Phalse Profits: Offit's Book Peaks At 8,173

September 15, 2008
Cookie_crumbles By J.B. Handley

The autism organizations waiting for a donation from Paul Offit from the profits of his new book should re-calibrate their expectations. While I'm not a book publisher, I'm guessing that the profits are quickly approaching zero.

One of the many cool things about is that it publishes a real-time rank of every book sold on their site. Given that Offit got most of his PR over this weekend and some stories reported that today is the day his book hits the market, Amazon should be a decent proxy for sales performance.

To provide some context, when Jenny McCarthy's book, Louder than Words, launched last year, it hit the Top 3 on Amazon for a couple of days, the Top 10 for more than a week, and hung around the Top 100 for nearly a month. It also was a NY Times bestseller.

Which brings me back to Offit's new book. I tracked performance from Friday through today. Note that this data is real-time, so you may see a different number when you go to Amazon, but here is his sales rank:

Friday: 9,106
Saturday: 8,173
Sunday: 8,477
Today: 13,465

Does the fact that his book isn't selling mean he's full of shit? Well, no, not necessarily. But, it sure is fun to watch. Is his peak really 8,173? Maybe not, but it's an interesting trend line to see today's number given the PR timing.

More exciting to me was a news story I watched that aired on Saturday on the local ABC station in Philadelphia where Offit is based. Hopefully, you can watch the story for yourself HERE.

What's great about this story is the reporter actually took the time to find some parents and a doctor who disagree with Offit. You listen to two couples who claim the following: vaccines triggered their child's autism and biomedical intervention is helping them recover. Then, a doctor comes on and supports the parent’s point of view. If this is the kind of PR Offit's book generates, it's good for our kids.

Who's buying Offit's book? Did he get an advance? Did he have pre-order commitments from Pharma to make the pitch to Columbia University Press? Maybe he thought there more than a dozen NDs to buy his book, I really don't know.

What I do know is that Jenny's book, in distribution for almost a year, is currently sitting at 4,689.

JB Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and Editor at Large for Age of Autism.

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Hmm, seemed like a good day to pre-order Jenny's new book. Still a week away from release and pre-order sales have it at 4,067.

Posted by: Jack | September 15, 2008 at 02:06 PM

Good points. You never know, Merck could suddenly buy up thousands of copies to hand out to doctors who have convince parents that it's safe to inject toxins into children.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

Posted by: Anne Dachel | September 15, 2008 at 01:57 PM


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