I agree to a certain degree with Steve (who has forgotten more about the publishing industry than I have ever known) that the Palin book will be a best seller right out of the chute. Where I part company with him is the notion that those sales will be driven only by the true believers. Sarah Palin has achieved that unique brand of American freak show singularity by becoming equal parts Paris Hilton, William Hung, and a flaming NASCAR crash. We want to turn away appalled/disgusted/embarrassed by and for her but she is so alternately amusing and then infuriating and then baffling that we don’t want to miss an episode and so we sneak guilty peeks only to roll our eyes once again.
Before I get to why I think the book with be initially successful, I want to point out that the strategy of a large first printing (supposedly 1.5 million copies) is a brilliant one by HarperCollins. It’s the Snakes On A Plane approach:
1) Plenty of availability from the get-go
2) Cash in quick
3) Profit! …. before word gets out
Without having read the book (No. Really. They haven’t provided me with a pre-publication copy. Weird, hunh?) I think it is safe to say that we can expect the following:
The heartwarming story of a plucky small town girl, her family, her trials, her tribulations and how her faith has carried her through it all. This is will be Christian ghostwriter Lynn Vincent’s contribution to the book and the reason it will sell well at Wal-Mart for $14.97.
Bitter recriminations, finger-pointing, revenge seeking, blame casting, contempt, snarling self-regard, whining, disgust, smug but baseless know-it-all-ism, and an unreliable narrator’s inside view of the Wiley Coyote campaign of John McCain. This will be the Sarah Palin’s contribution…. and the reason that the rest of us will buy it.
We can’t help ourselves. We’re just stupid that way…