Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Matt Lauer of the 'Today Show'

VIDEO: Ann Coulter on the 'Today Show'

Ann Coulter has a new book out - Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. In case you're wondering she is wearing her patented black dress for the cover once again.

As with every Ann Coulter book tour, controversy is following her. Though most might argue that the controversy has been brilliantly orchestrated to follow her. On this occasion the controversy was not created by specific outrageous passages in her new book but an apparent lifetime snubbing from NBC as reported by the Drudge Report.

I've gone in detail how Ann Coulter, is the top villain in punditry. Just like a classic wrestling heel, she loves being hated and knows how to push the right buttons.

Bill O'Reilly is arguably one of the few people higher than Ann in the profile and ego totem pole. It made for an interesting dynamic when Ann made an appearance on the 'O'Reilly Factor'.

Bill the "proud independent" played a mild scold to Ann. Bill has offered advice to Ann in the past, suggesting she should not be so intentionally provocative if she wants to be taken seriously. A ploy that serves his interests as it throws critics who consider Bill a provocateur off the scent.

Bill butters Ann up a with compliment quickly followed by some advice:
The best part of the book is the Palin analysis when the press went after her... this is good information I can use but then you had a part in the book [where you defame a celebrity]... do you need that or can you just do it with the other stuff that really snaps
In a later exchange, Bill attempts to offer advice by using popular conservative author Bernie Goldberg as a surrogate. Ann cleverly retorts "my general policy is to take advice from people who sell more books than me not fewer books...". Bill O'Reilly, not one to miss an opportunity to big note himself replies with "You would take advice from me then?". Simply brilliant.

It is engrossing video. First seeing a "red faced" Matt Lauer awkwardly challenge an emboldened Ann Coulter. Then seeing 'super ego' Bill O'Reilly condescend to the suddenly defensive but nonetheless proud Ann Coulter.

Update: So who has sold more books?
First I have no insider knowledge on publishing. Political books are known to be bought in bulk and given out freely or cheaply through certain websites, programs and institutions. Conservatives are particularly renowned for this. In an episode of the now defunct Sam Seder show, I recall a listener calling in describing how he was pulping pallets of conservative books. I don't know how this affects or distorts the numbers but it would be fair to say the line isn't clear. Sam Seder broached this subject briefly in my interview with him.

There are sites like RankForest that can track book sales through Amazon. Rampant TechPress gives a quick overview on the complications of tracking "real" book sales. There are very few ways for authors and publishers to track "real" sales of books.
Tracking your actual book sales
There is the super-expensive A. C. Neilsen "Bookscan" reports that show actual sales but only the very largest companies can afford this expensive service. We also cannot estimate the "real" sales of a book from the qualities that are shipped to the stores. Remember, all "sales to stores" are made with full rights of return, and they could all come-back.
Another measure might be tracking #1s on the New York Times Best seller lists. I've listed Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly's Number one showings, with Bernie Goldberg thrown in for good measure.
New York Times Best Seller No.1 Listings - Non Fiction
Ann Coulter
Slander (Crown) - July 14, 2002
Godless (Crown Forum) - June 25, 2006

Bill O'Reilly
The O'Reilly Factor (Broadway) - Nov 12, 2000
The No Spin Zone (Broadway) - Nov 11, 2001
Who's Looking Out For You? (Broadway) - Oct 12, 2003
Culture Warrior (Broadway) - Oct 15, 2006

Bernard Goldberg
Bias (Regnery) - Jan 20, 2002
So who has sold more books? I can't say for sure. But logic would point to Bill O'Reilly. Ann and Bill have been equally successful in recent years but on the whole Bill would have the aggregate lead if you accept the simple premise that O'Reilly (8) has published more books than Coulter (7).

Update: The Daily Show's Moment of Zen (Jan 8) - Coulter Sells More Books

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who actually sells more books?