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Where’s the Birth Certificate makes bestseller list (really)

WorldNetDaily accurately reports that Jerome Corsi’s latest political smear, Where’s the Birth Certificate? is officially on the bestseller lists, #6 in nonfiction at the New York Times, with appearances on Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today. I jumped the gun when I previously pointed out that it wasn’t on any of the real bestseller lists. It turns out that there is a delay in publishing the numbers and that this is the first week where sales of WTBC would appear.

However, rather than dispelling suspicions that the ranking of Corsi’s book as a bestseller is legitimate, new suspicions have arisen because this book is the ONLY book on the New York Times bestseller list to display the dagger (†) symbol that indicates that retailers are receiving bulk orders.

Overnight, it jumped from #692 to #360 today at Barnes & Noble. Perhaps that’s what an unmanipulated ranking looks like. If sales at B&N continue to skyrocket, I would assume that WND has started bulk buys there after it was disclosed that their numbers there were not even on the charts.

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17 Responses to Where’s the Birth Certificate makes bestseller list (really)

  1. avatar
    Chris May 29, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    the rumor of the bulk buy almost sounds like a conspiracy theory of your own, Doc!

  2. avatar
    Expelliarmus May 29, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    As long as you are looking at the NYT Bestseller list — #11 on the list, The Psychopath Test is a great read, and there’s a chapter about 9/11 truthers and their British counterparts, who apparently deny that that the July 7, 2005 subway bombings ever took place. A rather poignant account of a woman who was riding IN one of the subway cars where the bomb exploded, was injured by shrapnel but managed to survive started posting on internet boards in response to the conspiracists, trying in earnest to convince them that she was a direct witness who could vouch for the bomb going off. She posted under her real name. The 7/7 deniers then decided that she was not real, but merely a fictitious name shared by a team of government agents. So she found out where some of them were meeting in a London pub, and went with a friend to the meeting so she could show them she was a real person. They still didn’t believe her, just screamed at her.

    Anyway, I think the whole point of the book is that there are a lot of crazy people in the world, but sometimes its hard to figure out exactly what kind of crazy they are. If you get the book, I think you’ll be quite amused by what ends up happening with the main guy spearheading the 7/7 conspiracy claims.

  3. avatar
    Jamese777 May 29, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    If Corsi’s book sold one million copies (which it won’t). That would be equal to 1.5% of the votes that Barack Hussein Obama received in the general election in 2008.
    (69,456,897).

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 29, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Expelliarmus: As long as you are looking at the NYT Bestseller list — #11 on the list, The Psychopath Test is a great read, and there’s a chapter about 9/11 truthers and their British counterparts, who apparently deny that that the July 7, 2005 subway bombings ever took place.

    I started reading it a couple days ago.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 29, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    Chris: the rumor of the bulk buy almost sounds like a conspiracy theory of your own, Doc!

    Retailers report bulk buys to the Times, so it happened. I have to speculate as to the reason.

  6. avatar
    Suranis May 29, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    If WND is bulk buying their own book then it really eats into their own profits from the book as they are using their profits to buy the copies. Which means that there is at least some desperate need to have the book high on the bestseller lists, or some other agenda here.

  7. avatar
    AnotherBird May 29, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Chris:
    the rumor of the bulk buy almost sounds like a conspiracy theory of your own, Doc!

    It is always best to check references first. From Best Sellers non-fiction on The New York Times “A dagger () indicates that some retailers report receiving bulk orders.” No rumors here. However, there are questions on who would buy the books in books in such as significant number to merit the dagger () indication.

  8. avatar
    Prairie Blue May 29, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Many chain retailers afford NYT best-sellers preferred retail display space and/or automatic discounts off of the book’s retail price. Not to mention the caché of being able to market a book as a NYT best-seller.

    Assuming most chains ignore the dagger, expect Corsi’s book to take an end-cap at WalMart and Target any day now.

  9. avatar
    Fred May 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Jamese777:
    If Corsi’s book sold one million copies (which it won’t). That would be equal to 1.5% of the votes that Barack Hussein Obama received in the general election in 2008.
    (69,456,897).

    Coincidentally. 1million is the average repeat viewer number for prime time on Faux…..and dropping. Faux get’s FAR too much credit for their influence imho. They have a LOT of influence in one small segment. That would be white males in their late 50’s early 60’s. And 1million is almost nothing compared to what the 3 network news programs get each day.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Prairie Blue: Assuming most chains ignore the dagger, expect Corsi’s book to take an end-cap at WalMart and Target any day now.

    I would expect bestseller status to create a spike in sales (and that may be what we’re seeing at B&N).

  11. avatar
    Daniel May 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Suranis:
    If WND is bulk buying their own book then it really eats into their own profits from the book as they are using their profits to buy the copies. Which means that there is at least some desperate need to have the book high on the bestseller lists, or some other agenda here.

    WND generates revenue based on subscriptions and on advertising. A good portion of subscriptions is based on the perception by the weak minded that World Nut Daily is a big important (which it is neither) source of news and journalism (which it is not). A big part of that perception is the success, or perceived success, of the sensationalist books that Corsi writes.

    If WND spent 1.5 million dollars bulk buying Corsi’s latest schlock, that could be enough to bump it considerably, albeit artificially, up the charts, and chart placement could generate 3 times the revenue in subscriptions over time, plus WND still would have the books for sale in it’s own store.

    Farah is getting rather desperate with the whole birther meme starting to cave. I have no doubt that those bulk sales Doc noted are all headed to the WND warehouse.

  12. avatar
    Daniel May 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Chris: the rumor of the bulk buy almost sounds like a conspiracy theory of your own, Doc!

    The NYT started reporting bulk sales exactly because of the problem of sales manipulation by publishers. While the reporting of bulk sales didn’t stop the manipulation, it apparently has reduced it considerably for most books.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Best_Seller_list

    “Significant parts of the book, whose subtitle is “Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality,” have already been challenged as misleading or false in the days since its debut on Aug. 1. Nonetheless, it is to make its first appearance on The New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction hardcovers this Sunday — at No. 1.

    The book is being pushed along by a large volume of bulk sales” (NYT report on sales of “Obama Nation”)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/us/politics/13book.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    “The House ethics committee has been looking into reports of bulk sales of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s best-selling book. Such sales could violate House rules if the buyers had interests in House legislation.)
    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/14/us/panel-investigating-bulk-sales-of-gingrich-book.html

    “Mitt Romney boosted sales of his book this spring by asking institutions to buy thousands of copies in exchange for his speeches, according to a document obtained by POLITICO. ”
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1010/How_Romney_made_a_bestseller.html?showall

  13. avatar
    Bob May 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    A legally different business entity buys the books and uses them to promote their product — a free bestseller with every magazine subscription. Then the money spent on books can be deducted from their taxes as a cost of doing business. Everyone goes home happy (except the reader of Corsi’s book).

  14. avatar
    Daniel May 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Prairie Blue: Assuming most chains ignore the dagger, expect Corsi’s book to take an end-cap at WalMart and Target any day now.

    I would say probably not, due to profit, or lack.

    Corsi’s book has been in the half price bin since before day one, which means the profit margin is going to be very low. End caps are determined not just by sales, but also by profitability, which is why you rarely see loss leader products on end caps.

  15. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Expelliarmus:
    As long as you are looking at the NYT Bestseller list — #11 on the list, The Psychopath Test is a great read, and there’s a chapter about 9/11 truthers and their British counterparts, who apparently deny that that the July 7, 2005 subway bombings ever took place. ]

    YES. I read the ARC of the book, months ago, and was very pleased for having done so.

    Ronson’s the same guy who wrote “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” in case you’re wondering why that sounds familiar.

  16. avatar
    Rickey May 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Borders doesn’t rank books by sales, but since its release Corsi’s book has gotten only two customer reviews on the Borders website. At Powell’s Books it has received only one customer review.

    This seems to reinforce the suspicion that WND is focused on jacking up Amazon’s sales (and perhaps B&N’s as well and the book is not doing well at other retailers. Two of the bigger independent booksellers, The Strand in New York City and The Tattered Cover in Denver, aren’t even carrying it.

  17. avatar
    Rickey May 31, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    It looks like WND is running low on cash. Corsi’s book has dropped to #151 on Amazon and is down to #587 at Barnes and Noble.