We Get Results (with Comment from Steve)

We have noted over the years that when we plug books, it seems to drive sales. When I praised John Williams’ Stoner and Butcher’s Crossing in this post, Stoner was for a time adjacent to Lolita in Amazon’s best-selling books. So when I wrote about Red Sparrow, a spy novel that I absolutely loved, I decided to keep track.

I checked the Amazon statistics right after doing the post. Red Sparrow was then #4,515 in books and #160 in espionage. The next morning, Red Sparrow had risen to #2,536 in books and #78 in espionage. It continued to climb, and the following day peaked (at least at times when I checked) at #924 in books and #24 in espionage. The book stayed at considerably elevated numbers for several days, for as long as I continued to check.

It is interesting that one plug on a web site can move Amazon’s numbers that much, both among all books and in a popular category like espionage. I infer a couple of things: One, Power Line readers are avid book readers and book buyers. Two, they tend to trust our judgment on books. Three, while Amazon obviously sells an enormous number of books, it still doesn’t take too much to see significant movement.

My main takeaway is that we should continue to share our book enthusiasms with readers. Actually, I think it is true of all four of us that we care more about books than politics. Maybe someday we will turn this site into a book group!

STEVE adds: Fried Siegel, my host in New York on Wednesday, told me his book Revolt of the Masses has sold 33,000 copies!—the most of any of his many fine books. “And it’s my least readable book!” he says (which is not to mean it is hard to read or that you should avoid it). Anyway, he credits the video series we did a few months back with some of the good sales.

That reminds me. I’ve got a couple of books! Okay, they’re on backlist until I get a new one done next year. But I do recall seeing Amazon numbers jump a few years back after each Power Line mention.