Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, January 27, 2006

Wonkette's Dog Days Is A Dog That Can't Hunt

Further proof that publishers really know what sells.

"Ana Marie Cox's Dog Days had failed to make the NYT bestseller list, considering all the free publicity the paper gave her. So I dashed off a request to the folks at Bookscan and asked how Wonkette was faring.

So far, with numbers rounded up and all that, Cox has sold a grand total of 3,800 copies of Dog Days and the momentum already seems to be dissipating; last week saw a 37.5% drop in sales from the week before (1,000 down from 1,600). Furthermore, the book's audience is quite narrowly focused, as over a third of Cox's total sales come from New York and D.C. (The next biggest market for her is Boston, which accounts for 6%, or just over 225 copies)."

The book's abysmal sales says something about all the hoo ha about blogs that occupies the traditional media. Blogs are a preoccupation of the MSM because they are more interesting for jaded IT journalists than writing another story about spam, spyware, or viruses. The media is also an echo chamber that loves to cover itself.

It appears that nobody except bloggers, who have a solipsistic obsession with themselves and the perceived impact of their blogs (and a potential vested interest in media coverage of blogs, since money follows attention and celebrity is created by endless repetition) and media junkies really reads blogs or cares about them. That's a pretty small pond to go fishing in for a bestseller.

As I was making my daily round of blogs earlier this afternoon, I saw that Agent 007's blog has gotten about 78,000 hits. That's impressive for a blog or web site, but in the larger scheme of things it's really pretty piddling.

Trivial Pursuit

The amount of oxygen burned up over James Frey's million little lies and Oprah's reactions to him is great proof that Americans are the most over privileged people on Earth. If this is our biggest problem, then we don't seem to have many serious ones left to worry about. From my own sampling of the media coverage, it seems that far more attention was given this week to Oprah and Frey than to King George's continued dissembling about his incremental progress in chippping away at the Bill of Rights' limitations on governmental power.

Polls say that he's succeeding. More people than not approve of his illegal wiretaps and agree that anything done in the name of the phony war on terror is justified.

Naysayers should start assembling a little hobo kit for the day when the political concentration camps open their gates. Perhaps they will have TV there so that we can continue to watch Anderson Cooper, Larry King, and, of course, Oprah to continue to be apprised about what's really important.

Can we all stop talking about Frey now?

The subject isn't really that deep and it has been exhausted.

Let's move on.

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