Book reviews aren’t nearly as important as they used to be in the publishing industry for moving product, with one exception.
A plug by the president of the United States.
Which is what I got late Sunday night from POTUS:
“@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about. He was a great help. He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond. He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times. The book is called ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy. #MAGA.”
And to think that not so long, I figured a shot on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox was the best possible endorsement an author like me could get. But a segment on the O’Reilly Factor was nothing compared to an endorsement from POTUS.
When I went to bed late Sunday night, “What Really Happened” was hovering around number 17,000 in Amazon sales, not terrible but not that great either, after a couple of weeks in print.
The book had 25 reviews, with an average of 4.5 stars.
Seven hours later, when I woke up, I checked WRH’s Amazon rank again. WRH was now at 2904 in sales – a big spike, in other words. And suddenly I had 35 reviews, but the average was down to 3.5 stars, which means that of the 10 news reviews, probably 8 came in at 1 on a scale of 1 to 5.
Hmmm, I thought to myself, something seems to happening here. As the sales were exhibiting signs of Making America Great Again, simultaneously the reviews had been infected with a raging case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
There could only be one reason for such a sudden schizophrenic reaction to the book: a tweet from POTUS.
I had flown down to Palm Beach for the weekend, and I went to Mar-a-Lago for dinner Saturday night. Naturally I took along a copy of WRH, just in case. Around 7:30, on the patio, the band struck up, “America the Beautiful,” which meant POTUS was on his way down to the patio. When Trump arrived, he got a standing O from the packed house.
Then he sat down to dinner with two men, neither of whom I recognized. When POTUS motioned me over to his table, he noticed the book in my hand and asked me about it.
I handed WRH over and he immediately noticed the outstanding cover photo of himself, his right arm raised, with his index finger uplifted.
“That is a great photo!” he said. “Where’d you get that?”
From the Boston Herald, I told him. Patrick Whittemore took the picture. Trump proudly showed the book to his guests, and after some small talk, I said to him, “If you like it….”
He nodded, and that was it, until he tweeted out at 11:46 Sunday night, after which the trolls went crazy. You think Amazon delivery is fast – within 10 minutes, these trolls were claiming to have read the book, plus they’d posted a one-star review and demanded their money back, or so they said. That’s how quickly it happened. Jeff Bezos must have sent my books out, not by drone, but by ICBM.
On Amazon, you’re supposed to have made a “verified purchase” before you review, but the moonbats know all the excuses, lame as they are. One of my one-star critics claimed to have “borrowed a copy,” and another lied that he “bought this book from B&N – sorry.” Sorry indeed – you can buy it at the local brick-and-mortar B&N’s, but WRH is not currently available on line from B&N.
Then the celebrate-diversity crowd started claiming that my five-star reviewers were all churned out by “Russian bots.” Would that it were, would it were….
Star Struck: “I can’t believe I wasted my time reading this.” Hey, you know what, Star Struck, I can’t believe you read “What Really Happened” either, considering you didn’t post anything very early yesterday morning until POTUS’s tweet.
Then I decided to see how the trust-funders of the ever-shrinking Boston Globe were reacting to my good fortune. The tweet, I quickly discovered, had roused them off their couches in Mom’s basement. They stopped clipping coupons for a moment or two, or at least some of them did, to put the blast on me and the president, especially me.
“The ignorant musings of a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic fascist whose daily screeds in his so-called newspaper read like the incoherent rants of a drunk on a barstool.
You mean like Fat Boy Ted Kennedy? That last harangue, by the way, was from “Nagej2.” Has anyone ever seen Nagej2 and Star Struck in the same room?
By mid-afternoon, I was ranked 770 on Amazon, and my average review was down to 3 stars, which is okay. What did Liberace say about bad reviews – “I’m laughing all the way to the bank.”
Thank you, POTUS. I owe you one.