20,000 Leagues Beneath the Best Seller list

Summer reading really calls for Jaws

From Wolcott:

In contrast, a certain resident of NRO’s The Corner finds his latest effort limp in the water. In the latest issue of The New Republic, Alexander M. Belenky, who I believe used to serve in the Duma, reports that the anti-Hillary book boom seems to have peeped out. Since this article isn’t available either (except for TNR subscribers), allow me to quote.

“For an example of increasingly lukewarm reception that Clinton books are getting, take a look at John Podhoretz’s latest screed. This call to arms, Can She Be Stopped? Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless…, was just published last month by Crown Forum with a strong first printing of 75,000 copies. On the surface, the book possessed all the right ingredients for success: a big-name author with a proven track record; solid, print, radio, and online publicity, including a rare exclusive with Matt Drudge; and a novel take on the subject…

“Yet, with only 2,000 copies sold so far, according to Nielsen BookScan, the book hasn’t lived up to expectations… Podhoretz is still out doing media promos, but it’s unlikely that sales will pick up much.”

Underperformance can happen to any author, but such laggard sales help explain the needy, plead-y tone of The Corner in the last few weeks as Podhoretz and Ramesh Ponnuru have been plugging and flogging their books as if they were working adjacent corners in a deserted part of town.

I have nothing to contribute to this except for the picture (called back from hiatus) and the suggestion that this doesn’t bode well for Jonah who is apparently writing his book by clenching a Sharpie between his fleshy buttocks and painfully squatting out each word out, straining to meet that March 2007 deadline.

Why, yes, that is an unpleasant image, isn’t it?

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