work at a bookstore. I expect we'll sell-through however many copies we get in.

    No joke.

  51. Last year we Alaskans got an energy allowance, a one time $1200 check from the state to offset the increase in fuel oil prices. Palin was responsible for this. Or irresponsible depending upon how you view it. So, I think I'll do my part. Wait until the book is remaindered at my local bookstore then buy a few copies and burn them in my woodstove. I'm sure the book will be full of hot air and highly combustible.

  52. It's funny, I live in California and I feel like it's popular for people outside the state to view us as being in a similar liberal bubble (ours is just a little hazy with pot smoke as well). However, as a northern Californian in the 2nd District I know this perception is wrong. I live in a University town that's fairly liberal minded, but we're surrounded by arable land, and therefore are a speck of blue in a sea of red.

    To address Christi's point: "What we didn't appreciate is how the media (again, based mainly out of New York) shredded her and her family to bits." I am of the opinion that entering a political race is an active way of accepting that not everybody and every news station is going to like you. She should have known she was throwing herself into a circus, and I don't care what her side of the media story is.

    That being said I think the book will be bought by Palin lovers and love-to-haters alike.

  53. Buy it? No way. Read it? I might check it out of the library for a few laughs but probably I'll just wait for Tina Fey to do a formal Reading and Book signing on SNL.

  54. Am I planning on buying Mrs. Palin's book? Absolutely not. I'm not interested in reading a biography of someone who hasn't accomplished unique things over a full life and career. (No, I didn't read Barack Obama's books, for the same reason.)

    Do I know someone who will buy it? Sure-- several.

    Do I think the publishing industry, and, incidentally, the major media outlets both print and electronic and the fashion industry, are excessively Gotham-oriented? You bet your life!

    I was born and raised in Manhattan; I left New York to attend Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Someone asked me where I was from: I reflexively answered, "The City." I couldn't understand why they were perplexed! The New York narcissism was indoctrinated into me from a very early age.

    There are at least two Americas out there-- the urban coastal establishments, and everywhere else. I've got a foot in each-- believe me, they exist, and they're as different as chalk and cheese.

    The publishing industry ignores this fact at its peril.

  55. Well, for the record, I can't figure out why anyone would want to buy Nancy Pelosi's book or even Ted Kennedy's for that matter.

    Neither of them came close to the sales generated by Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin, did they?

    So what does that tell you? Apparently more Americans are willing to buy conservative political books...and, apparently, there are some liberal elitists who look down on these reading Americans.

    Which surprises me not.

    Oh, and one more thing. This thread generated a lot of comments. Love her or hate her, Sarah is an interesting subject, huh? At least outside of the Socialist Mecca aka New York.

  56. Eric, there is a very big dynamic you're missing. Sarah Palin appeals to a large segment of independent voters.

    If you're a Democrat, who care's about this book?

    If you're a Republican, why buy a book from a failed candidate team?

    This book appeals to independent voters. This book appeals to people who found the 2008 election very distasteful. This book appeals to people who are looking for a fresh voice, even if they disagree with that voice.

    I've bought the book. Other than listening to what she has to say, this book has a secondary, enormous entertainment value. My FaceBook and Twitter updates will be filled with all sorts of innuendo and rhetoric about the book by people who have not read it.

    Consider this: Approval of the job Congress is doing is at an all-time low. Just taking this into account, the anti-establish fallout is going to sell this book. This book is printed money. She basically is putting a US Mint printing press in her basement. People are that feed up with the status quo.

    Don't just assume people with tunnel vision are going to buy this book. If she dishes the dirt, and she is just the type of person to do so, it will be an eye-opener.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Is it a picture book? Like Madonna?

    Does she take her glasses off? Quote Chaplin?

  59. There are many reasons why people pick up a book. For me, based on the the public image she displayed during her campaign, just seeing Palin's name on the cover would convince me it's some kind of fluffy political chick-lit and I wouldn't pick it up. Lots of people seemed to like chick-lit, however, so who knows how many people might buy it?

  60. Nope. No way. Not even if you paid for it and gave it to me as a gift.

  61. Thank you for this post.
    I have been greatly disheartened over how the politics of our nation have been bleeding into the world of publishing. As a writer, I am often on agent and editor blogs. Some of them are not personal blogs, but blogs on the site of the series or publishing house. The one sided (left) view of our world and complete disrespect for the right shocks me. Of course, I know being of the right-minded team I am in the minority on this country - but what happened to the days when it was considered unprofessional to take a political stance when representing a business?
    That being said, I have no interest in Ms. Palin's book - but have many friends here is WI who are. And, for the record, around here, we often speak ill of those "coasties" who call us ignorant but think the world revolves around LA and NYC :)

  62. If my mother doesn't buy this one for herself right off the bat, I'll get it for her for Christmas. I don't agree with my mother's politics, but I do love her, and any time I can get her something to read that I know she'll genuinely enjoy, I do it.


    Because though my mother is not a 'reader' of any stripe, she painstakingly read aloud to my siblings and I for hundreds of hours in my childhood. She let me help pick out books, she let me check out the limit at the library, she paid my fines, and she took me to the bookstore on the day after Christmas. She created a reader.

    I've just spent three years in graduate school (humanities), and I can honestly say that my mother, the non-reader, the more-conservative-than-I'd-like-to-admit parent, was my biggest supporter and my inspiration. I'll argue with her about Sarah Palin, but I'll still go buy her the book.

  63. It'll probably end up on my grandparents' shelf at some point, but me? I haven't bought anything by Obama, let alone Sarah Palin. (Is this terrible?)

  64. The Chinese have ordered a million copies and will give force political prisoners to read it cover to cover.

    The communists love Palin. She is Exhibit A that a representative democracy can be more dangerous than a one-party state. Forcing prisoners to read Palin will make them beg for water boarding.

  65. "She is Exhibit A that a representative democracy can be more dangerous than a one-party state."

    And Obama is Exhibit B

  66. I will not be buying this book. I would not read it if I got a free copy. My feeling is whatever she has to say (if indeed there is anything of importance) I will be able to get out of the reviews.
    I agree with part of what you said about the New York Bubble. I live here and agree, New York is not like the rest of the country. It is the way the country should be, where all races and religions work and live side by side every day, express their views and actually listen to the other side, when of course they have something to say.
    Sarah Palin has yet had anything to say of any value, outside of giving the comedians great material to work with.
    As for the money aspect of this and the pre sale figures. From what I have read, books appealing to the conservative right do well. However, the studies have shown they buy, but do not read them.So yes, this memoir is all about the money and nothing else. Sarah Palin stepped down as governor so she could cash in on this advance sooner than later. She got a publisher because they knew the books would sell, whether or not anyone reads them. The book, from every angle, is all about greed.

  67. I live in Canada - you know, that socialist country up north? - but can see NY state from my house... hope that makes my opinion valid ;)

    In my circle, I only know of one woman who would consider buying it. But she's the same woman who told her children to wait for the Harry Potter movies cause "what kid could get through a book that thick?"

  68. If Nancy Pelosi had written an autobiography about growing up in Alaska, the print run would have been 5 million.

  69. Anybody see the movie "Idiocracy?" I used to think it was a comedy. Now I'm not so sure.

  70. It's similar here in Canada. Our main publishing hub is Toronto and there is a tendency that stories outside of the Toronto mindset not to be published by those publishers. Most Canadian fiction is literary, with very few genre writers published solely by Canadian publisher. For example, when shopping my second novel, which is set in my hometown of Edmonton, I was told by one TO based agent that Canadian readers weren't interested in Edmonton-based stories. And other publishers said they would have trouble marketing it because it had a mystery element. But to be fair to New York, a New York agent and a New York publishing house (Forge) saw my city as exotic, mostly because none of them had heard about it or about any novels being set there. So while I won't buy Palin's book (I don't read a lot of non-fiction), I'm saying that this New York bubble isn't just a US thing. I bet every country has a similar bubble.

  71. Joanne E. CourtneyOctober 2, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    In order to want to read what she wrote, I would first have to have some respect for her mind. I don't. So no sale here.

  72. Right wing groups buy mass copies of these people's books, including, I am sure, Palin's. Then they give them away through very conservative churches and such - not a real indicator.

  73. sincerelysally@comcast.netOctober 2, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    I pre-ordered the book, so that's a yes. I live in the south, but as a new transplant from the west coast, and I can assure all the snarky too-gutless-to leave-their-names anonymous types, that people here can read just fine, and we don't avoid those with differing opinions. We're actually open minded and enjoy debate. Y'all should try it some time. Sheesh.

  74. I live on the West Coast and I won't be reading the book.

    Just curious: How many books will the publisher need to sell (roughly) to break even?

  75. Depends on how much her advance was.

  76. I will buy a copy. I'm currently inside the DC Beltway but am more of an Chicagoan. I consider myself very politically aware and right-of-center, so I'm in the National Review/Weekly Standard crowd more than the populist Glenn Beck/O'Reilly cohort.

    My reasoning is this...

    1. Her life story is more interesting to me than, say, Huckabee's or Obama's. Lots of conflict with entrenched interests.

    2. I will probably be working on a GOP presidential campaign in 2011 and I'm going to consider working for her if she runs. So this is part of the evaluation process. (I will admit that I was somewhat shaken by the circumstances surrounding her resignation as governor-- this is probably her best chance to reassure conservatives that are wondering whether her heart is in this).

    3. I find her voice refreshing and crisp.

  77. Whether or not I will buy a copy (probably not, but that's off the record), I'm sure it will be popular. Considering your well-founded estimation that about half the country would be interested in reading the book, I'm sure there will be a lot of liberals who buy it simply to research and formulate their arguments against everything the book and Palin stand for.

    Remember, Palin got a LOT of coverage online on humor sites and through the Tina Fey parodies. She's certainly a public figure, albeit one the liberals love to hate, and I think that fact will contribute to the success of her book.

  78. I won't buy it for myself, but that has as much to do with the type of book it is as it does the subject. But if someone asked for it as a gift, I'd buy it.

  79. I'm betting my good health my mother will buy a copy. Back when Sarah Palin was first announced, my mother thought she was reagan with a skirt on (I disagreed, but kept my thoughts to myself as I never win with her). Then I remembered just how many of my parent's republican friends LOVED the woman and her accent, and her newest kid.

    But then again I'm from Florida (the state who had problems voting last election, remember us?). I was recently asked if I had a gator running amuck in my backyard. I actually think the person who asked was from New York.

  80. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this topic here on your blog. | | |

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