LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM EVEN AFTER BEING IDENTIFIED AS LYING LIARS
From Publishers Lunch (alas, subscription only):
Dude, Where's Your Calculator?
Bill O'Reilly had some interesting things to say on The Today Show yesterday (goaded, in part, by Matt Lauer, who doesn't seem to know a lot about how sales work himself):
LAUER: Number one on the best seller list. You have bumped past Al Franken's book. Is there a little ecstasy in that for you?
Mr. O'REILLY: We've outsold that guy all over the place. We're running against Hillary for most copies of non-fiction books sold this year. That's who we want to beat, and that's why I'm here talking with you. It's a delightful experience on the TODAY show as always.
Without resorting to name-calling, those are claims that stand in sharp contrast to, say, a glance at recent Nielsen Bookscan lists. Unless "outsold that guy all over the place" actually means "have sold about half as many units." By those same charts, Clinton has outsold O'Reilly by a little less than three to one.
To be sure, "Who's Looking Out for You" is a verifiable bestseller, and one of the top books on the market right now. But other books not mentioned by O'Reilly also rank far ahead of his. As indicated here in a recent column, probably the biggest nonfiction book of the year is Rick Warren's phenomenon "The Purpose-Driven Life." The biggest book published in 2003 is Rodale's own "The South Beach Diet." Also exponentially ahead of O'Reilly just in recent Nielsen Bookscan tabulations are Phil McGraw's "Ultimate Weight Loss Solution," and Robert C. Atkins's "Atkins for Life." And on it goes.