Friday, February 11, 2005

Think Your Guidebook Sales are Lousy?

Young Burmese Monks by Carl Parkes

Just thank your lucky stars you didn't waste a large portion of your life writing about the Enron collapse or some other corporate scandal that has passed like dust in the wind. Who was that guy, Ken Lay? And why is he still a free man when Martha is doing time in the Big House?

Boom or Bust
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Feb 11, 2005

Simon & Schuster is printing 200,000 copies of DisneyWar, but recent boardroom dramas have had much less exciting numbers. Slate 's Daniel Gross reports:

...The excellent Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, written by three Fortune writers who collectively received $1.4 million for their troubles, has probably sold around 70,000 copies. Power Failure, penned by Mimi Swartz and whistleblower Sherron Watkins, sold fewer than 30,000 copies. According to Nielsen BookScan, which counts about 70 percent of U.S. sales, 24 Days: How Two Wall Street Journal Reporters Uncovered the Lies that Destroyed Faith in Corporate America has sold 16,765 copies.

But the Enron books were blockbusters compared with those about the botched AOL-Time Warner deal. According to Bookscan, Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner by Nina Munk, sold 5,000; There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future by all-star Wall Street Journal reporter Kara Swisher, sold 3,744; and Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner by Alec Klein of the Washington Post, sold 9,176.

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