From Alan Greenspan to Bill Clinton, Celebrity Image Sells Books

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Alan Greenspan is promoting his new book – The Age of Turbulence. He told the BBC that the odds of recession were increasing. Hey, he can read the headlines as well as we can!

We went into Waterstone’s bookstore near Piccadilly yesterday. There, at the entry, was Greenspan’s book. We looked around for our own book – Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets. It was nowhere to be seen. Finally, we asked at the desk.

“How do you spell that author’s name? Doesn’t ring a bell…” asked the clerk.

“B…o…n…n…e…r, great writer…very perceptive…love his stuff…”

“Oh, we have three copies…they’re up on the fourth floor…in the accounting section,” came the reply.

Yikes, we’ll never sell any books that way.

But the book trade is a sorry business. It is mostly a celebrity game, as near as we can tell. If you want to sell a book, dear reader, you have to spend a lot of time promoting it…hosting book signing parties…schmoozing reviewers…doing interviews…talking, talking, talking.

In Waterstone’s, for example, there are two big posters – one of Bill Clinton…the other of Jane Fonda. Both are scheduled to appear in the bookstore to sign copies. Clinton’s oeuvre is a book with a positively beatific photo of Clinton on the cover; we thought he looked strangely like Mother Teresa. The book’s title: “Giving”. We didn’t see Fonda’s tome…but it must have been there somewhere, selling millions of copies.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
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