Friday, December 14, 2007

Sad sales number

The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz has consistently topped the "best of 2007" book lists, and book reviewers practically fell over themselves with joy at this book's literary quality and readability. However, according to AP's Hillel Italie, the book has only sold 27,000 copies to date.

In addition to confirming the decreasing popularity of literary fiction, it seems to suggest that the average reader does not read book reviews, or that they do not follow reviewer recommendations when buying books. Are we screaming into the void, or what?


Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm at Riverhead and those numbers are WAY OFF. We're on the Fourth Printing (in three months!) and total numbers are over 90,000. And that's not just a publicity statement. It's fact. So be of good cheer--Diaz and the heads at Riverhead have been celebrating pretty steadily these last couple of months. And the book just got back on the NYTIMES Bestseller Extended List. So again, worry not, neither Tree of Smoke or TBWOOW are causing any worries at their press.

HJ said...

90,000 in print or 90,000 sold? GalleyCat alerted the public to the suspicious statements made by "anonymous" all over the web. This alleged staffer at Riverhead claims the Nielson Bookscan number of 27,000 copies sold is wrong. Either some random person is a die-hard fan of Junot Diaz, or Riverhead is starting an underground "Blog Comment" campaign for their books. Check out GalleyCat's story called "The Extended Shelf Life of Oscar Wao?" at