Patterico's Pontifications

7/7/2014

On (Not) Reading Hillary’s Book

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:04 pm

[guest post by JVW]

I must say I got a real kick out of reading this blog post in The Washington Post regarding the – ahem, ahem – lackluster sales of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s summer 2014 spellbinder, Hard Choices. I am not familiar with this blogger, Phillip Bump; perhaps he’s a conservative, perhaps he’s a professional contrarian, but he seems surprisingly gleeful at being able to take the piss vinegar out of the once and future inevitable President of the United States.

Bump introduces us to an idea called “The Hawking Index” which is a non-scientific way to determine whether readers are really reading a title based upon where in the book are found the most highlights as automatically reported to amazon.com (remember to shop there using the Patterico widget!) by Kindle users. The assumption is that if the most popular highlights come in the first part in the book it can be inferred that readers are abandoning that text without reading all the way through, and that the earlier the most popular highlight appears is an indication that readers aren’t getting too far. I am going to tease you with a hilarious graph displaying the Hawking Index for some well-known titles, but you really ought to read the post to learn the full story.

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/07/07/no-one-is-reading-hard-choices-either/

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/07/07/no-one-is-reading-hard-choices-either/

I think it’s fair to say that not only are fewer people than expected (at least by Simon & Schuster) buying the book, but that the brave souls who plopped out their $15-35 did so out of a weird sense of loyalty to a woman who is a millionaire many times over rather than out of a burning desire to read what she had to say about her disastrous turn as Secretary of State. (And don’t miss Bump’s aside about how many – ahem, ahem – left-wing “intellectuals” are apparently purchasing but not reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.)

- JVW

15 Responses to “On (Not) Reading Hillary’s Book”

  1. The Piketty book is a prop for leftists. They can hold it up and proclaim it proves capitalism is bad and socialism is good. Reading it would only put them to sleep. Leftists can’t stand economics. Too much math.

    The flawed methodology and fake or incomplete data used is just assumed for leftist books.

    Nobody reads Hillary because she has nothing to say. She is an awful candidate and might not even run in 2016, but she won’t be the nominee. She’s old news. Democrats only nominate losers from previous primaries if they have served as VP in the interim (Humphrey, Mondale).

    “Inevitable” just shows how little the self-styled pundits know about politics. Just like in 2008.

    Estragon (ada867)

  2. Even if I didn’t care for the politics or ideology of people like Hillary, or Bill, or Barack, etc, if they at least were ethical, honest, decent humans, I couldn’t help but give them their due. I’d deem any books they had penned as legitimately serious and deserving of some consideration. But that would have to be a parallel universe and not what is of the here and now, and evident in 2014.

    Mark (cb6333)

  3. Some people believe that the book was never ever meant to be a big success with everyday readers–but that it nevertheless still had two important purposes for existing:

    1. the 14 million “advance” was a way to stealthily launder/get big bucks into her campaign coffers (who knows how much of it was actually even supplied by the publishing company) and

    2. the national “book tour” provided her a reason to be out and about, back in the public eye, and getting friendly puffball interviews from the local TV stations in all the cities and burgs she visited.

    elissa (b62c4b)

  4. elissa, I also heard another interesting explanation for why the book was written:

    3. When she runs in 2016, any time she is asked a tough question about her SoS term she can dismiss it by saying, “I cover that extensively in my book.”

    JVW (feb406)

  5. Yup. What elissa said. It will be subsidized by other writers, whose books do sell but whose royalties will be reduced by the publisher to make up the bottom line. See also, the fight between Hachette and Amazon; publishers will try to make honestly popular books more expensive.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Oh yeah, that sounds just like her, JVW!

    elissa (b62c4b)

  7. Well most of those books with the exception of Gates’s memoir, are examples of cruel tree murder, by comparison, the Huntress’s sold 7 times as many the first week with no publicity, and did Harper Collins some good,

    narciso (24b824)

  8. narciso–the rumor of the day is that Sarah’s going to be one of the new girls on abc’s “TheView”. What do you think of that? I have a hard time envisioning her in the same studio, let alone at at the same table as Whoopi, but you never know!

    elissa (b62c4b)

  9. the AP sent 11 ‘flying monkeys’ to harass and discredit her, the Times to their credit, had Stanley Fish, give a very good review, whereas Hillary’s got a slobbering treatment by Kukatani, and Chozick

    narciso (24b824)

  10. Some people believe that the book was never ever meant to be a big success with everyday readers–but that it nevertheless still had two important purposes for existing:

    1. the 14 million “advance” was a way to stealthily launder/get big bucks into her campaign coffers (who knows how much of it was actually even supplied by the publishing company) and

    2. the national “book tour” provided her a reason to be out and about, back in the public eye, and getting friendly puffball interviews from the local TV stations in all the cities and burgs she visited.

    If so, the Clintons are reverting to type. This is what they’ve been good at all along — they’re the modern corrupt politicians, who are savvy to the ways of the FBI, and don’t take bags of money, oh no. That’s old school, and politicians who are stuck in those days end up in prison. The new way to pay a bribe is to hire the governor’s wife’s law firm to do some legal work, and let them pad the bill. Or to “sell” them a share in a real estate investment, without actually collecting the money. Or to do aa day of futures trading, and assign all the day’s losing trades to ones own account, and all the winning trades to the client’s.

    Jim Wright was old school. He had a ghost writer write his book, self-published it, and sold it by the crateful to anyone who wanted something from him. He thought he was being clever, but Gingrich caught him. Then Gingrich wrote a book, but he submitted it to a real agent, who offered it to real publishers, who thought it would be such a good seller that they actually bid against each other for the right to publish it, resulting in a $4.5M advance for the author (minus the agent’s 10%, of course). And the Clintons saw this, and a sparkle appeared in their eyes. If an honest person like Gingrich could make money like this, imagine what a pair of crooks like them could do.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  11. So much for how effective Hillary has been, out Hawking her book !

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  12. I was in Target, and so Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices” on sale at 30% off. ABC News’ Robyn Roberts book “Everybody’s Got Something” was also on sale at 30% off.

    I looked in the index of “Hard Choices”

    There was an entry on immigration, on page 550 I think.

    There is one paragraph there in the middle of the page, and she treats the issue like the issue is only about legal immigration, which she is for expanding, without being specific, and she doesn’t use a word like inmcrease or any similar word.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  13. Richard Nixon wrote a terrible book, “RN” and years later he wrote an interesting book “In the Arena” (available on Amazon)

    Isaac Asimov wrote a terrible autobiography – split into two volumes – in 1979 and 1980, and years later, he wrote a good book “I, Asimov” published shortly after his death (later reworked and mingled with some other material into another and worse book by his widow) but the 1994 book is available on Amazon.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  14. The odd thing is that Amazon could, if they wanted, tell exactly how many Kindle users got to the end of Hard Choices. The Kindle uploads your last page read to the cloud to synchronize the Kindle with the Kindle application (website, mobile, various Kindles, etc.) It would be child’s play to run a map/reduce routine on the Kindle accounts with sync turned on and find the last page for their entire catalog and publish basic mean, median & mode statistics on it.

    Amazon, not being stupid, will probably guard such comparative information as if their future in federal court depends upon it.

    Semper Why (02df9b)

  15. Semi-O.T.
    I recently found a book in storage which has a reputation for being oft referred to and seldom read; see if you can guess the book and author from the following quote:

    …In aristocratic governments the individuals who aare placed at the head of affairs are rich men, who are solely desirous of power. In democracies statesmen are poor, and they have their fortunes to make. The consequence is that in aristocratic States the rulers are rarely accessible to corruption, and have very little craving for money; whilst the reverse is the case in democratic nations.
    But in aristcracies, as those who are desirous of arriving at the head of affairs are possessed of considerable wealth, and as the number of persons by whose assistance they may rise is comparatively small, the government is, if I may use the expression, put up to a sort of auction. In democraciess, on the other hand, those who are covetous of power are very seldom wealthy, and the number of citizens who confer that power is extremely great…

    Page 259, book and author to be guessed.
    The page before has some comments about public expenditures, including this gem:

    Whenever the poor direct public affairs and dispose of the national resources, it appears certain that, as they profit by the expenditure of the State, they are apt to augment that expenditure.

    Ibidem (3e710c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2755 secs.