January 3, 2018

Why is Hillary Clinton's book "What Happened" ranked #289 as a hardcover but only #2,264 as an ebook?

On Amazon.

I think I know the answer, but I'll let you speculate before I tell you.

110 comments:

Jake said...

Bulk sales to donors.

n.n said...

People prefer hardcover over e-book.

buwaya said...

People want to show it off but don't actually want to read it?

Nonapod said...

All of the above

John Christopher said...

It's this year's version of the Piketty book to sit prominently on display.

buwaya said...

I don't think you can do bulk sales via Amazon, but I may be wrong on that.
IIRC you do the bulk sale thing direct with the publisher.

Jeff Hall said...

If you've bought a book then discovered that you've wasted your money, it's much less hassle to return an eBook than a a paper book.

CJinPA said...

Bulk sales and older readers?

Jacquejet said...

Why the Hardback book is better:
1. Every library in the country wanted (at least) 3 or 4.
2. Hillary donors love all things Hillary.
3. Perfect thickness to put in a high chair to make baby at the proper height for eating (and throwing a Hillary tantrum).

Henry said...

Bumper stickers also do poorly as eBooks.

David Begley said...

Jake got it right.

Just another scam to get money to the Clintons. Just like the speeches.

Henry said...

door stop

Tank said...

Hard cover works better as toilet paper?

Henry said...

The Russians hacked the ebook.

Ann Althouse said...

"People prefer hardcover over e-book."

You need a reason specific to this book.

The Kindle ranking is based on what sells the most in Kindle, so it doesn't matter how many more hardcover books are sold.

It would make more sense to say people prefer ebooks so that there's just a lot of competition in that form, whereas hardcover books are mostly avoided, but so that there's less competition. But still, why are the buyers of hardcover books buying Hillary (even now, after the publicity tour is over)?

Achilles said...

Henry said...
The Russians hacked the ebook.

This is why I participate here.

Tim DeRoche said...

People are buying it as *gifts* for Hillary-supporting Dems and proud feminists.

But the Dems and feminists don't actually want to read it... so they're not buying it for themselves.

(Assumption: When you buy a gift, you buy hardcover. When you buy to read, you buy in whatever form you read.)

Charlie Eklund said...

With the ebook, you get hours and hours of hearing Hillary Clinton's voice. Why would anybody sign up for that?

LincolnTf said...

Bulk buys by distributors who then pass them on to brick-and-mortar bookstores. They are "sold" when they leave the Dist., but the "Returns" rate from retail stores is huge. Bookstores often have pallets of unopened boxes of "Bestsellers" in the warehouse, waiting the required time to get a refund. Been that way forever. An expected-to-be "big" book gets all the purchasing managers up and down the chain into a frenzy, and they all over-buy (the more you buy, the better discount off cover you get). Works great for everyone involved if you load up on Harry Potter, not so much Hillary Clinton.

rehajm said...

The delta between the cost of ebooks and hardcovers has shrunk. People will choose real books when the delta is close since there's more flexibility with the real thing.

Have fun speculating though...

Charlie Eklund said...

Actually, it's Hillary's voice on the audio book rather than the ebook. Still, maybe you can "hear" the author's voice more readily on a digital platform than on the traditional page.

Will said...

Because you can't level a Crooked table with an eBook...

MadisonMan said...

I would guess Libraries bought hardcover books but not e-Books.

I did check it out of the library and it's sitting at home, but I just can't get into it, especially when that silly Russian Collusion story is trotted out right away.

You can't read a book when your eyes are rolling.

readering said...

People more likely to buy ebook when actually planning to read soon, as opposed to hard copy they buy in solidarity for HRC.

The Vault Dweller said...

It is not a very closely held secret that when determining hardcover book sales, many of the rating groups, use a selection of stores. It is also not very closely held knowledge that inquiring minds in the publishing business can find out which stores these are and send shoppers there to buy books to boost apparent sales ratings of a book.

BudBrown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Really curious, top of the page says "Amazon Charts #15 Most Read" and way down says "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)"

How is that possible? Serious question.

Richard Dillman said...

Saw her book yesterday at Barnes and Noble. It was in the fiction section.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Tablets and other e-readers are expensive. You don't want to throw them across the room when you get exasperated. The hardcover won't get busted when you do that.

rehajm said...

"Amazon Charts #15 Most Read" and way down says "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)"

How is that possible? Serious question.


Amazon sees you when you're reading. They know when you're awake.

Curious George said...

"Richard Dillman said...
Saw her book yesterday at Barnes and Noble. It was in the fiction section."

It's in the Shebeast section of mine.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

True story, my wife was trying to use some feature on her new, and first, smart phone and getting very frustrated. Seeing this, a friend of her brother mentions getting so angry he threw his smart phone across a parking lot and broke it. My wife, a frugal sort, no doubt thinking of the expense of a smart phone, asked him why on earth he would do such a thing. He replied, "that's your first smart phone isn't it?"

Rob said...

They chose to use the machine reader for the audio of the ebook. Hillary was too robotic.

Curious George said...

Speaking of Clinton books.

#IngaKnew

Original Mike said...

Blogger MadisonMan said..."You can't read a book when your eyes are rolling."

LOL. You need the audiobook.

clint said...

A hardcover is better for displaying -- on the coffee table, on the bookshelf, or carried in hand with the title visible.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

In my case, I'll soon be buying a copy (if I can find it cheap) as a fantasy football trophy. "What Happened?" it will ask. On the inside cover I'll write, "The Hipster won the title, that's what." Then we can pass it around, year to year, and laugh that Hillary has become a pathetic joke.

pious agnostic said...

I agree with those who speculate that the book was purchased to be seen on a bookshelf, not to be read.

ebooks are invisible, and thus no good for virtue signalling.

JAORE said...

Most of the hard cover sales are in Venezuela where toilet paper is scarce.

Owen said...

Does e-book allow identification of the purchaser? Maybe readers don't want exposure?

Rory said...

Old people buy books. Younger people buy e-books. The mix suggests that this is being purchased by very old people.

tcrosse said...

How is Al Franken, Giant of the Senate selling ?

Sid said...

Old People buy hardcovers. Young people buy e-books. Young people aren't interested in Hilary Clinton.

Unknown said...

Is the hardcover rating based on sales or on bookstore orders?

Kate said...

Santa had a hard time finding coal this year.

Curious George said...

"Original Mike said...
Blogger MadisonMan said..."You can't read a book when your eyes are rolling."

LOL. You need the audiobook."

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche (and Kelly Clarkson)
(opening of “Showing Up,” the first chapter of “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton’s new book on the election)

Then Click BANG Thump

Matthew Sablan said...

My theory: The sort of person who will buy a political book is more often the sort of person who wants a hard copy of it on their shelf. Whether it is Clinton's What Happened? or Scott Adams's Whatever It Was Called.

Michael said...

Housewives and The View watchers are not likely to read electronic books. They buy the Clinton hardcover in bookstores at deep discount when they are shopping for their grandchildren thinking they will read it later. They won't.

Molly said...

Buwaya and Sablan (and perhaps others) get to this: it's almost impossible to virtue signal (say on the bus or subway or in the park) by reading an ebook. (But I like the library and old people explanations too.)

LincolnTf said...

There's a reason that "big" books are on the Bestseller list before they are even released.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

t's almost impossible to virtue signal (say on the bus or subway or in the park) by reading an ebook.

I've seen speculation that one of the reasons Fifty Shades of Gray was so successful was that people could read it as an ebook and nobody would be able to tell what you were reading.

Bryant said...

The hard cover is the perfect gift idea for a white elephant gift exchange.

Ray said...

I agree with the virtue signaling.

Interesting Obama’s book, images of, is around 50.

The Godfather said...

There are a lot of us senior citizens for whom “what happened?” Is a perennial question, not at all limited to elections. “What did you say?” is also a biggie.

Infinite Monkeys said...

I'm going to say while there's a wider variety of book types in the regular list, there's just more competition in the Kindle section.

If you click the top 100 link from the Kindle book page you get a list of only Kindle books. When you click on the top 100 book link from the hardcover page, you get a list of books of all media types along with calendars. The Kindle list looks like it's mostly fiction with a number of them under $5. The other list has some of everything, but judging from the first couple of pages, it's a lot of cookbooks.

I wonder if the books that are borrowed through Kindle Unlimited affect the popularity rankings.

I also want to point out that Dilbert's Day-to-Day calendar is shown at #43, way ahead of Clinton's book #284.

MostlyCarbon said...

Do you see the the claim they make in her Bio?
Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party in 2016,

David said...

You can't buy an ebook to show it off unopened on your shelf.

AllenS said...

A very good friend of mine, in fact my best friend right before Christmas stopped out at the house and said he thought about buying this book for me for Christmas, but said he decided not to, then he gave me a lump of coal. I said: "OUTSTANDING!"

James Griffin said...

Nobody is buying it but "non-profits" funded by HRC's friends and allies.

Freeman Hunt said...

No one going to read it. Meant for display as if interested.

David said...

A few years ago I would have gone with the bulk purchase/funneling cash to Hillary theory, but less so now.

I suspect also that there are a lot of librarians who just have to acquire this amazing set of excuses and blame from the most fearless feminist pioneer every.

But in today's world you gotta go with virtue signaling first.

David said...

Allen that is a very good friend, you lucky man.

FleetUSA said...

People want to show off to their friends the book on their shelves. Validating themselves as proper progs.

Tim at large said...

I wonder how many of them were sold on pallets and shipped directly to the paper mill? Oh, Hillary doesn’t have that kind of juice anymore.

Xmas said...

Speaking of Hillary...I'm wondering if she threw a lit candle at Bill's head.

Fire!

KK Kraska said...

Bulk sales cum payoff. The money is laundered thru the publishing house.

rehajm said...

During the Obama era Piketty's book was purchased by all the lefties for the coffee table but they never read it. Too boring. I wonder how Hillary's delta between purchased and read stacks up with Piketty?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

You can't use an e-book as a door stop.

Tim at large said...

Speaking of Hillary...I’m wondering if she threw a lit candle at Bill's head.

Wood stoves are better for destroying evidence. Haven’t they seen The Unsinkable Molly Brown?

Tim at large said...

I thought books that feature a white male hero savior were out of fashion these days.

Ken B said...

Jim Wright.

Mark said...

A few people got it right, but Ken's reference to Wright is the most right.

The bulk of these are not bona fide transactions, but a ruse to funnel $$$ to Hilary.

Etienne said...

The answer is, the hardcover is normally purchased by libraries. All libraries are going to want to have any book written by the President or First Lady.

As a matter of fact, I do not buy hard cover books, because I can ride my bike to the library, and if they don't have it, they can get it. Usually very quickly.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Burning that final bit of evidence.

Eric said...

The virtue signalling theory has a regional component. In some areas it may be "cool" to be seen reading Hillary's book, hence hardback. Elsewhere, readers may prefer to conceal their choice, hence ebook.

PackerBronco said...

The Clinton Foundation ran low on funds buying the hardcover editions and couldn't afford to buy as many of the e-books.

Big Mike said...

How many hardcover books were published? 290?

A lot of people made good suggestions upthread, but I think Etienne is more right than most, with what buwaya and Freeman Hunt wrote being a major contributing factor.

Bay Area Guy said...

Heck, maybe she will divorce Bill now to retain a shred of her dignity. Heck, even Al and Tipper broke up, once they weren't needed on the stage.

madAsHell said...

You can hide a lot of books in the supply chain. I'm not aware that Kindle has a lengthy supply chain.

wildswan said...

"Etienne said...
The answer is, the hardcover is normally purchased by libraries. All libraries are going to want to have any book written by the President or First Lady."

I go with the above. I get highly political books such as those on or by Hillary from the library so as not to give the Dems any money. And, then for awhile, the library has 3 or 4 copies of such books and still has a waiting list. Then when the books aren't as eagerly sought the library feeds them slowly into the book sale section.

damikesc said...

Could be that hardback books go on sale way more frequently with far higher markdowns than ebooks

BADuBois said...

Bulk sales of the hardcovers... period.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"Blogger Henry said...
Bumper stickers also do poorly as eBooks."

Most insightful comment if not actually the answer. Can we do the retarded "K&R!" thing here?

Amadeus 48 said...

The hardcover is the perfect gift for the NeverTrump friends on your list. Everyone from Bill Kristol to George Will to Chris Matthews to Paul Krugman will be thrilled to get the inside story from The Most Qualified Presidential Candidate EVER on how she was smeared by her enemies, betrayed by her friends, and victimized by Russians(!) in the 2016 election campaign, which, by the way, she won.

And you can actually see the pictures.

buwaya said...

I am unsure if libraries now get their new books via Amazon.
IIRC they may still go through old-style distributors or direct to publishers, like the (remaining) independent bookstores.
If so Amazon rankings would not include library sales.

But who knows.

Tim at large said...

Dixie Chicks sold a whole bunch of CDs to liberal women who never listened to them too. After flipping off the fan base who actually liked their music. The liberal women bought them because they couldn’t let those deplorables win. I haven’t heard from the Dixie Chicks recently though. Hopefully, that will be Hillary’s fate.

Actually, I hope she runs again so that Bill Clinton gets put through the ringer he deserves.

Yancey Ward said...

I personally think it is the very first comment by Jake- you buy hardcopies in bulk- a hundred at a time- to make personal contribution to the Clintons.

Also mentioned above, though, is that the book is one of those some might want their friends to think they had read. This is important in certain circles of the intellectually shallow.

Ken B said...

I like Mark's theory :)

I saw a pile of them at 50% off on the weekend.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The various narratives offered here do not survive submission to a control test.

For example, Obama: An Intimate Portrait is #53 in Books and #30,438 Paid in Kindle Store. For an example outside of politics, Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson is #40 in Books and #325 Paid in Kindle Store.

On the other hand, Tips for Living Hardcover by Renee Shafransky is #8,148 in Books and #1 Paid in Kindle Store. Likewise, Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green is #9,355 in Books and #2 Paid in Kindle Store.

Hardcover buyers are buying different books than ebook buyers are buying. It's not just a different publishing format, it's a different market.







MathMom said...

People like Barbra Steisand buy 10,000 copies to run up the rankings. I don't think you can buy the e-book 10,000 times.

Hillary probably bought 100,000 copies of her book to improve its ranking.

Ken B said...

The unifying theme to the various theories is this: the hard cover sales were not for *reading*.

The exception to this is the “old people buy hardcover young people buy ebooks” theory. This is wrong, because most old people care about typeface, and the font is adjustable with Kindle. Being oldish and bookish and knowing oldish bookish people, we all prefer Kindle for that reason.

Larry L said...

The true believers buy the book to get her autograph; reading it is secondary.

Rockeye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rockeye said...

Sid had it right: hardcover books are an old person thing. Virtue signaling with autographs comes in second, and library/textbook requirements are third.

William Chadwick said...

If only Margaret Hamilton had been alive to do the spoken-word edition. . . .

Francisco D said...

Buwaya nailed it. In other words ...

Leftists virtue signal by having the book on display. They don't waste their time reading the predictable claptrap.

Sam L. said...

The hardcovers are sent to bookstores by the thousands, and they're counted by books sent, not sold. E-books are by books sold.

Mr. Chadwick? HUSH yo mouth!! (Great idea, though.)

Another thought: Maybe the paper is really gooooood for rolling the weed in and gives it an exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxtra kick, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Just a thought. And no, I haven't been tokin'.

William said...

Left Bank at 7:20 makes an interesting point. Can someone smart determine if this variance is extremely unusual. According to Left Bank, it's not so out of the ordinary......I always knew that with proper research you could find an innocent explanation for Hillary's anomalies. So if Left Bank's thesis holds true, we're up to one.

William Chadwick said...

Sam L., this blog doesn't allow links, as far as I know; but I recommend you look at the video on YouTube that cleverly intercuts footage of Hillary whipping up enthusiasm at a rally of her supporters with footage from the Wizard of Oz showing the Wicked Witch unleashing her flying monkeys.

dwick said...

Etienne said 1/3/18, 4:05 PM...

"...I do not buy hard cover books, because I can ride my bike to the library..."


Speaking of virtue signaling...

dwick said...

W.B. Picklesworth said 1/3/18, 2:24 PM...
"In my case, I'll soon be buying a copy (if I can find it cheap) as a fantasy football trophy. "What Happened?"...


I hope WB isn't too disappointed to discover the title is "What Happened" rather than "What Happened?"... but maybe he/she can magic marker in the question mark in the more prominent places.

bobby said...

E-book sales dropped off to nothing after it was found that the e-book files were self-deleting within hours of purchase.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, you never told us your theory, as promised. Also your tag — Hillary goes away — if only!

Bob R said...

Need to replace the old Sears catalog.

Henry said...

"...I do not buy hard cover books, because I can ride my bike to the library..."

Speaking of virtue signaling...


LOL. I too use the library. It's up hill both ways.

I spent years buying books, new and used, to fill out a home library. It took me my third move to decide that that was bloody stupid. I sold some, gave away 90% of the rest and started using the library. Now I buy ebooks as my first choice.

Ben said...

Hardcover was the perfect Christmas present for the diehard Hill fan

Ben said...

Hardcover was the perfect Christmas present for the diehard Hill fan

BudBrown said...

And the answer is?

William Chadwick said...

Re e-books, I keep getting told, "Well, young people don't actually read 'book-books' as you grew up with them. They now read books on electronic media." Really? I'd like to believe that the Dumbest Generation is actually reading books, via whatever media, but that's not the impression I get.

MB said...

The hardcover version came out first and people just couldn't wait to get their hands on it (/sarcasm?).
Then the reviews were disappointing and nobody wanted the ebook version anymore, when it came out.