The Washington Blade has an article up about how books by gay celebs aren't selling. It has a bunch of numbers and junk, but it seems to be more of a way to make fun of Mary Cheney's Now It's My Turn than an actual investigation of gay memoirs (not that there's anything wrong with that). The book sold about 9000 copies - that's right, just 9000 copies. It didn't really have an audience:
Cheney’s “Now It’s My Turn” did especially poorly, gay booksellers say, because Cheney lacked appeal to gay readers on one hand and conservatives on the other.
“It’s not going to be the church reading club book in Indiana for tea or anything,” Flowers says. Although her appearance on Larry King suggests Cheney tried to reach out to mainstream audiences, her marketing scheme didn’t seem to include gay bookstores.
Flowers has a point; I don't know many churches around here that would pick her book for their reading clubs. But the more irate/funny quotations are after the jump.
While Cheney's book didn't do well with the straight folks, it also didn't do that well at gay bookstores (this Philip guy sounds awesome!):
Philip Rafshoon, owner of Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, a gay bookstore in Atlanta, Ga., says that he met Cheney at an event in Washington, D.C., and invited her to read at the store, but she never took him up on the offer.
“We sold very few of that. We sold 12,” Rafshoon says. “I’m not a Cheney fan, I’m not a Bush fan, and I think that our customers … weren’t interested in a book where she defended the Bush/ Cheney policies on gays and lesbians. Good God, what is there to say about that book? She’s a person who could have affected so much change and didn’t at that time.”
Further depressing sales figures was the fact that Cheney didn’t go in depth about being a lesbian in the book, Rafshoon says.
“‘Now It’s My Turn Not To Talk About Anything Important,’” Rafshoon scoffs. “I think it was a unique gay celeb book that didn’t sell. There were some people upset that we even carried the book here, but we, of course, chose to feature both sides of that story.”
OK, that's conservative audiences and gay audiences, but, wait, Mary Cheney's a woman involved with politics! The feminist bookstores should have sold a bunch of copies!
Linda Bubon, co-owner of Chicago feminist bookstore Women & Children First, says memoirs have become increasingly popular in the book world. (Despite this, her store didn’t stock a single copy of Cheney’s work.) Women & Children First has tripled the space given to the genre in the past two years, although, she says, books written by celebrities are an uncertain venture in terms of sales.
“It really, really varies,” she says.
Varies indeed. This wasn't Nacy Pelosi writing a memoir, it was Mary Cheney.
Oh, well. 9000 copies is still reaching some people (hell, I dated a guy who was one of those 9000). and she did much better than Mike Jones (Ted Haggard outer), whose book I Had to Say Something, only sold 1000.
But that might just be because her book was a steal at seven cents.